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Cholecalciferol, also commonly referred to as vitamin D3, is a medical supplement that is often prescribed if a person has a shortage of vitamin D3 in the body. The vitamin may be absorbed by the body through contact with sunlight and consuming certain foods, such as eggs or fish oil; therefore, lack of sunlight or having a condition that causes difficulty in absorbing nutrients from food may result in a vitamin deficiency and require nutritional supplements. Although the medication is generally considered a safe option and important for those with vitamin D3 deficiencies, there are certain common cholecalciferol side effects that may occur.
Vitamin D3 is primarily responsible for the formation of bones and teeth and a vitamin deficiency can cause conditions such as rickets, which results in softening of the bones, or osteoporosis, a disease that makes the bones less able to absorb calcium and more prone to breaking. To prevent complications, such as changes in bone structure or broken bones, people with these conditions are generally prescribed cholecalciferol. Doctors generally warn these patients that the cholecalciferol side effects may affect both mental and physical health. The most common mental health side effects include increased irritability, trouble concentrating on tasks, and other unexpected changes in mood or memory.
Although they are not generally considered serious enough to require immediate medical attention, other common physical cholecalciferol side effects may also occur after taking the medication; however, they will usually subside on their own after regular usage as the body becomes used to the medication. If the symptoms do not go away over time or if they start to worsen, medical attention may then be recommended. These side effects may include nausea, vomiting, or changes in appetite, which may potentially result in unhealthy weight loss. Other side effects that can occur include unexplained fatigue, urinating more often than normally, shortness of breath, and pain or a tight feeling in the chest.
A vitamin D3 overdose is another one of the cholecalciferol side effects that may occur if the medication is not taken properly according to dosage instructions. Although vitamin D3 is an essential nutrient for the body, if too much of it builds up in the blood stream, it can cause symptoms such as weakness or pain in the muscles or bones, a strange metallic taste in the mouth, constipation, vomiting, abnormal heartbeat, or rapid weight loss. A cholecalciferol overdose can potentially be life-threatening and emergency medical attention is usually advised if a person experiences overdose symptoms.
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