Calciferol

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Calciferol, Drisdol, |Calciferol

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Calciferol

Generic Name: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) (er goe kal SIF e role)
Brand Names: Calciferol, Drisdol

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 vitamin D deficiency, a bone disorder called vitamin-D resistant rickets (osteomalacia), hypoparathyroidism (decreased functioning of the parathyroid glands), and an electrolyte imbalance (hypophosphatemia) often caused by disease, poor nutrition, or inherited conditions.

Ergocalciferol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about ergocalciferol?

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 malabsorption syndrome (poor absorption of nutrients from your diet).

Do not use ergocalciferol in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Vitamin D can accumulate (collect) to toxic levels in your body over a long period of ergocalciferol use. A vitamin D overdose can cause permanent damage to your kidneys, heart, or lungs.

Symptoms of an ergocalciferol overdose may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, weakness, confusion, increased or decreased urination, and a metallic taste in the mouth.

Avoid taking any vitamin or mineral supplements without your doctor"s advice. Vitamin D is contained in many supplements available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much vitamin D, which can be highly toxic if taken in large doses.

Avoid using mineral oil while taking ergocalciferol. Prolonged use of mineral oil can decrease the body"s absorption of vitamin D.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor"s advice, especially if you are on dialysis.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ergocalciferol?

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

  • malabsorption syndrome (poor absorption of nutrients from your diet).

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

  • asthma;

  • a history of allergy to dyes used in drugs or manufactured foods;

  • kidney disease; or
  • problems with digestion or absorption.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use ergocalciferol, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

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 can pass 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.

How should I take ergocalciferol?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended. Vitamin D can accumulate (collect) to toxic levels in your body over a long period of ergocalciferol use.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. Do not crush or chew the tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole.

Measure the liquid form of ergocalciferol with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

This medication may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet and other vitamin or mineral supplements. Follow your doctor"s instructions closely with regard to diet and other medications.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. You may also need routine x-ray examinations. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store ergocalciferol at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Vitamin D can accumulate (collect) to toxic levels in your body over a long period of ergocalciferol use. A vitamin D overdose can cause permanent damage to your kidneys, heart, or lungs.

Symptoms of an ergocalciferol overdose may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, weakness, confusion, increased or decreased urination, and a metallic taste in the mouth.

What should I avoid while taking ergocalciferol?

Avoid taking any vitamin or mineral supplements without your doctor"s advice. Vitamin D is contained in many supplements available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much vitamin D, which can be highly toxic if taken in large doses.

Avoid using mineral oil while taking ergocalciferol. Prolonged use of mineral oil can decrease the body"s absorption of vitamin D.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor"s advice, especially if you are on dialysis.

Ergocalciferol 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 ergocaciferol and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • increased thirst,

  • urinating more or less than usual, or not at all;

  • changes in behavior;

  • body aches, pain, or stiffness;

  • nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss;

  • pale skin, weakness;

  • slow growth (in a child taking ergocalciferol);

  • dry mouth or a metallic taste;

  • ringing in your ears; or

  • problems with balance or coordination.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect ergocalciferol?

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

  • doxercalciferol (Hectorol);

  • mineral oil;

  • rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin), rifampin and isoniazid (Rimactane);

  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), primidone (Mysoline);

  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or

  • a diuretic (water pill) such as chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Microzide), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn), polythiazide, and others.

You may not be able to take ergocalciferol, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with ergocalciferol. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbal/health supplements.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about ergocalciferol written for health professionals that you may read.

  • Consultation with a licensed health care professional is advisable before using any herbal/health supplement. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous. Remember, keep this and all other prescription drug products, over-the-counter drug products, and herbal/health supplements out of the reach of children.
  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 9/27/06 11:52:32 AM.




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