Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Vitamin D3
Last updated on June 27, 2019.
GENERIC NAMES: Colecalciferol, Vitamin D3
CHINESE NAME: 維他命D3
COMMON BRANDS IN HONG KONG: Blackmores Vitamin D3, Vitamin D Jamieson, Doctor’s Choice Vitamin D3 1000 IU
Overview of Vitamin D
There are several types of Vitamin D supplements available in Hong Kong, namely ergocalciferol (calciferol, Vitamin D2), colecalciferol (Vitamin D3), dihydrotachysterol, alfacalcidol (1α-hydroxycholecalciferol), and calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol).
Vitamin D deficiency is usually observed in people with limited sunlight exposure or with a diet that is deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can be prevented and reversed by taking oral supplements of ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol on a daily basis for months.
On the other hand, the combination of colecalciferol with calcium carbonate are also available for people who have both calcium and Vitamin D deficiency.
For people who have severe renal impairment, alfacalcidol or calcitriol can be used. These medicines are activated forms of Vitamin D and do not require further physiological activation (hydroxylation) by the kidney.
In addition, calcitriol is licensed for the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis whereas paricalcitol, a synthetic Vitamin D analogue, is licensed for the prevention and treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic kidney disease.
What is Vitamin D3 for?
Vitamin D3 is mainly used for prevention and treatment of Vitamin D deficiency.
How to use it?
Vitamin D3 is available as oral preparations. If you are using it for the prevention of Vitamin D deficiency, you can take 400 units daily. If you are using it for the treatment of Vitamin D deficiency, you can take 800 units daily. For severe deficiency, higher doses may be required.
Does Vitamin D3 have side effects?
Vitamin D3 is generally safe to use. However, abdominal pain, headache, high calcium level in blood or urine, and/or nausea may occasionally occur.
Where to buy Vitamin D3 in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, Vitamin D3 is an over-the-counter medicine and it can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.
For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk
For detailed information about the use of Vitamin D3 in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.
Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.