Vitamin D3 Injection Side Effects
Medically reviewed by Leann Poston, M.D.
Most people know that going outside, even for 20 minutes, is an important part of everyone’s daily routine for many reasons. From improving your focus and memory to reducing inflammation, getting into the sunlight and staying active can change someone’s overall health and wellbeing. The biggest reason scientists recommend getting outside is to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, otherwise known as the “sunshine vitamin.”
While some people get appropriate vitamin D levels from exposure to sunlight and from eating foods that naturally contain vitamin D, quite a few people are deficient in vitamin D. They don’t even know that they are at risk. Low levels of this essential vitamin can be dangerous, so supplementation is a great option and is most effective when injected directly either in a muscle or given IV by a health care provider. Learn more about what vitamin D is, Vitamin D3 injection side effects, and its benefits, to determine if it’s the right option for you.
What Is Vitamin D3?
Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is a form of vitamin D. This form of vitamin D is natural, and it is produced by your body from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is also found naturally in a variety of foods, mostly fatty fish, eggs, cheese, liver, and fortified food products. Vitamin D is essential for the body’s healthy functioning, as it is required for maintaining proper bone structure, as well as for regulating the minerals calcium and phosphorus. In addition, Vitamin D plays a role in reducing inflammation and maintaining appropriate glucose levels. Vitamin D also supports lung function, immune and nervous system health, and regulates insulin levels in the body, so it supports the management of glucose levels (NIH, 2020).
Also read – Vitamin B12 Supplementation: An Overview
How To Know If You Have a Vitamin D Deficiency
There are a variety of reasons that you may have a vitamin D deficiency. Whether you are lactose intolerant, eat a vegan diet, or don’t have a lot of exposure to sunlight, you may be low on the essential Vitamin D. Other causes of a vitamin D deficiency include darker skin and sunscreen use, which prevent the body from absorbing sunlight at the high levels that it needs to. Other groups at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency include breastfed infants, who typically don’t get adequate amounts of the vitamin through human milk consumption. Older adults are also at a higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency, partly because the body’s natural ability to produce it decreases with time. People who live in areas of high pollution, or who are homebound and don’t get exposure to sunlight, are also more likely to develop a vitamin D deficiency.
There are a couple of symptoms that may indicate you have a deficiency. Bone pain and muscle weakness may be signs that you have low blood levels of vitamin D, although symptoms are oftentimes subtle or nonexistent. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to conditions such as osteomalacia, the softening of the bones, or osteoporosis, which is a common disease where the bones become porous and weaker, and at high risk of fracturing. Other symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include regular sickness or infection, fatigue and tiredness, low mood, hair loss, and impaired or slowed healing of wounds (Cleveland Clinic, 2019).
It is dangerous to leave a vitamin D deficiency untreated, as it may lead to serious conditions or other risks, including cancer, cognitive impairment, and a heightened risk of severe cardiovascular disease. It is important to boost your body’s supply of vitamin D by getting sufficient sunlight, eating foods that are rich in vitamin D, as well as oral or injectable supplementation of the vitamin. In order to determine if you have a deficiency or not, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or a telemedicine provider at Invigor Medical and ask them to run a blood test measuring the levels of vitamin D in your body.
Vitamin D3 Injection Side Effects
While it is true that most people do not experience any side effects when supplementing vitamin D, there are a few side effects associated with vitamin D3 injections that patients should be aware of before beginning treatment and during the injections. Before beginning treatment with vitamin D3, you should ensure that you do not have an allergy to the medication, although it is rare to have an allergic reaction (about 2.3%). If you do experience a rash, itching or swelling of the face, tongue and throat, severe dizziness or trouble breathing, then you should seek medical help right away (RxList, 2020)
The most common vitamin D3 side effect is pain and discomfort around the injection site. This can be avoided by alternating the injection site, to avoid any irritation, swelling, or bruising. Other side effects of vitamin D3 injections include nausea, headache, constipation, dry mouth, loss of appetite, or upset stomach (RxList, 2020).
Vitamin D3 injection can be toxic at high doses. Symptoms of vitamin D toxicity are due to increased calcium levels in the blood and can include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, neurologic or psychiatric symptoms, pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, increased urination, excessive thirst, and kidney stones. Therefore, your doctor will probably test your blood levels consistently throughout your treatment, in order to ensure that your vitamin D levels are reaching a normal level and not going above (NIH, 2020).
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Vitamin D is essential to calcium absorption and bone metabolism, and it plays a key role in maintaining strong, healthy bones. If it is taken in excess, or in a way that is not what your doctor prescribed, it can lead to unpleasant symptoms and dangerous complications. It may even be detrimental to bone health if not used appropriately. It is important to stay aware of how you are reacting to vitamin D treatment, and if any of the side effects of the injections persist or worsen, you should contact a doctor immediately. If it is life-threatening or an emergency, such as an allergic reaction or chest pain or difficulty breathing, you should dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital or urgent care facility as soon as possible.
Potential vitamin D3 injection side effects include:
- Growth problems (in children supplementing vitamin D)
- Poor appetite or loss of appetite
- Decreased sex drive
- Mood changes
- Irregular, fast, or slow heartbeat
- Dry mouth or a metallic taste
- Disorientation or dizziness
- Kidney damage
- Increase in thirst
- Weight loss
- Edema, which is swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands
- Bone, joint, or muscle pain
Vitamin D3 Injections
While there are options to supplement vitamin D naturally through food or increased exposure to sunlight, it can also be orally ingested as a pill and injected. The most effective way to return vitamin D levels to normal is to inject the vitamin intramuscularly because it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and will bypass the stomach. Injections into the muscle will be gradually and evenly released into the bloodstream to be utilized by the body. There may be some discomfort or irritation around the injection site, which is why the nurse or healthcare professional administering the shot will most likely rotate the injection site to prevent this. Injections are the fastest way to increase vitamin D levels. Injections are also a good option for those who might forget periodic supplementation through pills, and for those who have poor digestion or absorption rates.
It is typically recommended that injections are given in a series of 2 to 4. For example, you may get your initial injection and then a follow-up injection about 3 months later. Patients with more severe vitamin D deficiencies, however, may require more regular and consistent injections in order to maintain adequate levels. It is likely that your doctor will order blood testing after your first or second injection to monitor the vitamin D levels in your body and assess if you need ongoing treatment, or if your levels stabilize, they may suggest maintenance treatment at a later point in time. Blood testing is important, as vitamin D in excess may be toxic and could pose dangers to the body. So a thorough initial check-up can help you avoid the unwanted vitamin D3 injection side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Vitamin D3 injections safe?
Yes, vitamin D supplementation is considered generally safe for most, and it can even be used for children and women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. However, it is always recommended that you consult with a healthcare practitioner before beginning any kind of new medication. You should also likely perform an allergy test before getting routine injections to ensure that you are not allergic to vitamin D3. Generally, however, it is thought to be safe for most people. If vitamin D is taken in excess in doses of over 4,000 IU per day, however, then it can be dangerous and lead to more severe side effects. Vitamin D toxicity is unlikely under doses of 10,000 IU, although every person will react to and absorb the medication differently (NIH,2020).
How much vitamin D do you need?
This varies depending on a variety of factors, however, the Institute of Medicine recommends that most people need no more than 600 international units (IU) of additional vitamin D3 each day. Some people may need a higher dose, up to 800 IU per day or more, although this should be determined by a trusted doctor. Exceeding the recommended amount of vitamin D is dangerous and can lead to complications and severe vitamin D3 injection side effects (NIH, 2020)
What are rickets?
Rickets is actually the reason that scientists investigated vitamin D more thoroughly. Rickets is a bone disease, mainly occurring in children, that is caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Rickets affects the growing bones, preventing them from calcifying properly, which makes the bones soft and weak. Thankfully, vitamin D supplementation can cure rickets.
What foods are rich in Vitamin D?
Not only does the body naturally produce vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight outdoors, but it is also found in a number of foods. Foods that are rich sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as salmon, red meat, egg yolks, mushrooms, and milk. There are also a variety of products that are fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, cereals, and orange juice. Typically, however, supplementation with food is not always the most effective. It is recommended that most people get anywhere from 600 to 800 international units of vitamin D a day. To give you an idea of how much vitamin D is contained naturally in foods, there is about 570 IU in three ounces of cooked salmon.
Are there any drug interactions with vitamin D supplements?
Yes, there are a few drugs and medications that may interact negatively or affect your treatment if taken alongside vitamin D injections. For example, you should not take vitamin D if you are on Calcipotriene (Dovonex), a psoriasis drug, as it may increase the risk of your body producing too much calcium (hypercalcemia). You should also avoid taking high doses of vitamin D if you are also taking the heart medication, Digoxin (Lanoxin) or blood pressure drug, Verapamil (Verelan, Calan), as these medications might decrease vitamin D’s effectiveness. Other drugs may affect or reduce your absorption of vitamin D, such as Orlistat (Xenical, Alli) and steroid medications. You should consult with a trusted healthcare professional before starting vitamin D3 injections, and they will advise you based on what medication you are currently taking (Medicine Net, n.d).
Where to Get a Vitamin D3 Injection
If you’re looking for a solution to supplement your vitamin D levels effectively, then you may be ready to buy a vitamin D3 injectable solution. Vitamin D3 is a form of the essential vitamin D and can be used to treat vitamin D deficiencies that have been caused by a variety of factors. Not only does supplementing vitamin D strengthen your bones, but it can also improve mental function, support your immune system, and even reduce your risk of certain kinds of cancers. While there may be minor vitamin D3 injection side effects, the benefits of correcting a vitamin D deficiency may far outweigh a deficiency.
If you are ready to see if Vitamin D injections may benefit you consider Invigor Medical as your source. Invigor Medical is a full-service telehealth clinic staffed by medical professionals licensed in your state. After completing your payment information and health history, an Invigor Medical practitioner will contact you. You will only be charged if you are a good candidate for the supplement.
The compounds we use come from Olympia Compounding Pharmacy, an FDA registered and approved facility. Their staff is highly credentialed and qualified to produce high-quality and prescription-grade medications and drugs for patients all over the United States. With state-of-the-art equipment and high-quality chemicals, sterile, and non-sterile products, you can have confidence knowing that you’re receiving pure and tested medication.
To learn more about Invigor Medical and how we can help you feel healthier and happier by treating your vitamin D deficiency, visit the Invigor Medical website at https://invigormedical.com/
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.
- Cleveland Clinic. (2019). Vitamin D Deficiency. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15050-vitamin-d–vitamin-d-deficiency
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin D. (2020). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
- Medicine Net. (n.d.). Calcitriol Injection- Calcijek. Retrieved from https://www.medicinenet.com/calcitriol-injectable/article.htm