Vitamin D

Vitamin D

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    50,000 units per week of vitamin D is a common and acceptable dose. Most patients notice no side effects from this regimen. Some side effects of vitamin D are stomach upset, diarrhea or constipation, irritability and headache to name a few. If your levels of vitamin D are low and you have had them properly checked via blood work, then you would probably feel better once you started taking it. 82% patients feel that the benefits of vitamin D outweigh the negative.

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    When you shop for vitamin D supplements, you will notice that some are labeled "ergocalciferol," or "vitamin D2." Others are labeled "cholecalciferol," or "vitamin D3." Many doctors believe that cholecalciferol is the better choice. However, some research suggests that both types of vitamin D supplements will increase blood levels of this important nutrient. If your doctor recommends vitamin D supplements, ask which one you should take: ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol.

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    Ergocalciferol is a form of vitamin D. Your body makes this important nutrient when your skin is exposed to the sun. Some foods such as fish contain small amounts of vitamin D. Other foods are fortified with added vitamin D. Getting enough vitamin D, either from your diet or with supplements, is essential for calcium absorption and strong bones. New research suggests that vitamin D may lower your risk for other diseases, too.

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    Doxercalciferol is a synthetic formulation of vitamin D. As with natural vitamin D, doxercalciferol helps the body absorb calcium and phosphate, supports bone development, and metabolizes magnesium.

    Doxercalciferol also regulates thyroid function in people with chronic kidney disease. Doxercalciferol liquid-filled capsules are taken orally. Doxercalciferol is manufactured under the brand name Hectorol.
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    Side effects of doxercalciferol are similar to you might get while taking natural vitamin D, and may include infection, joint pain, stomach upset, weight gain, and generalized discomfort. More severe side effects from doxercalciferol are generally associated with taking too much of the medication. Signs of vitamin D toxicity include:

    • hypercalcemia, weakness, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth,
    • metallic taste, dehydration, muscle pain, bone pain, anorexia, and arrhythmia.

    Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Seek emergency care if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction, including itchy rash, hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling in the face, mouth, or throat. Because other side effects may occur, you should notify a doctor about any new symptoms so that a doctor can determine if the symptoms are related to use of doxercalciferol.

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    Doxercalciferol is not recommended for people with high blood levels of calcium, phosphate, or vitamin D. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant before taking doxercalciferol. Doxercalciferol is a pregnancy category B drug, meaning animal studies do not indicate a risk to a fetus from the medication, but there are not enough studies on risks to human fetuses.

    Only use doxercalciferol during pregnancy if clearly necessary. Doxercalciferol does pass through breast milk, which could harm baby. Discuss these risks with your doctor.
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    Doxercalciferol may interact with certain medications, supplements, and foods. Before taking doxercalciferol, give your doctor a complete list of all medications and supplements you take or have recently taken. Be sure to mention if you are taking magnesium-containing antacids, cholestyramine, erythromycin, digoxin, and disulfiram. Taking magnesium while taking doxercalciferol may result in hypermagnesemia. Mineral oil may interfere with absorption of the medication and should be avoided.
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    Doxercalciferol may cause drowsiness or dizziness, so you should not drive or participate in dangerous activities until you know how you will react to the medication. Taking more than the prescribed amount of doxercalciferol can cause hypercalcemia, which can trigger cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, and tissue calcification. Severe hypercalcemia may require medical attention. You must tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant before taking Doxercalciferol.

    Doxercalciferol is classified a pregnancy category B drug, meaning animal studies do not indicate a risk to a fetus from the medication, but there are inadequate studies on risks to human fetuse. For this reason, doxercalciferol should only be used during pregnancy if clearly necessary. Doxercalciferol does pass through a mother's breast milk, which may harm the baby. You should not take this drug if you have an allergy to any of its ingredients, or if you have high calcium, phosphate, or vitamin D levels in your blood. You may not be able to take doxercalciferol if you have liver disease, or heart problems.       
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    Your doctor may not prescribe Calciferol, vitamin D, if you have any of the following medical conditions:

    • kidney disease
    • liver disease
    • parathyroid disease
    • heart disease
    • coronary artery disease
    • stomach problems
    • electrolyte imbalance
    • excess blood levels of calcium or vitamin D
    • malabsorption
    • allergy to vitamin D, other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives
    • pregnancy or if you are trying to get pregnant
    • breastfeeding

    Other medical conditions or medications may interact with Calciferol. Taking other supplements or vitamins that contain vitamin D while you are on Calciferol may result in a life-threatening overdose.

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    You may have a severe allergic reaction to Calciferol (vitamin D2). Symptoms of an allergic reaction, which require immediate medical attention, include: swelling of your lips, tongue or face; chest or throat tightness; difficulty breathing; dizziness or faintness; skin redness; or hives, rash or itching. Other side effects, requiring prompt medical attention, include: thinking problems, changes in behavior, feeling irritable, high blood pressure, chest pain, feeling short of breath, increased thirst, increased urination, irregular heartbeat, seizures or unusual tiredness.

    Symptoms of a vitamin D overdose include: weakness, metallic taste in your mouth, weight loss, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea and vomiting. Minor side effects may include dry mouth, headache, loss of appetite and stomach upset. Your doctor may suggest ways to prevent or alleviate them if they persist or worsen.