Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up


All communities will be placed in read-only mode (you will be able to see and search for posts but not start or reply to discussions) as we conduct maintenance. We will make another announcement when posting is re-opened. Thank you for your continued support and patience, and if you have any further questions, please email

Yours in health,
WebMD Community Management

Vitamin D
R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR posted:
Vitamin D is a big player in Lupus. Across the country there is a prevalence of vitamin D deficiency of more than 50%. It seems that every autoimmune disease seems to have low vitamin D levels, especially in Lupus patients. The higher your vitamin D, the less inflammation and activation of the immune system. Vitamin D levels should be over 30, which is the normal level. Vitamin D is made in the skin and sun is very important in activating it, however we're very fearful of skin cancers in society and we avoid the sun like the plague which is why we may be beginning to notice an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Most dermatologists believe that 15 minutes of sun exposure 3 to 4 times a week is adequate for getting your vitamin D stores up without necessarily causing skin cancer, however these are soft recommendations. If you have a family history of skin cancers or melanomas you have to be careful of the sun. In these cases vitamin D supplementation is widely available in pill form. It doesn't interfere with other medicines because it's a naturally found substance within the body, so if there is any question about sun exposure, you should just take a supplement. Another consideration is that people with dark-colored skin do not absorb vitamin D as much. It is manufactured in the skin and absorbed in the gut where it goes through chemical reactions. Vitamin D1 gets converted to D2 when you get 2 hydroxyl groups. When you get 3 hydroxyl groups it becomes vitamin D3 which is the active version of it. So vitamin D3 is ready to use in oral form. We also know that vitamin D is good for the bones because it helps with calcium metabolism.

There is the possibility of vitamin D toxicity from taking it in excess, so you have to be careful. Levels over 90 can be associated with a toxicity syndrome, leading to symptoms such as headaches and cramping. Since you absorb most of your calcium from your gut and if you are absorbing too much there's some question as to whether they are associated with kidney stones and other issues.

In general it's best to keep your vitamin D levels between 30 and 50.
Was this Helpful?
4 of 4 found this helpful
leecat41 responded:
My vit D levels have been between 10-12 for the last three years and I've been taking the supplements. Any suggestions on how to get that up?
To do what is right is not always easy, to do what is easy is not always right.
R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR replied to leecat41's response:
You are not responding to the oral supplementation. Perhaps you are not absorbing it through your GI tract and may need a work up for malabsorption syndromes. IV formulations are not easily available. However, a form of oral vitamin D, called rocaltrol or activated vitamin D is available and may help your situation. Lastly, mild sun exposure of about 15 minutes can provide up to 10000 units of vitamin D.

With Lupus

WebMD's Day2Night will help you develop personal coping strategies for living with lupus – at home,
at work, or with family
and friends.
Visit Lupus Day2Night

Helpful Tips

Music Video Tips on Managing Chronic Pain!
My newest music video, hope you guys like it! HUGS and ?, JJ "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the ... More
Was this Helpful?
1 of 1 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.