ergocalciferol (generic name)

Drisdol (brand name)

It helps the body maintain the right amount of calcium and phosphorus
(er goe kal SIF e role)
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What is this medicine?

ERGOCALCIFEROL (er goe kal SIF e role) is a man-made vitamin D. It helps the body maintain the right amount of calcium and phosphorus. This medicine is used to prevent and to treat low vitamin D, to promote strong bones and teeth, and in the treatment of some diseases.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • parathyroid disease
  • stomach problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to vitamin D, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. This medicine can be taken directly into the mouth or added to cereal, fruit juice, or other foods. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • antacids
  • digoxin
  • diuretics
  • medicines for cholesterol like colestipol or cholestyramine
  • medicines to treat seizures or nerve pain
  • mineral oil
  • orlistat

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your doctor may order blood work while you are taking this vitamin.

You may need a special diet or other supplements. Ask your doctor or health care professional before you take any non-prescription medicines that have vitamin D, phosphorus, magnesium, or calcium (like antacids) in them. This can cause side effects.

Take this vitamin only if your doctor prescribes it or if you do not receive enough vitamins in your diet. A balanced diet should give you all of the vitamins you need. Fish and fish liver oils naturally contain vitamin D, and vitamin D is added to milk and bread. Also, your body makes vitamin D when you are in the sun.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • bone pain
  • high blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination (especially at night)
  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste
  • stomach upset

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: April 21, 2009
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