Generic Name: cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) (KOE le kal SIF e role)
Brand Name: Carlson D, Celebrate Vitamin D3 Quick-Melt, D 1000 IU, D2000, D3, Ddrops, Decara, Delta D3, D-Vita Drops, Enfamil D-Vi-Sol, Replesta, Thera-D 2000, Thera-D Rapid Repletion, Vitamin D3, ...show all 26 brand namesD3-5, D3-50, D400, Maximum D3, Liquid Vitamin D-3, Thera-D 4000, Replesta NX, Replesta Children's, Thera-D Sport, D3 1000, Aqueous Vitamin D, UpSpringbaby D
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?
You should not use cholecalciferol 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).
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking cholecalciferol?
You should not use cholecalciferol 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 cholecalciferol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
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 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.
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 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:
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?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use cholecalciferol if you are also using any of the following drugs:
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.
More about cholecalciferol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 5 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: vitamins
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: 2.11.
Date modified: June 01, 2017
Last reviewed: March 18, 2016