Generic Name: cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) (KOE le kal SIF e role)
Brand Name: Carlson D, Ddrops, Decara, Enfamil D-Vi-Sol, Replesta, Thera-D 2000, Thera-D Rapid Repletion, Vitamin D3, ...show all 26 brand namesDelta D3, D 1000 IU, D3-5, D3-50, D400, Maximum D3, D2000, Liquid Vitamin D-3, Thera-D 4000, D-Vita Drops, Replesta NX, Replesta Children's, Thera-D Sport, D3 1000, Celebrate Vitamin D3 Quick-Melt, Aqueous Vitamin D, UpSpringbaby D, Super-Strength D-5000
What is cholecalciferol?
Cholecalciferol is vitamin D3. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.
Cholecalciferol is used as a dietary supplement in people who do not get enough vitamin D in their diets to maintain adequate health.
Cholecalciferol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take cholecalciferol if you have had an allergic reaction to vitamin D, or if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your body, or any condition that makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food (malabsorption).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use cholecalciferol if you have had an allergic reaction to vitamin D, or if you have:
high levels of vitamin D in your body (hypervitaminosis D);
high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia); or
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 ever had:
kidney disease; or
an electrolyte imbalance.
Certain forms of cholecalciferol may contain ingredients you should know about, such as peanut or soybean oil, sugar, aspartame (phenylalanine), or certain food dyes. Ask a doctor before using cholecalciferol if you have allergies, diabetes, or phenylketonuria (PKU).
Too much vitamin D could harm an unborn baby or a nursing baby. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.
Do not give cholecalciferol to a child without medical advice. Your child's dose will depend on age, weight, diet, and other factors.
How should I take cholecalciferol?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Use only the recommended dose of cholecalciferol. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
It may be best to take cholecalciferol after a meal, but you may take this medicine with or without food.
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.
While using cholecalciferol, you will need frequent blood tests. You may also need x-rays.
Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine.
Cholecalciferol may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes dietary changes and taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Learn about the foods you should eat to make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Your cholecalciferol dose may need to be adjusted as you make changes to your diet.
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.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite, thirst, urinating more or less than usual, body aches, stiffness, confusion, or irregular heartbeats.
What should I avoid while taking cholecalciferol?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking any multivitamins, mineral supplements, or antacids while you are taking cholecalciferol.
Cholecalciferol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
chest pain, feeling short of breath;
growth problems (in a child taking cholecalciferol); or
Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.
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:
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
-Target blood levels above 30 ng/mL of 25(OH)D.
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
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
-Target blood levels above 30 ng/mL of 25(OH)D.
What other drugs will affect cholecalciferol?
Certain medications can make it harder for your body to absorb vitamin D. If you take other medications, take them at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take cholecalciferol.
Other drugs may interact with cholecalciferol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about cholecalciferol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 6 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: vitamins
- Cholecalciferol Capsules and Tablets
- Cholecalciferol Chewable Tablet
- Cholecalciferol Orally Disintegrating Tablets
- Cholecalciferol Drops
- Cholecalciferol Sublingual Spray
- ... +2 more
Related treatment guides
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: 3.01.
Date modified: February 01, 2018
Last reviewed: November 06, 2017