Vitamin D Deficiency and Related Disorders Medication

Updated: Sep 08, 2022
  • Author: Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to correct the vitamin D deficiency, reduce morbidity, and prevent complications.

Over the past 2 years, some controversy has arisen around the issue of adequate vitamin D requirements. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendations for daily vitamin D requirements are less than those recommended by the Endocrine Society. [2] This difference may stem from the fact that the IOM targets food fortification and the Endocrine Society targets individual patient care. [79] The daily maintenance dose of vitamin D varies by age.

The Endocrine Society recommends 400 IU for children aged 0-1 year and 600 IU/day for children aged 1-18 years. [2] The Endocrine Society recommends 1500-2000 IU for all men and women older than 18 years, including lactating and pregnant women whose infants are not ingesting vitamin D. Higher doses of vitamin D, given either daily or weekly, are recommended for vitamin D–deficient children and adults, followed by an increase in the daily dose of vitamin D. [2]

Physicians should exercise caution when recommending over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin D supplementation. Some brands may not contain the amount of vitamin D stated on the bottle.


Vitamins, Fat-Soluble

Class Summary

Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the small intestine. It also promotes renal tubule resorption of phosphate.

Ergocalciferol (Calciferol, Drisdol)

Ergocalciferol is the most widely available form of vitamin D. This agent stimulates calcium and phosphate absorption from the small intestine and promotes calcium release from bone into the blood.