Calciferol - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Calciferol: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is calciferol?

Calciferol is an alcoholic compound used as a supplement for vitamin D. Vitamin D maintains the health of bones. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that facilitates calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body. Our body requires exposure to sunlight to synthesise vitamin D. You can develop vitamin D deficiency because of limited exposure to sunlight and the low consumption of dietary sources. If you experience vitamin D deficiency, calciferol can be given as a supplement to maintain adequate vitamin D levels in the body.


What are the uses of calciferol?

Calciferol is beneficial for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bodies. It is given to treat the following conditions:

  • Osteomalacia (bone disorder)
  • Osteoporosis (bone loss)
  • Rickets (bone softening because of vitamin D deficiency)
  • Hypoparathyroidism (decreased thyroid gland functioning)
  • Hypophosphatemia (low levels of phosphate)

Calciferol is also given to infants if their mother’s milk has reduced levels of vitamin D. Calciferol, along with other medications, is used to treat conditions caused by low levels of calcium or phosphate in patients with thyroid disorders (pseudohypoparathyroidism, familial hypophosphatemia and hypoparathyroidism).

If you have any of the above conditions and are worried about the side effects of the medication, book an appointment to get a free second opinion.

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What are the side effects of calciferol?

Calciferol is safe and does not have any side effects when taken in the dosage prescribed by your doctor. However, you may face some side effects if you are allergic to vitamin D or have excess calcium in your body. These side effects include nausea, vomiting, unusual tiredness, excessive thirst, urination, constipation, mood swings and loss of appetite.


Frequently Asked Questions about Calciferol

1. Why is vitamin D called calciferol?

Calciferol is an alcoholic compound used as a supplement in the diet for vitamin D. It is synthesised by irradiating ergosterol. The name calciferol is a combination of calciferous and ergosterol. Vitamin D is also known as calciferol, as the functions of vitamin D are performed by calciferol.

2. Do you need a prescription for calciferol?

Calciferol is not recommended for people with high vitamin D levels. Taking the supplement without a prescription can lead to an overdose, probably causing a serious health condition known as hypercalcemia (vitamin D toxicity). A calciferol overdose can also affect infants during breastfeeding. Therefore, you should consult your doctor and take calciferol with a prescription to avoid future consequences.

3. How long does calciferol take to work?

The first dose of calciferol takes up to 24 to 30 hours to reach your bloodstream. The levels of this supplement increase gradually in your body. Therefore, consult your doctor to know the ideal dosage of calciferol that you should take every day. On average, patients must take this medication for 3-4 months to maintain the required vitamin D levels in the body.

4. Can I take calciferol at night?

You must avoid taking calciferol at night because it may affect your sleep cycle. The best time to take calciferol is at breakfast or lunch. Your body can easily absorb the drug when your diet includes a good amount of fats.

5. Is calciferol a steroid?

Yes, calciferol is a steroid molecule that helps maintain calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. It also helps in the mineralisation of the bones in newborn babies and people with vitamin D deficiency and thyroid disorders (such as hypoparathyroidism, pseudohypoparathyroidism and familial hypophosphatemia).

6. Does calcitriol affect kidneys?

Calcitriol is absorbed in the liver and kidney to avoid the excessive loss of calcium and phosphorus from the blood. Thus, it can have a mild effect on the kidneys. You should take calcitriol after consulting your doctor because its overdose can affect your kidneys. If you are worried about the side effects of calcitriol, you can get a free second opinion at Yashoda Hospitals.

7. Can we take calcitriol daily?

Calcitriol is generally taken once a day. However, you should consult your doctor before taking the supplement. The dosage will be specifically prescribed based on the amount of vitamin D required by your body. You should carefully follow the dosage and instructions given by the doctor for good results.

8. Does calcitriol lower blood pressure?

No, calcitriol does not lower blood pressure levels. A meta-analysis performed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that calcitriol does not affect blood pressure levels in your body.

9. Is calcitriol used for osteoporosis?

Yes, calcitriol is used as a supplement to treat osteoporosis (a condition caused by calcium deficiency). Osteoporosis leads to weak and brittle bones. Calcitriol is particularly recommended to women post-menopause because their bone density is heavily affected.

10. Does calcitriol increase bone calcium levels?

Yes, calcitriol increases calcium levels in bones. It is achieved by the dimerisation of vitamin D receptors present in the bones, which increases the maximum absorption of calcium in the blood.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.