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Vitamin D3 Alternatives

(Cholecalciferol)

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    Compare Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) to alternatives

    These medications are comparable to Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) or used for similar purposes.

    Vitamin D3
    (Cholecalciferol)

    Vitamin D2
    (Ergocalciferol)

    Raises Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) works well for vitamin D deficiencies and is available over the counter. It absorbs better than vitamin D2, but it's animal-based so vegetarians and vegans might not want to take it.Raises Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) works for vitamin D deficiencies and is available over the counter, but your body doesn't absorb it as well as Vitamin D3.
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    Reviews & ratings
    Button Group. All currently active
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    4.9597197898423815Vitamin D3
    Reviews for Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)
    61%
    of people say Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is worth it
    39%
    say it works well
    7%
    say it's a big hassle

    Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

    Side effects
    Vitamin D3Vitamin D2

    The Vitamin D3 FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

    More about Vitamin D3 side effects »

    We haven’t found good data for Vitamin D2 side effects.

    FDA side effect reports for Vitamin D2 »
    How it works
    Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
    Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is a form of Vitamin D. It raises Vitamin D levels in your blood. This in turn raises calcium levels in your blood by helping you absorb more calcium from food in your intestine.Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is a form of Vitamin D. It raises Vitamin D levels in your blood. This in turn raises calcium levels in your blood by helping you absorb more calcium from food in your intestine.
    Type of medication
    Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
    Vitamin DPrescription or OTC
    Vitamin DPrescription or OTC
    Available as
    Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
    • Pill
    • Pill
    • Liquid capsule
    • Liquid
    Used for (click to learn more)
    Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
      Risk factors for serious side effects
      Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
        Detailed Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) risks & warnings »
        Coming soon.
        Pregnancy category
        Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
        NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

        The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        • If you're using the drops, you can place it directly into the mouth, or mix with food, water or juice.
        No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        • People on Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) who take more than the recommended dose can have high calcium in the blood, which can be dangerous in the kidneys. If you notice a metallic taste in your mouth, muscle or joint pain or a bad headache, talk to your doctor. Keep the amount of calcium you eat the same from day to day.
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
        • Available in oral solution, tablet, and capsules.
        • You can take it as a once-a-day or once-a-week medication.
        • This version of vitamin D is better absorbed by the body than vitamin D2.
        • Available in generic and over the counter.
        • Effective for vitamin D deficiencies.
        • This is the plant-based version of vitamin D, so it's useful for vegetarians.
        • Available in oral solution, tablet and capsules.
        • You can take this as a once a day or once a week medication.
        • Available in generic and over the counter.
        Downsides and risks
        Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
        • This is an animal-based version of vitamin D, so vegetarians and vegans may not be comfortable with taking this supplement.
        • Your body doesn't absorb Vitamin D2 as well as Vitamin D3.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        Vitamin D3Vitamin D2
        • Don't take other forms of vitamin D unless your doctor tells you to.
        • If you're using the drops, you can place it directly into the mouth, or mix with food, water or juice.
        • If you're using the spray, spray it under the tongue.
        • Make sure to take at least 600 to 1200 mg of calcium per day.
        • Call your doctor if you notice a metallic taste in your mouth, muscle or joint pain, headache or sleepiness.
        • Don't take other forms of vitamin D unless told to by your doctor.
        • Some forms of this medication are taken only once a week, others are taken once a day. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you're not sure.
        • Call your doctor if you notice a metallic taste in your mouth, muscle or joint pain, headache or sleepiness.
        • Make sure to take at least 600 to 1200 mg of calcium per day.
        Learn more
        More about Vitamin D3Side effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about Vitamin D2Side effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert