Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take Generic Calcium Pills?


With very few exceptions, patients who have a successful parathyroid operation need to be taking calcium pills after the operation. We talk a lot about this in the Green and Blue sections of this app.

Although we talk about Citracal brand of calcium citrate, we are quite happy if you get a generic brand of calcium citrate. We would prefer if you get one bottle of the Citracal for the first week, and then switch to the generic form. There are lots of generic forms, some of them are shown here in these pictures.

Make sure it has vitamin D

Every pharmacy and almost every grocery store has calcium citrate. Always get the calcium that has vitamin D, because the primary job of vitamin D is to help your intestines absorb the calcium.

Make sure the amount is the same. 

Throughout this app, and with the written materials handed out at the Norman Parathyroid Center, we talk about Citracal maximum strength. This has 630 mg of calcium citrate per dose, which is two pills.  Of course, we always discuss taking “pills”, and that means pills, not doses. If we say take 5 pills, that means 5 pills, not 10 pills. So get the generic form that has about 315 mg calcium citrate per pill (630 per dose, where a dose is 2 pills). Any questions, bring your calcium with you to the hospital and show it to one of the three surgeons that will be with you on your surgery day.