Generic Name: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) (ER goe kal SIF e role)
Brand Name: Calcidol, Calciferol, Drisdol, Vitamin D2
What is Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)?
Ergocalciferol is vitamin D2. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.
Ergocalciferol is used to treat hypoparathyroidism (decreased functioning of the parathyroid glands).
Ergocalciferol is also used to treat rickets (softening of the bones caused by vitamin D deficiency) or low levels of phosphate in the blood (hypophosphatemia).
Ergocalciferol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)?
You should not take ergocalciferol 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).
Use only the recommended dose of ergocalciferol. An overdose could cause serious or life-threatening side effects.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)?
You should not take ergocalciferol 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 ergocalciferol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
kidney disease; or
an electrolyte imbalance.
Certain forms of ergocalciferol 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 ergocalciferol if you have allergies, diabetes, or phenylketonuria (PKU).
Too much vitamin D could harm an unborn baby, and your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while taking ergocalciferol.
Ergocalciferol can pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
Do not give ergocalciferol to a child without medical advice. Your child's dose will depend on age, weight, diet, and other factors.
How should I take Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Use only the recommended dose of ergocalciferol. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
It may be best to take ergocalciferol 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.
While using ergocalciferol, you will need frequent blood tests. You may also need x-rays.
Your doctor may begin to reduce your ergocalciferol dose as your condition improves. Carefully follow all instructions about adjusting your dose. In some cases, there may be a very small difference in amount between safe and dangerous doses of this medicine.
Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with this medicine.
Ergocalciferol 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 ergocalciferol dose may need to be adjusted as you make changes to your diet.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
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 Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking any multivitamins, mineral supplements, or antacids while you are taking ergocalciferol.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) 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 ergocalciferol); or
early signs of vitamin D overdose--weakness, metallic taste in your mouth, weight loss, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
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.
What other drugs will affect Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)?
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 ergocalciferol.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
a diuretic or "water pill"; or
mineral oil (sometimes taken as a laxative).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ergocalciferol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 3 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 ergocalciferol.
- 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: 5.01.
Date modified: December 03, 2017
Last reviewed: November 06, 2017