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cholecalciferol

Pronunciation

Generic Name: cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) (KOE le kal SIF e role)
Brand Name: Carlson D, D 1000 IU, D3, D3-5, D400, Decara, Delta D3, D-Vita Drops, Enfamil D-Vi-Sol, Liquid Vitamin D-3, Maximum D3, Replesta, Thera-D 2000, Vitamin D3, ...show all 20 brand names

What is cholecalciferol?

Cholecalciferol is a vitamin D3. Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body.

Cholecalciferol is 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.

What is the most important information I should know about cholecalciferol?

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to vitamin D, or if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood, or if you have any condition that makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food (malabsorption).

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of vitamin D can cause serious or life-threatening side effects.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking cholecalciferol?

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to vitamin D, or if you have:

  • high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia);

  • high levels of vitamin D in your body (hypervitaminosis D); or

  • any condition that makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food (malabsorption).

To make sure you can safely take cholecalciferol, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • an electrolyte imbalance.

Your cholecalciferol dose needs may change if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment, or if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take cholecalciferol?

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 a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

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.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of vitamin D can cause serious or life-threatening side effects.

What should I avoid while taking cholecalciferol?

Do not take other vitamin or mineral supplements unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid using calcium supplements or antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of supplement or antacid your doctor recommends.

Cholecalciferol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these 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; or

  • early signs of vitamin D overdose (weakness, metallic taste in your mouth, weight loss, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Cholecalciferol Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin D Insufficiency:

400 to 1000 international units orally once a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin D Deficiency:

1000 international units orally once a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Prevention of Falls:

800 international units orally every day (with calcium).

Usual Geriatric Dose for Prevention of Fractures:

For patients over 65 years of age:

100,000 international units orally every 4 months

Usual Pediatric Dose for Vitamin D Insufficiency:

Neonates, infants and children: 200 international units orally once daily.

Alternate dosing:

Premature neonates: 400 to 800 international units orally once daily or 150 to 400 international units/kg/day.

Breastfed neonates and infants (fully or partially breastfed): 400 international units orally once daily beginning in the first few days of life. Continue supplementation until the infant is weaned to greater than or equal to 1000 ml/day or 1 qt/day of vitamin D fortified formula or whole milk (after 12 months of age).

Formula fed neonates and infants ingesting less than 1000 ml of vitamin D fortified formula: 400 international units orally once daily.

Children ingesting less than 1000 ml of vitamin D fortified milk: 400 international units orally once daily.

Adolescents without adequate intake: 400 international units orally once daily.

Children with increased risk of vitamin D deficiency (chronic fat malabsorption, maintained on chronic antiseizure medications): Higher doses may be required; use laboratory testing [25(OH)D, PTH, bone mineral status] to evaluate.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Vitamin D Deficiency:

Treatment of Vitamin D deficiency and/or rickets:

Infants 1 to 12 months: 1000 to 5000 international units/day for 2 to 3 months; once radiologic evidence of healing is observed, dose should be decreased to 400 international units/day.

Children older than 12 months: 5000 to 10,000 international units/day for 2 to 3 months; once radiologic evidence of healing is observed, dose should be decreased to 400 international units/day.

Children with increased risk of vitamin D deficiency (chronic fat malabsorption, maintained on chronic antiseizure medications): Higher doses may be required; use laboratory testing [25(OH)D, PTH, bone mineral status] to evaluate.
Note: If poor compliance, single high dose may be used or repeated periodically.

Treatment of Vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency associated with CKD (stages 2 to 5, 5D): serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level less than or equal to 30 ng/mL:

Serum 25(OH)D level 16 to 30 ng/mL: Children: 2000 international units/day for 3 months or 50,000 international units every month for 3 months.

Serum 25(OH)D level 5 to 15 ng/mL: Children: 4000 international units/day for 12 weeks or 50,000 international units every other week for 12 weeks.

Serum 25(OH)D level less than 5 ng/mL: Children: 8000 international units/day for 4 weeks then 4000 international units/day for 2 months for total therapy of 3 months or 50,000 international units/week for 4 weeks followed by 50,000 international units 2 times/month for a total therapy of 3 months.

Maintenance dose [once repletion accomplished; serum 25(OH)D level greater than 30 ng/mL]: 200 to 1000 international units/day.

Dosage adjustment: Monitor serum 25(OH)D, corrected total calcium and phosphorus levels 1 month following initiation of therapy, every 3 months during therapy and with any Vitamin D dose change.

Prevention and treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency in cystic fibrosis:

Recommended daily intake:

Infants less than 1 year: 400 international units/day.

Children older than 1 year: 400 to 800 international units/day.

Alternate dosing:

Infants less than 1 year: 8000 international units/week.

Children older than 1 year: 800 international units/day.

Note: If serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level remains less than or equal to 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) and patient compliance established; then medium dose regimen may be used:

Medium Dose Regimen:

Patients less than 5 years: 12,000 international units/week for 12 weeks.

Patients 5 years or older: 50,000 international units/week for 12 weeks.

Note: If repeat 25 hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level remains less than or equal to 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) and patient compliance established; then high dose regimen may be used:

High Dose Regimen:

Patient less than 5 years: 12,000 international units twice weekly for 12 weeks.

Patient 5 years or older: 50,000 international units twice weekly for 12 weeks.

What other drugs will affect cholecalciferol?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use cholecalciferol if you are also using any of the following drugs:

  • seizure medication;

  • cholestyramine, colestipol;

  • steroids;

  • digoxin; or

  • a diuretic or "water pill."

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with cholecalciferol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about cholecalciferol.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.09. Revision Date: 2013-06-26, 11:07:45 AM.

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