vitamin D (Drisdol (Vitamin D2), Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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GENERIC NAME: vitamin D

BRAND NAME: Drisdol (Vitamin D2), Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Vitamin D is a necessary vitamin for the growth and development of bones. Vitamin D is commonly known as ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 and D3 are broken down to their active form, calcitriol, in the body. Calcitriol works by increasing absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Calcitriol also prevents loss of calcium and phosphorus from kidneys so they are absorbed back in the body to maintain sufficient levels.

PRESCRIPTION: Vitamin D2 and D3 50000 IU are available with a prescription. Vitamin D2 and D3 400 – 5000 IU are available over-the-counter (OTC).

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Vitamin D2 and D3 are available in 400, 800, 1000, 2000, 2400, and 5000 international units (IU) tablets and capsules. Vitamin D2 is available in 50000 IU (1.25 mg) softgels. Vitamin D3 is available in 50000 IU capsules.

STORAGE: Vitamin D capsules and tablets are stored at room temperature between 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Vitamin D is used for treating hypoparathyroidism, vitamin D resistant rickets, and low vitamin D levels. Over-the-counter Vitamin D preparations are commonly used for low Vitamin D levels.

DOSING:

  • Hypoparathyroidism: Take 25000 to 200000 IU vitamin D by mouth once daily with 4 grams of calcium lactate 6 times daily.
  • Vitamin D resistant rickets: Take 12000 to 500000 IU Vitamin D by mouth once daily.
  • Daily intake of vitamin D: Take 600 IU daily.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Vitamin D should be used with caution with mineral oil because mineral oil slows down the absorption of Vitamin D and reduces its therapeutic benefits.

Thiazide diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide) and chlorthalidone (Thalitone) should be used with caution in people with hypoparathyroid taking Vitamin D, because thiamine diuretics may increase calcium levels.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/3/2014

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