Vitamin D (Calciferol, Ergocalciferol, Rocaltrol)


  • Vitamin


  • Dietary supplement; fat-soluble vitamin


  • Vitamin D deficiency

    • Ricketts in children

    • Osteomalacia in elderly

  • Familial hypophosphatemia

  • Familial hypoparathyroidism

  • Bone, cartilage development

  • Calcium absorption  


  • Do not administer intravenously.


  • Pregnancy category C

  • Potency is expressed in the form of International Units (IU)

  • Vitamin D is considered a hormone that promotes active absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the small intestine.

  • Vitamin D deficiency leads to progressive hearing loss, rickets and/or osteomalacia.

  • Patients may develop hypervitaminosis D with excessive dosages (greater than 60,000 IU per day).  Symptoms of hypervitaminosis D are:

    • Hypercalcemia

    • Hypercalciuria

    • Hyperphosphatemia

    • Anorexia

    • Nausea

    • Weakness

    • Weight loss

    • Vague aches and stiffness

    • Constipation

    • Diarrhea

    • Mental retardation and a multitude of other symptoms.

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • Relatively non-toxic in therapeutic doses

  • Early: weakness, headache, somnolence, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, myalgia

  • Late: 

    • Polyuria

    • Polydypsia

    • Anorexia

    • Irritability

    • Nocturia


  • Dietary sources: Converted from dietary cholesterol by UV radiation (sunlight exposure), milk (Vitamin D fortified), oily fish, liver, eggs

  • Administered orally (soft gelatin capsules, tablets, liquid) and IM injection

  • Dietary supplementation (RDA: recommended daily allowance):

    • Adults <25 years old: 400 IU per day

    • Adults >25 years old: 200 IU per day

  • Vitamin D resistant rickets: 12,000-500,000 IU per day

  • Hypoparathyroidism: 50,000-200,000 IU per day

  • Familial hypophosphatemia: 10,00-80,000 IU per day

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