Paricalcitol (Zemplar) is a synthetic vitamin D(2) analogue that inhibits the secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) through binding to the vitamin D receptor. It is approved in the US and in most European nations for intravenous use in the prevention and treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic renal failure in adult, and in the US paediatric, patients. Paricalcitol effectively reduced elevated serum PTH levels and was generally well tolerated in children and adults with secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic renal failure. In well designed clinical trials, paricalcitol was as effective as calcitriol and as well tolerated in terms of the incidence of prolonged hypercalcaemia and/or elevated calcium-phosphorus product (Ca x P). Thus, paricalcitol is a useful option for the management of secondary hyperparathyroidism in adults and children with chronic renal failure.