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All TopicsForum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Caltrate/Citracal

Topic: Caltrate/Citracal

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After —

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: Nov 27, 2007 06:57AM - edited Nov 27, 2007 06:57AM by Stack

Stack wrote:

 do you think one is better than the other. When i was switched to arimidex, my onc suggested the caltrate 600+D, but i see alot of women take the citracal. just wondering.

And is this enough, or should i be taking other vits also.

Dx 2005, 3cm & 1.5cm IDC w/DCIS, Stage II Grade III, 0/5 Nodes, ER+,PR-,HER2-
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Nov 27, 2007 08:16AM FitChik wrote:

Hi Stack...I don't know the answer to your question about the difference between Caltrate and Citrical, but for more response, the women who post on the "Alternative..." board might be able to help also. I take calcium citrate, rather than calcium carbonate, even though citrate doesn't absorb as well because I was advised (by a knowledgeable member on this board) that calcium carbonate is contraindicated for those of us on thyroid medications. In addition to calcium, I take 10 other supplements, including D3 and magnesium. I'm not sure if you're asking, though, about supplements for issues other than bone strength/loss or just that..? Anyway, hopefuly someone will be along soon to answer your main question.


"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." ~Nora Ephron
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Nov 27, 2007 08:54AM Rosemary44 wrote:

It appears the only difference between the two is that one is made with carbonate and the other with citrate.

Calcium carbonate is nature's most concentrated form of calcium and what Caltrate is made of. It's about 40% elemental calcium by weight so you need to take just 2 Caltrate tablets per day to get the amount of calcium recommended by the Institute of Medicine for adults 51 years and older. With less concentrated forms of calcium such as citrate, you'd need to take more tablets to get the same amount of calcium.

Citrical is made from the citrate form.  

It's all according to your age which one would be better.  Citrate is used for those on thyroid drugs, or are older.  We don't make enough stomach acid to break down the calcium when we get older. 

Under 50's can take carbonate if they aren't on thyroid drugs and have more stomach acid.  Which is guess work really.  How do we know if we have enough stomach acid? 

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Jul 11, 2008 02:51PM TenderIsOurMight wrote:

I just found this thread. It offers some good advice.   Recently I was told to resume my hypothyroid medicine. My TSH came back at 7; I'd been complaining of skin peeling like a lizard, fatigue, weight gain, etc.. I was a set up for it, + family history as well as hx of rads.   But Synthroid gives me heartburn when taken on an empty stomach. I wonder if taking it with a little orange juice may help break it down faster (maybe I don't have enough stomach acid as Rosemary mentions), so it doesn't sit there, lying against the stomach wall, waiting to fall apart and get absorbed. I remember my dad's pill bottle said, "take first thing in the morning with a little OJ", but mine doesnt'.    I think I may switch to calcium citrate too.   Thanks stack, fitchik and rosemary. I had forgotten about the importance of stomach acid. And yes, with aging, how do we know we're producing enough of it for these meds?   I wonder if stomach acid is important for Vitamin D absorption too?    tender 
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)
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Jul 11, 2008 02:57PM AnnNYC wrote:

FWIW, I just had an appointment with my onc yesterday, and she reviewed what I should be taking, as a 55-yo on Aromasin:

Citracal that contains Vitamin D

Another 800 mg/day of Vit D3

And "make sure you walk outdoors in the daylight at least 20 minutes every day"

Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 11, 2008 07:21PM jerseymaria wrote:

for what it's worth, i've been taking synthroid for years.  used to take caltrate but a few years ago my rheumy told me to take citracal instead.  quite frankly i don't remember the reason why when i asked him.  i'm also vit D deficient so i take 2000mg  a day in addition to the vit d in the 3 citracal i take.

Dx 2/27/2006, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 9/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jul 11, 2008 08:01PM otter wrote:

I saw an endocrinologist for some problems a few years ago, and he told me I should be taking calcium citrate.  He specifically recommended Citracal, which he said was absorbed more easily and would be less likely to contribute to calcium-containing kidney stones.  He also dx'd me as being hypothyroid and prescribed Synthroid, but he never mentioned a problem between calcium carbonate and "thyroid drugs."  What "thyroid drugs" were the ones that caused a problem?

When I was on chemo recently, I had to take Prilosec (omeprazole) for severe acid indigestion/gastric reflux.  I read on-line that omeprazole and other drugs that inhibit gastric acid production would interfere with the absorption of calcium carbonate, so people who were taking antacids, proton pump inhibitors, etc., should use calcium citrate instead of calcium carbonate.

Tender, I'm surprised you get stomach problems from Synthroid.  I've been taking it (brand-name "Synthroid", not generic or other brands) for about 7 years and have never had a problem with it.  As instructed, I take it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, an hour before I eat or drink anything else except water.  Sometimes I sneak half a cup of coffee toward the end of that hour.  For me, orange juice is more likely to cause an acidy stomach than the Synthroid would.


Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 11, 2008 08:33PM TenderIsOurMight wrote:

My stomach lining has always been a second "weak link," the first being my lower back. Unlike my DH who has an iron-clad stomach and never feels a twinge.   I think too that adding acid via orange juice may worsen the feeling of acidity, while help with the calcium breakdown. But truthfully, within twenty minutes of taking the Synthroid with water, I feel acid in my stomach. Cry. It's all so bizarre in a way, as it's the first pill of the sequence and I almost dread it as much as the femara which riddles me with the muscle - joint aches.   Sorry to mention my minor troubles, lol. It's still a nice life. Tender 
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)

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