Ergocalciferol

Ergocalciferol is used to increase vitamin D levels in people who are deficient. Calcium supplements may be required during treatment with this medicine.

Ergocalciferol Overview

Reviewed: May 21, 2013
Updated: 

Ergocalciferol is a form of Vitamin D, specifically Vitamin D2, that is a prescription medication used to treat hypoparathyroidism (underactive parathyroid), rickets (softening and weakening of the bones) not responding to other medications, and familial hypophosphatemia (low levels of phosphate). Ergocalciferol belongs to a group of drugs called vitamin D analogs, which work by providing the body necessary levels of vitamin D for those who are deficient in this particular vitamin.

This medication comes in capsule form and liquid forms, and is typically taken once a day, with or without food.

There are no common side effects in taking ergocalciferol reported. Rather, serious side effects may occur if too much of the medication is taken.

Patient Ratings for Ergocalciferol

How was your experience with Ergocalciferol?

First, a little about yourself

Tell us about yourself in a few words?

What tips would you provide a friend before taking Ergocalciferol?

What are you taking Ergocalciferol for?

Choose one
  • Other
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Hypophosphatemia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rickets

How long have you been taking it?

Choose one
  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Ergocalciferol work for you?

Did you experience many side effects while taking this drug?

How likely would you be to recommend Ergocalciferol to a friend?

Pill Images

{{ slide.name }}
pill-image {{ slide.name }}
Color: {{ slide.color }} Shape: {{ slide.shape }} Size: {{ slide.size }} Score: {{ slide.score }} Imprint: {{ slide.imprint }}
<<
Prev
{{ slide.number }} of {{ slide.total }}
>>
Next

Uses of Ergocalciferol

Ergocalciferol is a form of Vitamin D, specifically Vitamin D2, that is a prescription medication used to treat hypoparathyroidism (underactive parathyroid), rickets (softening and weakening of the bones) not responding to other medications, and familial hypophosphatemia (low levels of phosphate).

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

Ergocalciferol Brand Names

Ergocalciferol may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Ergocalciferol Drug Class

Ergocalciferol is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Ergocalciferol

Serious side effects have been reported with ergocalciferol. See “Drug Precautions” section.

There are no common side effects in taking ergocalciferol reported. Rather, serious side effects may occur if too much of the medication is taken. In order to avoid toxicity from ergocalciferol, vitamin D intake from outside sources (e.g., fortified foods or dietary supplements) should be evaluated by your doctor before to determine an appropriate dose.

This is not a complete list of ergocalciferol side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ergocalciferol Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • mineral oil, an ingredient commonly found in stool softeners
  • thiazide diuretics
    • Specifically, hypoparathyroid (underactive parathyroid) patients who are taking ergocalciferol capsules may see a rise in their calcium levels.

This is not a complete list of ergocalciferol drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Ergocalciferol Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with ergocalciferol if taken in excess or at an inappropriate dose, including:

  • Upset stomach: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of...
    • nausea
    • anorexia
    • constipation
  • Osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, may occur: Your doctor may want to monitor for this side effect.
  • Kidney impairment: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of...
    • increased urination during the day or at night
    • increased thirst
    • increased blood pressure
  • High calcium levels in the blood: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of...
    • anorexia
    • nausea
    • weakness
    • weight loss
    • aches or stiffness
    • constipation
    • changes in mental status
    • High calcium levels in the blood may also adversely affect the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and lungs and lead to organ dysfunction.

Do not take ergocalciferol if you:

  • have high levels of calcium in the blood before taking this medication
  • are not able to absorb food or nutrients well
  • are sensitive to the toxic effects of vitamin D

Ergocalciferol Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of ergocalciferol, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving ergocalciferol.

However, inform you doctor of your daily dietary intake, as your doctor may be able to prescribe an appropriate dose of this medication based on your intake of vitamin D. It is important to maintain a steady daily intake of vitamin D.

Inform MD

Before taking ergocalciferol, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have heart problems
  • have kidney problems
  • have liver problems
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

 

Ergocalciferol and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Ergocalciferol falls into category C. This medication may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that its benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn baby.

Ergocalciferol and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

In a mother given large doses of vitamin D, a small amount of vitamin D appeared in the breast milk, which led to excess levels of calcium in her child. Monitoring of the infant's calcium level was required in that case, and may be necessary for other mothers taking ergocalciferol.

Ergocalciferol Usage

Take ergocalciferol exactly as prescribed.

Ergocalciferol capsules and liquid solution are to be taken by mouth once a day, with or without food.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of ergocalciferol at the same time.

Ergocalciferol Dosage

Take ergocalciferol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

  • For vitamin D resistant rickets, dosing range: 12,000 to 500,000 USP units daily
  • For hypoparathyroidism (underactive parathyroid), dosing range: 50,000 to 200,000 USP units daily typically given along with calcium lactate 4 grams, six times per day

Ergocalciferol Overdose

If you take too much ergocalciferol call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

 

Forms of Medication

Ergocalciferol is available as 1.25 mg (50,000 USP units of vitamin D) capsules and as 0.2 mg (8000 USP units of vitamin D) per 1 mL of liquid solution.

Active ingredient: ergocalciferol

Inactive ingredients: vary by manufacturer

 

Other Requirements

Store at room temperature.

Protect from light and moisture.

Dispense in a tight, light-resistant container.

Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.