Generic Name: Ergocalciferol Brand Name(s): Ergocalciferol.

Uses

What is Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) used for?

Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) is commonly used to treat and prevent bone disorders (such as rickets, osteomalacia). Vitamin D is made by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Sunscreen, protective clothing, limited exposure to sunlight, dark skin, and age may prevent getting enough vitamin D from the sun.

Vitamin D with calcium is used to treat or prevent bone loss (osteoporosis). Vitamin D is also used with other medications to treat low levels of calcium or phosphate caused by certain disorders (such as hypoparathyroidism, pseudohypoparathyroidism, familial hypophosphatemia). It may be used in kidney disease to keep calcium levels normal and allow normal bone growth. Vitamin D drops (or other supplements) are given to breast-fed infants because breast milk usually has low levels of vitamin D.

How should I take Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)?

Take vitamin D by mouth as directed. Vitamin D is best absorbed when taken after a meal but may be taken with or without food. Alfacalcidol is usually taken with food. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take as directed by your doctor. Your dosage is based on your medical condition, amount of sun exposure, diet, age, and response to treatment.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

If you are taking the chewable tablet or wafers, chew the medication thoroughly before swallowing. Do not swallow whole wafers.

If you are taking the rapidly-dissolving tablets, dry your hands before handling the medication. Place each dose on the tongue, allow it to dissolve completely, and then swallow it with saliva or water. You do not need to take this medication with water.

Certain medications (bile acid sequestrants such as cholestyramine/colestipol, mineral oil, orlistat) can decrease the absorption of vitamin D. Take your doses of these medications as far as possible from your doses of vitamin D (at least 2 hours apart, longer if possible). It may be easiest to take vitamin D at bedtime if you are also taking these other medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how long you should wait between doses and for help finding a dosing schedule that will work with all your medications.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day if you are taking it once a day. If you are taking this medication only once a week, remember to take it on the same day each week. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.

If your doctor has recommended that you follow a special diet (such as a diet high in calcium), it is very important to follow the diet to get the most benefit from this medication and to prevent serious side effects. Do not take other supplements/vitamins unless ordered by your doctor.

If you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.

How do I store Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)?

Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) 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 Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) 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 Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)?

Before taking vitamin D, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other vitamin D products (such as calcitriol); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as peanut/soy), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: high calcium/vitamin D levels (hypercalcemia/hypervitaminosis D), difficulty absorbing nutrition from food (malabsorption syndrome), kidney disease, liver disease.

Liquid products, chewable tablets, or dissolving tablets may contain sugar and/or aspartame. Liquid products may also contain alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, liver disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, doses of vitamin D greater than the recommended dietary allowance should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2). Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) 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,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)?

Vitamin D at normal doses usually has no side effects. If you have any unusual effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

If your doctor has directed you to take this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Too much vitamin D can cause harmful high calcium levels. Tell your doctor right away if any of these signs of high vitamin D/calcium levels occur: nausea/vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, mental/mood changes, unusual tiredness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

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.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)?

Some products that may interact with this drug include: phosphate binders.

Check the labels on all your prescription and nonprescription/herbal products (such as antacids, laxatives, vitamins) because they may contain calcium, magnesium, phosphate, or vitamin D. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Vitamin D is very similar to calcitriol. Do not use medications containing calcitriol while using vitamin D.

This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including cholesterol tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) 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.

Does food or alcohol interact with Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)?

Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) 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 Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2)?

Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) 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.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2).

What is the dose of Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Hypoparathyroidism

50,000 to 200,000 international units orally daily, concomitantly with calcium lactate 4 g, six times per day

Comments:

-The range between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow.

-Dosage must be individualized under close medical supervision.

-Calcium intake should be adequate.

-Monitor blood calcium and phosphorus every 2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary.

Usual Adult Dose for Rickets

12,000 to 500,000 international units orally daily

Comments:

-The range between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow.

-Dosage must be individualized under close medical supervision.

-Calcium intake should be adequate.

-Monitor blood calcium and phosphorus every 2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary.

-X-ray bones monthly until condition is corrected and stabilized.

Usual Adult Dose for Familial Hypophosphatemia

12,000 to 500,000 international units orally daily

Comments:

-The range between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow.

-Dosage must be individualized under close medical supervision.

-Calcium intake should be adequate.

-Monitor blood calcium and phosphorus every 2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary.

-X-ray bones monthly until condition is corrected and stabilized.

Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation

Recommended Daily Allowance: 600 international units daily

Tolerable Upper Intake Level: 4000 international units daily

Usual Geriatric Dose for Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation

Recommended Daily Allowance:

Up to 70 years:600 international units orally daily

Over 70 years: 800 international units orally daily

Tolerable Upper Intake Level: 4000 international units daily

Dose Adjustments

-The US Recommended Daily Allowance for pregnant or lactating women is 600 international units per day.

-The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for pregnant or lactating women is 4000 international units per day.

Other Comments

Storage requirements:

-Store at controlled room temperature

General:

-The range between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow.

-The effects of vitamin D can persist for 2 or more months after cessation of treatment.

Monitoring:

-Monitor blood calcium and phosphorus every 2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary.

What is the dose of Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Rickets

12,000 to 500,000 international units orally daily

Comments:

-Pediatric doses must be individualized.

-The range between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow.

-Dosage must be individualized under close medical supervision.

-Calcium intake should be adequate.

-Monitor blood calcium and phosphorus every 2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary.

-X-ray bones monthly until condition is corrected and stabilized.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Familial Hypophosphatemia

12,000 to 500,000 international units orally daily

Comments:

-Pediatric doses must be individualized.

-The range between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow.

-Dosage must be individualized under close medical supervision.

-Calcium intake should be adequate.

-Monitor blood calcium and phosphorus every 2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary.

-X-ray bones monthly until condition is corrected and stabilized.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hypoparathyroidism

50,000 to 200,000 international units orally daily, concomitantly with calcium lactate 4 g, six times per day

Comments:

-Pediatric doses must be individualized.

-The range between therapeutic and toxic doses is narrow.

-Dosage must be individualized under close medical supervision.

-Calcium intake should be adequate.

-Monitor blood calcium and phosphorus every 2 weeks, or more frequently if necessary.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation

Recommended Daily Allowance:

0 to 12 months: 400 international units orally daily

1 year and older: 600 international units orally daily

Tolerable Upper Intake Level:

-0 to 6 months: 1000 international units daily

-7 to 12 months: 1500 international units daily

-1 to 3 years: 2500 international units daily

-4 to 8 years: 3000 international units daily

-9 years and older: 4000 international units daily

How is Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) available?

Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral solution
  • Oral capsule,
  • Injectable solution
  • Oral tablet
  • Compounding powder

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 Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2), 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.

Sources

Review Date: January 25, 2018 | Last Modified: January 25, 2018

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