Cholecalciferol or Vitamin D3 is a steroid hormone that is used to treat vitamin D deficiency, especially conditions of the skin and bones.
It is also important for calcium absorption in maintaining bone strength.
This drug is available both as over-the-counter or can be prescribed by your healthcare professional.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before taking this drug, the risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.
Pediatric-specific problems have not been encountered in studies that would limit the usefulness of cholecalciferol in children. Infant risk is undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Consult your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of this drug while breastfeeding.
Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects. Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as prescription or non-prescription drugs.
Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with cholecalciferol is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems.
This drug must be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Additional or prolonged doses could increase the chance of side effects. Follow the directions on the label if you are taking this drug without a prescription.
Swallowing the wafer whole must be avoided as it must be chewed or crushed before swallowing. The dropper must be used when taking the drug in liquid form.
For adults and children, drop the liquid directly into the mouth or mix it with food or other liquids. Place one drop of the liquid on the pacifier, mother's nipple, or bottle nipple and allow baby to suck for at least 30 seconds for children younger than 2 years of age.
The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.
Adults with vitamin D deficiency are prescribed with oral dosage form (capsules) of one capsule containing 5000 international units (IU) once a day. The use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.
For vitamin D solutions, one drop containing 1000 international units (IU) once a day or 2 times per day is given for adults whereas one drop containing 400 IU once a day is given to children and infants.
Children 6 years of age and older are given one wafer containing 14,000 international units (IU) once a week for 6 weeks.
The use and dose of vitamin D wafers for children younger than 6 years must be determined by your healthcare professional. A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs
4 Precautions to Take
Regular visits and laboratory tests should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug as well as check for unwanted effects.
5 Potential Side Effects
Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. Symptoms of cough, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, fast heartbeat, hives or itching puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue, skin rash, tightness in the chest, unusual tiredness or weakness have unknown incidence.
As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear.
Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects persists, or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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