What is it?
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that you need to prevent rickets. It can be used to treat hypoparathyroidism (underactive parathyroid gland), psoriasis (scaly skin), osteoporosis (bone loss), osteomalacia (soft bones), and scleroderma (hardening of the skin and certain organs).
Other names for vitamin D include: Calciferol, Ergocalciferol, Cholecalciferol, Vitamin D2, or Vitamin D3.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
Tell your doctor if you
- are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
- are breastfeeding
- have any other health problems, such as lupus, or kidney disease
Talk with your caregiver about how much vitamin D you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Vitamin D. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.
To store this medicine:
Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.
Drug and Food Interactions:
Talk to your doctor first if you are taking:
- Antacids with aluminum (17)
- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol(R), Tegretol(R), Tegretol-XR(R)) (19)
- Cholestyramine (Questran(R)) (18)
- Chorothiazide (Diuril(R)) (19)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet(R), Tagamet HB(R)) (19)
- Hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide(R)) (19)
- Magnesium (18)
- Methyclothiazide (Enduron(R)) (19)
- Olestra (Olean(R), non-fat cooking oil) (19)
- Orlistat (Xenical(R)) (16)
- Phenobarbital (Luminal(R) (19)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin Infatabs(R), Dilantin-125(R) (19)
- Before taking vitamin D, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Do not take vitamin D if you have lupus
- Before taking vitamin D, tell your doctor if you have heart or kidney disease
- Before taking vitamin D, tell your doctor if you are taking digitalis (heart medicine)
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
- Bone pain (9)
- Excessive thirst, increase in frequency of urination during the day and at night, cloudy urine (10)
- Irregular heartbeat (15)
Other Side Effects:
You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.
- Constipation, nausea, and vomiting (10)
- Headache, loss of appetite, sleepiness, weakness, weight loss (signs of too much vitamin D in your blood) (9)
1. Christiansen C & Rodbro P: Initial and maintenance doses of vitamin D2 in the treatment of anticonvulsant osteomalacia. Acta Neurol Scand 1974; 50:631-641.
2. Lyles KW, Harrelson JM & Drezner MK: The efficacy of vitamin D2 and oral phosphorus therapy in X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets and osteomalacia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1982; 54:307-315.
3. Woodhead JS, Ghose RR & Gupta SK: Severe hypophosphataemic osteomalacia with primary hyperparathyroidism. Br Med J 1980; 281:647-648.
4. Okano K, Furukawa Y, Morii H et al: Comparative efficacy of various vitamin D metabolites in the treatment of various types of hypoparathyroidism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1982; 55:238-243.
5. Charles P, Mosekilde L, Sondergard K et al: Treatment with high-dose oral vitamin D2 in patients with jejunoileal bypass for morbid obesity. Scand J Gastroenterol 1984; 19:1031-1038.
6. Murray TM: Calcium nutrition and osteoporosis. Can Med Assoc J 1996; 155:935-939.
7. Marya RK, Rathee S, Lata V et al: Effects of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy. Gynecol Obstet Invest 1981; 12:155-161.
8. Morimoto S, Yoshikawa K, Kozuka T et al: An open study of vitamin D3 treatment in psoriasis vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1986; 115(4):421-429.
9. Product Information: Calderol(R), calcifediol. Organon, Inc, West Orange, NJ; 1993.
10. Product Information: Drisdol(R), ergocalciferol. Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, New York, NY; 1993.
11. Scholz D, Mebel M, Topelmann I et al: Prevention of osteonecrosis following renal transplantation by using vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Proc EDTA 1983; 20:331-337.
12. Humbert P, Dupond JL, Agache P et al: Treatment of scleroderma with oral 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3: evaluation of skin involvement using non-invasive techniques. Results of an open prospective trial. Acta Derm Venereol 1993; 73(6):449-451.
13. Eguchi M & Kaibara N: Treatment of hypophosphataemic vitamin D-resistant rickets and adult presenting hypophosphataemic vitamin D-resistant osteomalacia. Int Orthop 1980; 3:257-264.
14. Vaisberg MW, Kaneno R, Franco MF et al: Influence of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) on the course of experimental systemic lupus erythematosus in F1 (NZBxW) mice. J Clin Lab Anal 2000;14(3):91-96.
15. Hardman JG, Gilman AG & Limberd LE (eds): Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis Of Therapeutics, 9th ed. McGraw-Hill, New York, NY; 1996.
16. McDuffie JR, Calis KA, Booth SL et al: Effects of orlistat on fat-soluble vitamins in obese adolescents. Pharmacotherapy 2002;22(7):814-822.
17. Demontis R, Leflon A, Fournier A et al: 1 alpha(OH) vitamin D3 increases plasma aluminum in hemodialized patients taking AI(OH)3. Clin Nephrol 1986; 26:146-149.
18. Product Information: Hecterol(R), doxercalciferol. Bone Care International, Inc., Madison, WI, 4/2000.
19. Product Information: Fosamax Plus D(TM) Tablet, alendronate sodium/cholecalciferol tablets. Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA, April, 2008.
Last Updated: 1/4/2018