What is cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 used for?
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 is commonly used to treat or prevent many conditions caused by a lack of vitamin D, especially conditions of the skin or bones.
Cholecalciferol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How should I take cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
To take a disintegrating (Quick-Melt) tablet, place it on your tongue and do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
The cholecalciferol wafer is usually taken only once per week or once per month. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully. The wafer must be chewed before you swallow it.
Cholecalciferol is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you must eat or avoid to help control your condition.
How do I store cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3?
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
You should not use cholecalciferol if you have:
- High levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia)
- High levels of vitamin D in your body (hypervitaminosis D)
- Any condition that makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food (malabsorption)
To make sure cholecalciferol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- An electrolyte imbalance
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3. Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking cholecalciferol and call your doctor at once if you have:
- Thinking problems, changes in behavior, feeling irritable
- Urinating more than usual
- Chest pain, feeling short of breath
- Early signs of vitamin D overdose (weakness, metallic taste in your mouth, weight loss, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting)
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3?
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Seizure medication
- Cholestyramine, colestipol
- A diuretic or “water pill”
Does food or alcohol interact with cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3?
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3?
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3.
What is the dose of cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin D Insufficiency:
600 to 2,000 international units, orally, once a day
Maximum dose: 4,000 international units per day
Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin D Deficiency:
- 50,000 international units, once a week, for 8 weeks
- 6,000 international units, once a day, for 8 weeks
- Maintenance dose: 1,500 to 2,000 international units, once a day
Maximum dose: 10,000 international units per day
Usual Adult Dose for Prevention of Falls:
800 international units, orally, once a day
1,500 to 2,000 international units, once a day, may be needed to achieve blood levels of 25(OH)D above 30 ng/mL
Usual Geriatric Dose for Prevention of Fractures:
Over 70 years: 800 to 2,000 international units, orally, once a day
What is the dose of cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 for a child?
Usual Pediatric Dose for Vitamin D Insufficiency:
0 to 12 months: 400 international units once a day
1 to 18 years: 600 international units once a day
- Up to 6 months: 1,000 international units per day
- 7 months to 1 year: 1,500 international units per day
- 1 to 3 years: 2,500 international units per day
- 4 to 8 years: 3,000 international units per day
- 9 years and older: 4,000 international units per day
Usual Pediatric Dose for Vitamin D Deficiency:
Up to 1 year-old:
- 2,000 international units, orally, once a day, for 6 weeks
- 50,000 international units, once a week, for 6 weeks
- Maintenance dose: 400 to 1,000 international units per day
1 to 18 years:
- 2,000 international units, orally, once a day for at least 6 weeks
- 50,000 international units, once a week, for at least 6 weeks
- Maintenance dose: 600 to 1,000 international units per day
- Up to 1 year: 2,000 international units per day
- 1 to 18 years: 4,000 international units per day
How is cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 available?
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3 is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Oral liquid
- Oral tablet
- Oral capsule
- Oral wafer
- Oral solution
- Compounding crystal
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 29, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/cholecalciferol.html. Accessed August 29, 2017
Cholecalciferol/ vitamin D3. http://www.healthline.com/drugs/cholecalciferol/oral-tablet#Highlights1. Accessed August 29, 2017