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Calciferol

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/22/2017
Drug Description

VITAMIN D ERGOCALCIFEROL (ergocalciferol)
Capsules, USP 1.25 mg SOFTGELS

(Soft Gelatin Capsules) (50,000 USP Units)

DESCRIPTION

ERGOCALCIFEROL (ergocalciferol) CAPSULES, USP, is a synthetic calcium regulator for oral administration.

Ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) is a white, colorless crystal, insoluble in water, soluble in organic solvents, and slightly soluble in vegetable oils.

It is affected by air and by light. Ergosterol or provitamin D2 is found in plants and yeast and has no antirachitic activity.

There are more than 10 substances belonging to a group of steroid compounds, classified as having vitamin D or antirachitic activity.

One USP Unit of vitamin D2 is equivalent to one International Unit (IU), and 1 mcg of vitamin D2 is equal to 40 IU.

Each softgel, for oral administration, contains Ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) , USP 1.25 mg (equivalent to 50,000 USP units of Vitamin D), in an edible vegetable oil.

Ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) , also called vitamin D2, is 9, 10-secoergosta-5,7,10(19),22-tetraen-3-ol,(3 ≤ ,5Z,7E,22E)-; (C28H44O) with a molecular weight of 396.65, and has the following structural formula:

Ergocalciferol Structural Formula Illustration

Inactive Ingredients: Refined soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, purified water, D&C Yellow #10, and FD&C Blue #1.

For Consumers

What are the possible side effects of ergocalciferol (Calcidol, Calciferol, Drisdol, Vitamin D2)?

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

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...
Indications & Dosage

INDICATIONS

Ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) is indicated for use in the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, refractory rickets, also known as vitamin D resistant rickets, and familial hypophosphatemia.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

THE RANGE BETWEEN THERAPEUTIC AND TOXIC DOSES IS NARROW.

Vitamin D Resistant Rickets

12,000 to 500,000 USP units daily.

Hypoparathyroidism

50,000 to 200,000 USP units daily concomitantly with calcium lactate 4 g, six times per day.

DOSAGE MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED UNDER CLOSE MEDICAL SUPERVISION.

Calcium intake should be adequate. Blood calcium and phosphorous determinations must be made every 2 weeks or more frequently if necessary. X-rays of the bones should be taken every month until condition is corrected and stabilized.

HOW SUPPLIED

Each green, oval softgel is imprinted with PA140 and contains 1.25 mg (50,000 USP units vitamin D) of ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) , USP, and is available in bottles of 100 or 1000 Softgels.

Store at controlled room temperature 15°-30°C (59°-86°F).

Protect from light and moisture.

Dispense in a tight, light-resistant container as defined in the USP.

Manufactured by : Banner Pharmacaps, Inc., 4125 Premier Drive, High Point, NC 27265. FDA revision date: n/a

Side Effects & Drug Interactions

SIDE EFFECTS

Hypervitaminosis D is characterized by effects on the following organ system:

Renal

Impairment of renal function with polyuria, nocturia, polydipsia, hypercalciuria, reversible azotemia, hypertension, nephrocalcinosis, generalized vascular calcification, or irreversible renal insufficiency which may result in death.

CNS

Mental retardation.

Soft Tissues

Widespread calcification of the soft tissues, including the heart, blood vessels, renal tubules, and lungs.

Skeletal

Bone demineralization (osteoporosis) in adults occurs concomitantly.

Decline in the average rate of linear growth and increased mineralization of bones in infants and children (dwarfism), vague aches, stiffness, and weakness.

Gastrointestinal

Nausea, anorexia, constipation.

Metabolic

Mild acidosis, anemia, weight loss.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Mineral oil interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin D preparations.

Administration of thiazide diuretics to hypoparathyroid patients who are concurrently being treated with ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) may cause hypercalcemia.

Warnings & Precautions

WARNINGS

Hypersensitivity to vitamin D may be one etiologic factor in infants with idiopathic hypercalcemia. In these cases vitamin D must be strictly restricted.

Keep out of the reach of children.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Vitamin D administration from fortified foods, dietary supplements, self-administered and prescription drug sources should be evaluated. Therapeutic dosage should be readjusted as soon as there is clinical improvement. Dosage levels must be individualized and great care exercised to prevent serious toxic effects. IN VITAMIN D RESISTANT RICKETS THE RANGE BETWEEN THERAPEUTIC AND TOXIC DOSES IS NARROW. When high therapeutic doses are used progress should be followed with frequent blood calcium determinations.

In the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, intravenous calcium, parathyroid hormone, and/or dihy-drotachysterol may be required.

Maintenance of a normal serum phosphorous level by dietary phosphate restriction and/or administration of aluminum gels as intestinal phosphate binders in those patients with hyperphosphatemia as frequently seen in renal osteodystrophy is essential to prevent metastatis calcification.

Adequate dietary calcium is necessary for clinical response to vitamin D therapy.

Protect from light.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No long-term animal studies have been performed to evaluate the drug's potential in these areas.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

Animal reproduction studies have shown fetal abnormalities in several species associated with hypervitaminosis D. These are similar to the supravalvular aortic stenosis syndrome described in infants by Black in England (1963). This syndrome was characterized by supravalvular aortic stenosis, elfin facies, and mental retardation. For the protection of the fetus, therefore, the use of vitamin D in excess of the recommended dietary allowance during normal pregnancy should be avoided unless, in the judgment of the physician, potential benefits in a specific, unique case outweigh the significant hazards involved. The safety in excess of 400 USP units of vitamin D daily during pregnancy has not been established.

Nursing Mothers

Caution should be exercised when ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) is administered to a nursing woman. In a mother given large doses of vitamin D, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (ergocalciferol) appeared in the milk and caused hypercalcemia in her child. Monitoring of the infants serum calcium concentration is required in that case (Goldberg, 1972).

Pediatric Use

Pediatric doses must be individualized (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Overdosage & Contraindications

OVERDOSE

The effects of administered vitamin D can persist for two or more months after cessation of treatment.

Hypervitaminosis D is characterized by:

The treatment of hypervitaminosis D with hypercalcemia consists in immediate withdrawal of the vitamin, a low calcium diet, generous intake of fluids, along with symptomatic and supportive treatment. Hypercalcemic crisis with dehydration, stupor, coma, and azotemia requires more vigorous treatment. The first step should be hydration of the patient. Intravenous saline may quickly and significantly increase urinary calcium excretion. A loop diuretic (furosemide or ethacrynic acid) may be given with the saline infusion to further increase renal calcium excretion. Other reported therapeutic measures include dialysis or the administration of citrates, sulfates, phosphates, corticosteroids, EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), and mithramycin via appropriate regimens. With appropriate therapy, recovery is the usual outcome when no permanent damage has occurred. Deaths via renal or cardiovascular failure have been reported.

The LD50 in animals is unknown. The toxic oral dose of ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) in the dog is 4 mg/kg.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) is contraindicated in patients with hypercalcemia, malabsorption syndrome, abnormal sensitivity to the toxic effects of vitamin D, and hypervitaminosis D.

Clinical Pharmacology

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

The in vivo synthesis of the major biologically active metabolites of vitamin D occurs in two steps. The first hydroxylation of ergocalciferol (ergocalciferol) takes place in the liver (to 25-hydroxyvitamin D) and the second in the kidneys (to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D). Vitamin D metabolites promote the active absorption of calcium and phosphorous by the small intestine, thus elevating serum calcium and phosphate levels sufficiently to permit bone mineralization. Vitamin D metabolites also mobilize calcium and phosphate from bone and probably increase the reabsorption of calcium and perhaps also of phosphate by the renal tubules.

There is a time lag of 10 to 24 hours between the administration of vitamin D and the initiation of its action in the body due to the necessity of synthesis of the active metabolites in the liver and kidneys. Parathyroid hormone is responsible for the regulation of this metabolism in the kidneys.

Medication Guide
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