Cholecalciferol (Oral)

Cholecalciferol is an essential vitamin called D3 that helps the body to absorb calcium and to maintain health.

Overview

Cholecalciferol is the essential vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 plays a key role in the function of absorbing calcium in the body. Individuals who are unable to get an adequate amount of D3 in their daily diets take D3 to help supplement the deficiency. People who take this vitamin should only do so if they do not have an absorption deficiency or do not have a high calcium diet. In some rare cases, a person may have an allergic reaction to D3. Talk to your doctor before taking this vitamin if you have an electrolyte imbalance, heart disease or kidney disease.

Use caution taking this vitamin if you have an allergy to any foods such as nuts. Some manufacturers will make these supplements in areas, or with equipment used to process other foods. You should also take this vitamin with caution, and under the supervision of your doctor if you have phenylketonuria, diabetes, or allergies. If you are pregnant or nursing, your vitamin D3 needs will change. It is important to ask your doctor what the correct dose is for your individual needs. This vitamin is for use by adults and should only be given to children if directed by your healthcare professional.

Do not take more than the recommended dose of this vitamin. It is best to take this vitamin with food, but can be taken without. While safe for most individuals, this vitamin can pose a risk of an allergic reaction. If you experience swelling of the face, tongue, throat, or eyes, you should seek emergency medical treatment right away. This vitamin also poses the risk of side effects so you should monitor yourself for any developments. If you have hepatic dysfunction or an electrolyte imbalance, you should check out your other treatment options in order to avoid an adverse reaction.

Condition treated

  • Vitamin D3 deficiency

Type of medicine

  • Vitamin supplement

Side Effects

Cough

In rare instances, you may develop a cough when taking this vitamin. If your cough continues, or gets worse, you should seek the advice of your healthcare professional. You could be developing an allergic reaction or a secondary infection.

Dizziness

If you experience dizziness, you may be developing a reaction to this vitamin, or you may be developing symptoms of an underlying medical condition which requires medical treatment. Mild dizziness may go away after adjusting to the medication, but severe dizziness is a symptom of intolerance or even toxicity.

Difficulty swallowing

If you notice that you begin to have difficulty swallowing, you may be having an allergic reaction to this vitamin. Call your doctor or seek emergency medical assistance.

Fast heartbeat

Although unusual, a fast heartbeat could signal a serious condition and needs medical treatment. If you have a preexisting arrhythmia, this vitamin can exacerbate the condition, which is why you should avoid taking vitamin D3 if you have an arrhythmia.

Tiredness or weakness

If you develop tiredness or weakness when taking this supplement, you should contact your health care provider to see what other options are available to you. If this condition is severe, it could be a sign of an overdose or adverse reaction.

Tight chest

If you experience any tightness in your chest, you may be having a life-threatening allergic reaction, or you may be having an emergency medical event that should be treated by emergency medical staff. Call 911 and wait for the emergency medical personnel to assist you.

Rash

If you notice a rash developing on any part of your body while taking this supplement, you should advise your healthcare provider so they can accurately assess the situation. If the rash accompanies other side effects you may be experiencing an emergency medical event.

Swelling of the eyelids, face, tongue, or lips

If you have swelling of the lips, face, eyelids, or tongue, you should seek treatment for a potentially life-threating allergic reaction. Report any instances of swelling to your health care provider whether they are mild or severe.

Dosage

The normal adult dose of vitamin D3 is initially 50,000 IU once per week for 8 weeks or 6,000 IU once per week for 8 weeks. After the initial period, it is recommended that adults receive 1,500 to 2,000 IU once per day. The maximum recommended dose is 10,000 IU per day.

The pediatric dose is 1,000 IU per day for up to 6 months of age, and 1,500 IU for infants over the age of 7 months. The dose increases to 2,500 IU for children 1 to 3 years of age, 3,000 IU for children 4 to 8 years of age, and 4,000 for children age 9 years and older.

Interactions

There are 155 drugs in total that are known to interact with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Of the 155 drug interactions, 3 are major, 150 are moderate, and 2 are minor drug interactions.

Disease interactions:

Renal dysfunction

This vitamin is processed through the kidneys and is not recommended for patients with renal impairment. There are other treatment options available for people who have this condition.

Hepatobiliary dysfunction

Vitamin D can't be absorbed correctly in patients who have hepatobiliary dysfunction. There are other vitamin treatments available for patients who have compromised hepatic function.

Hypercalcemia

Avoid taking this vitamin if you have vitamin D toxicity, hypercalcemia, or malabsorption syndrome.

Arrhythmia

Patients who have a heart arrhythmia may notice their condition worsen when taking this vitamin, especially if they are taking cardiac glycosides. Only use this vitamin under the close supervision of a doctor if you have an arrhythmia.

Electrolyte imbalance

This vitamin can cause a decline in the electrolyte levels within the body. Before beginning treatment with this medication, any imbalances should be corrected to avoid complications.

Warnings

Do not take this medication if you have adequate amounts of D3 in your system because it could cause side effects. Do not take this vitamin if it is past the expiration date.

If you aren't sure if you should begin taking vitamin D3, you should talk to your doctor and take the supplement as directed. Do not store this vitamin near heat and light. Keep this supplement away from children and pets.

If you have impaired hepatic function, renal dysfunctions, or an electrolyte imbalance, you should avoid taking this vitamin. There are alternative treatment options that do not pose a significant risk.

Do not take more of this vitamin than the recommended dose because it could increase the risk of side effects. If you experience any swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, lips, or eyelids you may be having an allergic reaction, which requires emergency medical attention. If you notice you develop trouble swallowing, breathing, or become confused while taking vitamin D, you should go to your local emergency room for treatment immediately. If you begin any other prescriptions or supplements while taking vitamin D, you should alert your doctor to help avoid potential side effects and interactions.

There is the potential for vitamin toxicity when taking vitamin D supplements so carefully monitor your intake and avoid taking more of the supplement than the recommended dose.

Storage

Do not store this vitamin in areas where it will be exposed to heat and light. Keep this vitamin in a dark bottle or container and keep away from moisture. You should always store medication and supplements where they are out of reach of pets and children. Do not keep this vitamin past its expiration date. If you are unsure how old your supplement is, you should properly dispose of it and replace it with a new bottle. Do not store other medications in the same container as this vitamin.

Summary

Cholecalciferol is the name for vitamin D3, which is necessary for the body to carry out proper calcium absorption. It is available in oral form and is recommended for people who are unable to get enough D3 in their diets. You do not need a prescription for this medication, but it should be used with caution, especially if you have diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease. You should only take this vitamin once per day and avoid taking double doses because it can increase your chances of side effects and can possibly lead to a medical condition.

Talk to your doctor before using vitamin D3 supplements so you can discuss any medical interactions you may have. Do not give this vitamin to children unless under the strict supervision of a doctor. Store this vitamin in a locked container away from heat, light, and excessive moisture. Do not keep this supplement where children and pets can get to it easily. Do not flush this supplement down the toilet. Follow the FDA's guide for proper medication disposal and do not use this supplement if you are pregnant or nursing unless directed by your doctor.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
December 22, 2017
Last Updated:
April 04, 2018
Content Source: