What are the Side Effects of Vitamin D2?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
A bottle of vitamin D2 supplements.
A bottle of vitamin D2 supplements.

Vitamin D2 is the manmade form of vitamin D, and is also known as ergocalciferol. It is often used to treat rickets, hypoparathyroidism, and other conditions that can be helped with extra calcium or phosphate, but there are some side effects. Some do not require immediate medical attention, though they should be reported to a doctor eventually, such as heartburn, dry mouth, nausea, constipation, and headaches. On the other hand, some side effects of vitamin D2 call for immediate medical care, including excessive thirst, increased urination, bone pain, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures, or sudden fatigue. Risk of allergic reaction is low, but the side effects include itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, or a rash on the skin.

Nausea when taking vitamin D2 should be reported to a doctor at some point.
Nausea when taking vitamin D2 should be reported to a doctor at some point.

Some side effects of vitamin D2 are bothersome, but not typically dangerous, and should simply be reported at the next doctor appointment. Digestive complications may occur, including loss of appetite, nausea, and constipation. A metallic taste in the mouth, coupled with a dry feeling in the mouth overall, may also appear. A headache and mood swings can also show up when taking vitamin D2. These side effects of vitamin D2 are usually rare, and typically stop when the patient stops taking this vitamin, but a doctor should be notified before the patient discontinues use so that another medication may be substituted when possible.

An allergic reaction to vitamin D2 may include hives.
An allergic reaction to vitamin D2 may include hives.

There are some side effects of vitamin D2 that should be reported immediately to a doctor or emergency care clinic. Harmful side effects include an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and seizures, all of which most people would likely notice right away and report to a doctor. On the other hand, some side effects of vitamin D2 may not be immediately obvious, but they are just as harmful, such as sudden weight loss, extreme fatigue, and both increased thirst and urination. Additionally, if any pain in the bones or muscles is noticed, it should be brought to a doctor's attention as soon as possible.

Sudden weight loss is a side effect of D2 that should be evaluated by a doctor.
Sudden weight loss is a side effect of D2 that should be evaluated by a doctor.

Certain patients may find that they are allergic to this vitamin and cannot continue using it. The symptoms of an allergic reaction often include a rash, hives, or itchy skin after taking it. Some people may even find that their face, lips, and tongue swell up or itch after taking vitamin D2, often leading to trouble breathing. Dizziness is another sign of an allergic reaction to vitamin D2, and this and other symptoms call for emergency medical care.

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    • A bottle of vitamin D2 supplements.
      A bottle of vitamin D2 supplements.
    • Nausea when taking vitamin D2 should be reported to a doctor at some point.
      Nausea when taking vitamin D2 should be reported to a doctor at some point.
    • An allergic reaction to vitamin D2 may include hives.
      An allergic reaction to vitamin D2 may include hives.
    • Sudden weight loss is a side effect of D2 that should be evaluated by a doctor.
      Sudden weight loss is a side effect of D2 that should be evaluated by a doctor.
    • Doses of vitamin D2 can trigger headaches and nausea in some users.
      Doses of vitamin D2 can trigger headaches and nausea in some users.