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Why is this medication prescribed?

Ergocalciferol is used to treat refractory rickets (weakening and softening of bones that do not respond to treatment), familial hypophosphatemia (rickets or osteomalacia caused by an inherited condition with a decreased ability to break down vitamin D in the body), and hypoparathyroidism (condition in which the body does not produce enough parathyroid hormone). Ergocalciferol belongs to a group of drugs known as vitamin D analogues. It functions by encouraging the body to absorb more calcium from meals or supplements.

How should this medicine be used?

Ergocalciferol is available as a pill to swallow. Typically, it is given once day. Ergocalciferol should be taken every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Ergocalciferol should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Do not chew or crush the capsules; instead, swallow them whole.

Depending on how well ergocalciferol is tolerated by your body, your doctor may adjust your dose.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking ergocalciferol,

  • If you have any allergies to any of the substances in ergocalciferol capsules, including tartrazine (a yellow dye found in some processed foods and medications), aspirin, or any other medications, let your doctor and chemist know right once. Request a list of the ingredients from your chemist.
  • Inform your doctor and chemist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Incorporate any of the following: vitamin D pills, fortified meals, and calcium supplements; or thiazide diuretics, also known as “water pills,” including metolazone (Zaroxolyn), hydrochlorothiazide (used in many blood pressure drugs), indapamide, and chlorothiazide (Diuril). You and your carer should be aware that numerous over-the-counter drugs should not be taken with ergocalciferol. Before using any over-the-counter drugs while taking ergocalciferol, see your doctor. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your physician if you have malabsorption syndrome (issues digesting food), high blood levels of vitamin D or calcium, an unusual sensitivity to high amounts of vitamin D, or any of these conditions. Most likely, your doctor will advise against using ergocalciferol.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems now or in the past, let your doctor know.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking ergocalciferol.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Ergocalciferol only functions if you additionally consume the recommended quantity of calcium from food sources. Ergocalciferol use may result in negative side effects if you consume too much calcium from meals. Ergocalciferol won’t help you control your condition if you don’t consume enough calcium-rich meals. Your physician will advise you on the best calcium-rich foods to eat as well as the recommended daily serving sizes. Inform your doctor if you have trouble consuming enough of these items. Your doctor may then suggest or prescribe a calcium supplement in that situation.

In addition, a low-phosphate diet may be advised by your physician while you are taking ergocalciferol. Pay close attention to these guidelines.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

There could be adverse effects from ergocalciferol. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Light skin
  • Tiredness

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if any of these symptoms occur to you:

  • Feeling drained, having trouble concentrating, losing your appetite, being sick to your stomach, being constipated, becoming more thirsty, becoming more urinative, or losing weight
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness, stiffness, and muscle aches

Other negative effects of ergocalciferol are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you have a serious side event.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it at room temperature and out of the bathroom and away from light, excessive heat and moisture.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilizing a medicine take-back program is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programs in your area, speak with your chemist or the garbage/recycling agency in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back program, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose symptoms could include:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Slim down
  • Muscular stiffness and pain
  • Constipation
  • Light skin
  • Increased urination or thirst, especially during night
  • Intellectual handicap

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. Prior to and throughout your ergocalciferol medication, your doctor will request a number of lab tests.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding prescription refills should be directed to your chemist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Drisdol®
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