What is ergocalciferol?

Ergocalciferol is vitamin D2. Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the body.

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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not use this medication 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).

Before taking ergocalciferol, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs or dyes, or if you have:

  • heart disease;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • an electrolyte imbalance.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Ergocalciferol passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of vitamin D can cause serious or life-threatening side effects.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, weakness, drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, muscle or bone pain, metallic taste in the mouth, weight loss, itchy skin, changes in heart rate, loss of interest in sex, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, feeling unusually hot, severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, or fainting.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking ergocalciferol and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • 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. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before taking ergocalciferol, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • sucralfate (Carafate);
  • mineral oil (sometimes taken as a laxative);
  • seizure medication;
  • steroids (prednisone and others);
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin); or
  • a diuretic (water pill) such as chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Lopressor, Vasoretic, Zestoretic), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with ergocalciferol. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Calciferol, Drisdol, Vitamin D, ergocalciferol, and vitamin D2

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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 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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