Calcium and ergocalciferol tablets are a mineral and vitamin D supplement.
The tablets promote bone strength and help to prevent 'thinning' of the bones (osteoporosis).
The usual dose is one tablet each day. Chew or crush the tablet before swallowing.
About calcium and ergocalciferol
|Type of medicine||Mineral and vitamin supplement|
|Used for||To promote healthy bones and to prevent osteoporosis|
|Also called||Calcium and vitamin D|
(Ergocalciferol is also called vitamin D2 or calciferol)
Calcium and vitamin D are both important for healthy, strong bones. Ergocalciferol is a type of vitamin D. Vitamin D is mostly made in your skin by exposure to sunlight but you also get some from your diet. Foods that contain vitamin D are oily fish (such as sardine, herring, salmon and tuna) and eggs. Your body needs adequate supplies of vitamin D in order for it to absorb the calcium that you eat or drink in your diet.
A mild lack of calcium and vitamin D may not cause symptoms but it can result in an increased risk of 'thinning' of the bones (osteoporosis). You will be recommended to take a supplement such as calcium and ergocalciferol tablets routinely. The tablets are available on prescription, or you can buy them without a prescription at a pharmacy.
Before taking calcium and ergocalciferol tablets
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start taking calcium and ergocalciferol it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- If you have kidney problems, or if you have ever had kidney stones.
- If you have sarcoidosis. This is a condition causing inflammation, particularly in your lungs and lymph system.
- If you know you have too much calcium in your blood or urine. This can happen with some cancers.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take calcium and ergocalciferol tablets
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about calcium and ergocalciferol, and will provide you with a list of any side-effects which you may experience from taking the tablets.
- Take calcium with ergocalciferol tablets exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to. It is usual to take one tablet each day. You can take the tablet at whatever time of day you find easiest to remember but try to take your doses at the same time of day each day, as this will help you to take your doses regularly.
- Crush the tablet before swallowing. It will help to take it with a drink of water. Alternatively, you can chew the tablet if you prefer.
- If you forget to take a dose, do not worry, just take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep any regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with calcium and ergocalciferol.
Can calcium and ergocalciferol tablets cause problems?
The tablets are unlikely to cause any side-effects when taken as directed. Rarely, they may cause stomach upset. If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets then please ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How to store calcium and ergocalciferol tablets
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 69th Edition (Mar 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Helen Huins