What Is Sensipar (Cinacalcet)?
Sensipar is the brand name of the medicine cinacalcet, which is used to treat hyperparathyroidism (overproduction of the parathyroid hormone) in people with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis.
It’s also used to treat high levels of calcium in people with parathyroid gland cancer and overactive parathyroid glands.
Sensipar belongs to a class of drugs known as calcimimetics. It works by reducing levels of parathyroid hormone, calcium, and phosphorous in the body.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Sensipar in 2004. It’s manufactured by Amgen.
Don’t take Sensipar if you have low levels of calcium in your blood.
Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you have, or have ever had:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- A heart rhythm disorder
- Liver disease
- Bone disease
Also, let your doctor know if you have kidney disease — but are not on dialysis — before taking Sensipar.
This drug shouldn’t be taken by anyone under age 18 unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Your doctor may perform frequent tests to check your body’s response to Sensipar. Keep all appointments with your healthcare provider and laboratory.
Tell your doctor you’re taking this medicine before having any type of surgery, including a dental procedure.
Sensipar can help control your condition, but it won’t cure it. Continue to take this drug even if you feel well.
Don’t stop using Sensipar without first talking to your doctor.
Pregnancy and Sensipar
It’s not known whether Sensipar can harm an unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or might become pregnant before taking this medicine.
It’s also not known whether the drug passes into breast milk or could harm a breastfeeding baby. Don’t breastfeed while taking Sensipar without talking to your doctor first.
Sensipar Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Sensipar
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don’t go away:
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Sensipar
Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Muscle aches or cramps
- Sudden tightening of the muscles in the hands, feet, face, or throat
- Burning, tingling, or unusual feelings in the lips, tongue, fingers, or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Signs of an allergic reaction (may include hives, rash, itching, chest tightness, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you’re taking, especially:
- Accolate (zafirlukast)
- Antidepressants such as Anafranil (clomipramine), Aventyl and Pamelor (nortriptyline), Elavil (amitriptyline), Norpramin (desipramine), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac and Sarafem (fluoxetine), Serzone (nefazodone), Surmontil (trimipramine), Tofranil (imipramine), or Vivactil (protriptyline)
- Antifungals such as Diflucan (fluconazole), Nizoral (ketoconazole), or Sporanox (itraconazole)
- Birth control pills
- Calan, Covera, Isoptin, and Verelan (verapamil)
- Cardizem, Dilacor, and Tiazac (diltiazem)
- Danocrine (danazol)
- ERY-TAB, E.E.S., E-Mycin, and Erythrocin (erythromycin)
- Flagyl (metronidazole)
- HIV protease inhibitors such as Crixivan (indinavir) and Norvir (ritonavir)
- INH and Nydrazid (isoniazid)
- Mellaril (thioridazine)
- Neoral and Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
- Rescriptor (delavirdine)
- Tagamet (cimetidine)
- Tambocor (flecainide)
- TAO (troleandomycin)
- Velban (vinblastine)
Sensipar and Grapefruit
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may affect how Sensipar works in your body.
Talk to your doctor about this potential interaction.