Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Includes Expert Content
    Vitamin D - How much is too much?
    kailef posted:
    Let me give you a brief history of my situation and then I'll ask my question.

    When I was 2 years old, I was diagnosed with Vitamin D resistant Rickets.

    So I've had to take k-phos and Rocaltrol(though recently, my doctor pulled me off of Rocaltrol) all my life.

    Now I'm just taking k-phos. Though just a few days ago, my rickets doctor prescribed me with Vitamin D to replace the Rocaltrol.

    Months ago, my vitamin D level was 4. Today, my new results are in and my Vitamin D level is 13.

    My rickets doctor prescribed me with Vtamin D 1.25mg and I'm supposed to take it once a week. It's 50,000 units, whatever that means.

    Should I be concerned with taking 50,000 units of Vtamin D by taking 1 1.25mg pill of Vitamin D?

    I don't know the average units required per day with someone like me. I was taking rocatrol once a day everyday since I was 2. Now I'm supposed to take 1 vitamin D pill once a week?

    Supposedly, I'm assuming, it's enough units to last me all week.

    My question is, if it's one pill a week and supposedly the equivalent as taking 1 rocaltrol a day everyday, would taking that many units of vitamin D in one day that's supposed to last all week be harmful to my body?

    I've read too much Vitamin D intake can cause a poisonous effect or even death to your body. So the thought of taking in too much in one day that's supposed to last all week has caused some concerns for me.

    Is it safe?
    Susan_Allison responded:
    Dear Kailef,

    The issue of getting enough Vitamin D is new to most people, but it sounds like you've been dealing with it for years. As you probably know, Vitamin D plays a crucial role in establishing and maintaining strong bones. People with low Vitamin D levels often have low bone density. In recent years more cases of Vitamin D insufficiency have been reported than in the past, and it has received a lot of media attention.

    Vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is usually identified by the results of a blood test, Vitamin D 25(OH). The goal is to achieve a blood level of 30 ng/ml. Your most recent result of 13 ng/ml is still below the optimum. 50,000 IU of prescription Vitamin D per week is a common treatment for Vitamin D insufficiency. In people who have normal Vitamin D blood levels, 50,000 IU could, in fact, be toxic. In your case, however, this is probably a safe dose.

    NOF recommends 800 - 1000 IU per day for healthy adults age 50 and older; 400 - 800 IU per day for adults under age 50. Once your blood level reaches a healthy number, your Dr. will most likely decrease your dose to the point at which you can maintain a normal level.

    Side note: Check the label on your prescription. I think the 1,25 you are referring to is the type of Vitamin D, not the mg. Vitamin D 1,25 is the active form of Vitamin D found in the body.

    Please refer to the NOF web page on vitamin D. It is available at
    kailef replied to Susan_Allison's response:
    Thanks for the reply.

    I see my endocrinologist again in 3 months and he has me taking 50,000 IU once a week. Do you suggest I try to get another blood test in say 4 to 6 weeks to see how my blood level of ng/ml has changed? I'd hate for it to get too high over a 3 month period without knowing or keeping an eye on it and then by the time my next doctors appointment rolls around, that it's too late for me to do anything and I end up getting poisoned or having a bad reaction to having too high a level of ng/ml.

    Btw, I'm not sure if it's 1.25mg's or what.

    Here's what the bottle says:

    Vitamin D 1.25MG CAPS

    So I don't know if that means 1.25 mg's or what.

    I just don't want to end up being overdosed with Vitamin D and end up hurting my body and not be able to do anything about it since my next appointment is 3 months away.
    Susan Allison, RNC, BSN, MPA replied to kailef's response:
    Dear Kailef,

    Your doctor is an endocrinologist who has special training in this area of metabolism. I would suggest that you follow his/her recommendations. It often takes several months for the Vitamin D level to reach the goal range.

    Good luck,

    Pam19403 replied to Susan Allison, RNC, BSN, MPA's response:
    My 22 year old daughter has MS and recently had her vitamin d level checked. Her vitamin d level was 14, and her Dr. also prescribed the 50,000 IU vitamin d tablet once a week for three months. I just wanted to share as she also is taking this for three months before being re-checked. This was prescribed by her Neurologist, as they are monitoring her MS.
    kailef replied to Pam19403's response:
    Thanks for your replies again. Yeah, Susan, I am following his advice. The thing is, my old endocrinologist was seeing me since I was little, and he moved from Nashville to Chicago Illinois, so I don't see him anymore. I recently got recommended to this new doctor and it's hard to trust a new doctor from the start, which is part of why I'm concerned.

    Taking rocaltrol once a day everyday since I was born, and then bein taken off of it and told to take a pill once a week. I don't understand or get all the UI's and levels and stuff, but it's just natural for me to be concerned when it's coming from a new doctor.

    ...and Pam, thank you for your reply. Hearing someone else being given the same puts my mind at ease.

    My doctor told me I was developing Osteoporosis so it was just a step to hopefully prevent it from developing further.
    klop65 replied to kailef's response:
    With your condition being vitamin D resistant rickets the treatment of choice is indeed K-phos. Rocaltrol is the vitamin D type you should be using to minimize potential side effects from the K-phos.
    If you can, you should do a web search for "vitamin D resistant rickets" and you will find good information about the disease and its management.
    jbjr039 responded:
    Sunshine1912 replied to Pam19403's response:
    My Doctor has me on 50,000 IU twice a week. I have also worried about getting too much, but I was in an accident 3 months ago and prior to taking the Vitamin D I hurt all over!!! I already had whiplash, and my hip dis-located, but now I feel better, not as tired and no pain!!! I guess with low Vitamin D, mine was 10, it feels like Fibromialga. I just notice I'm not sleeping as well as I used to at night, but could sleep in the afternoon very easily.
    Hope this helps!!
    bonebabe replied to jbjr039's response:
    The current recommendations are 800-1000 IU each day. There is talk about raising that to 2000. Many doctors are now checking their patients' levels as part of the annual physicals. If a person is low (<30) a booster dose of 50,000 for a set number of weeks is usually ordered. After completing this course of treatment, it is advised to maintain with the current recommendations.
    bell93181 replied to bonebabe's response:
    Actually, most doctors today consider a vitamin D level of 30 low. My endo says 50-60 is optimum. The 50,000 UI is standard for low levels. It is vitamin D 2 which is the synthetic form of the vitamin. I took it for 2 years once a week. Now I'm on 2000-3000 UI of natural vitamin D3(Cholecalciferol). My level started out at 18 and is now in the 50s.

    The older you get, the less your body is able to metabolize vitamin from the sun.

    The vitamin D hydroxy test should be a part of everyone's blood panel. Low vitamin D levels can cause all kinds of health problems.
    bonebabe replied to bell93181's response:
    You're absolutely right about 50-60 being optimum. I think as more doctors and patients become aware of this, more attention will be paid to it. But the reality is that 20 is actually the bottom of the "normal" scale and doctors are feeling pretty good about 30.

    It's been our experience that, while we are confident in what we'd like our patients to have, their primary care physicians can be somewhat resistant to what they perceive as being told what to do. So, I think, with time and public awareness, this issue with Vitamin D levels will be resolved. In the meantime, people need to be their own advocates and initiate this conversation with their doctors and begin taking a supplement regardless of anything else.
    BruceBell responded:
    During Crohn's illness or even colitis, an inflammatory reaction is actually induced to the inside cellular lining of the intestines which ends in looseness of. In this particular situation, large amounts of vitamins are generally released and then results in decreasing in amounts of vitamin D. Several conditions provide an negative effect on the bodies all-natural capacity to make vitamin D. Liver organ dysfunction or even renal condition can bring about a corresponding issue. In certain exceptional events, the sources of vitamin D reduce for the reason that of a few genetic ailments for example cystic fibrosis which in turn affects fat acceptance capability of the system.

    You will find just a couple of foodstuff compounds that include naturally sourced vitamin D. A few diet sources of vitamin D tend to be meat lean meats, meaty portion of the fish, yolk, fish oil and also cheeses. As a result, vegans have a higher risk to get vitamin D deficit resulting from minimal diet absorption of vitamin D high food. Nursing newborns can get this concern because vitamin D contents in real human milk is extremely poor.

    Being exposed to dangerous materials, damaging chemical compounds, negative effects of specific drugs may also develop this sort of issue which the amount of vitamin D comes down below the typical amount. Bodily situations for example pigmentation of the skin color or even volume of human body fat will also be in charge of low-level vitamin D. Darker complexion may also be the reason of lower vitamin D values inside the physique.
    JoeDiPenta responded:
    On the list of most generally attainable resources for vitamin D is undoubtedly sunshine. Whenever sun rays hit the skin, generation of vitamin D will start inside of the body system. In addition to the exposure to the sun, alternative methods to get vitamin D is actually apparent - food. Many people consider that ingesting food resources for vitamin D is not needed since natural light is well attainable and merely 15 to 20 minutes of contact with the sunlight is enough to reduce best natural sources of Vitamin D . Nonetheless, the current active life style which request irregular labor timings provide us with short amount of time for sun rays subjection. No surprise, vitamin D deficiency is usual in the town people. Inappropriate vitamin D quantities might make the bone fragments breakable as well as enhance the chance of weak bones. Most of these medical issues may be averted simply by incorporating food sources of vitamin D throughout the eating plan.
    RodGouin replied to Sunshine1912's response:
    50,000 Made a world of difference after a few days. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. No cure except Enbrill which slows progression and its only $2000 a month! yeah right!! Hereditary, for life. The disease took my Calcium out of the bones and pasted it over all the joints. This leads to low Calcium, total joint movement loss, constant pain from hell, spasms. It gradually makes itself known throughout the entire body, and other nasty things. Doc says 50,000 units D2 or D3 should taken for any arthritis over 50. Interesting, everything you wrote about above, before the D is the same for me! I cant bend my spine or neck but there is only slight pain now! Also Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate, and Zinc are essential cuz A one a day [Walmart generic Centrum> does not have enough of these in numbers required cuz it would make the pill too big to swallow and expensive! Eat healthy, low salt, low sugar, low fat [chicken and turkey products>. I love chicken hot dogs, and baloney. absolutely NO RED MEAT EVER!!! It rots in your intestines and is non digestible! Im 57 and I feel 35!
    Thanks for sharing this important supplement lesson.

    Helpful Tips

    Good luck... More
    Was this Helpful?
    2 of 3 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.

    For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website