Calciferol – Information, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage


Drug Trade Name:  Drisdol, Calcidol, Vitamin D2, Calciferol

Category: Vitamins

Generic Name: Ergocalciferol

Introduction and Quick Information about Calciferol:


Calciferol is also known as vitamin D2. It helps in the absorption of calcium in the body.

Calciferol is used to treat:

  • Rickets- bones become very weak due to vitamin D deficiency
  • Hypoparathyroidism- reduced secretion of parathyroid hormone

Is Calciferol Approved by U.S. FDA?

It has been approved by U.S. FDA (Food & Drug Administration). 

Usage and Benefits of Calciferol:

  • It is used to treat rickets (it is a condition in which bones become very weak due to vitamins D deficiency) as well as hypoparathyroidism (it is a disease that occurs due to reduced secretion of parathyroid hormone).
  • This is also used to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood and thus helps strengthen bones and teeth.
  • Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis (a disease that causes bone rarefaction and increases the risk of fracturing), prostate and breast cancer.
  • It is very important to maintain the healthy immune system.
  • It helps in the absorption of calcium from dietary supplements or food.
  • It slows down the progress of arthritis.

Calciferol Side Effects:

The side effects of Calciferol are:

  • Weight loss
  • Aches
  • Stiffness
  • Signs of allergic reactions
  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, face or lips
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Brittle bones or bone pain
  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weakness
  • Excessive urination
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Bone or muscle pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness

General Recommended Dosages of Calciferol:

You should use this medicine as recommended by your doctor or as directed on the prescription label. Your dose is based on your diet, medical condition, age, amount of sun exposure and response to the treatment. Vitamin D shows best absorption when consumed with food.

Liquid medication should be measured by using dosing syringe provided or a medication measuring spoon to ensure you get the exact dose.

In Case I Miss the Dose?

In case you miss the dose, take it the moment you remember. But, if it is time to have your next dose, better skip the missed dose. You must not take extra medication to make up for the missed dose.


In Case I Take Overdose?

An overdose of this drug may cause life-threatening or serious adverse effects. Use this medicine as directed by your doctor. Do not use this medicine in smaller of larger amounts.

The overdose of this medicine can cause the following side effects:

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Fainting
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling unusually hot
  • Dry mouth
  • Severe pain in upper stomach radiating to the back
  • Bone or muscle pain
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Strange behavior or thoughts
  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Constipation
  • Itchy skin

Contact local health emergency room in case of overdose.

Drug Interactions of Calciferol:

Calciferol can interact with the following drugs:

  • Digoxin (lanoxin, digitalis)
  • Seizure medication
  • Sucralfate (carafate)
  • Steroids (prednisone and others)
  • Diuretics or water pills, such as:
    • Hydrochlorothiazide (hydrodiuril, hyzaar, vasoretic, lopressor hct, zestoretic)
    • Metolazone (zaroxolyn, mykrox)
    • Chlorthalidone (thalitone, hygroton)
    • Chlorothiazide (diuril)
    • Indapamide (lozol)

You should let your doctor know before consuming any of the above medicines. Calciferol may also interact with minerals, vitamins, herbal products or some drugs prescribed by other doctors.

Lifestyle and Food Habits You Must Follow When on Calciferol:

The effectiveness of a drug depends on the lifestyle and food habits of a person using it. If you follow a healthy lifestyle such as daily exercising, sleeping (at least eight hours) or getting up on time, and avoiding unhealthy food, it may help in getting the drug’s desired effects.

You should inform your doctor about your eating habits and lifestyle. You must avoid taking mineral supplements, other vitamins, antacids or calcium supplements unless your doctor tells you to do so. 


  • Stop taking Calciferol if you ever had an allergy to this medicine or have a high levels of vitamin D or calcium in the blood.
  • Inform your medical healthcare provider if you have kidney disease, heart disease, electrolyte imbalance or coronary artery disease.

How Safe is Calciferol for Pregnant Women or Nursing Mothers?

It is under a pregnancy category C which means you should use this if the benefits are more than risks. Animal studies reveal risk and human studies are not available. Also, neither animal or human studies have been done. You must let your doctor know if you are pregnant before you start taking it or planning to become pregnant while using it.

Calciferol excretes into breast milk, so don’t use it unless you consult your doctor  because it may harm your baby.

Complications and Conditions Possible due to Prolonged Use of Calciferol:

If you take a drug for a long time, it may have a bad effect on your health. Your doctor may decrease the Calciferol dose if your condition improves and will suggest how long you need to take the medication.

Availability of Calciferol:

Calciferol is available as both prescription and over the counter medication.