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Overdosed on Vitamin D drops... Help!!

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  • Overdosed on Vitamin D drops... Help!!

    After a recent Vitamin D blood test , my doctor noticed that I had a severe Vitamin D deficiency (19 ng/dI … optimal 60-80) and prescribed me to take 12,000 IU’s of Vitamin D per day for 3 months and then drop to 4,000 per day.

    I ordered a bottle of NSI Vitamin D-3 drops from Vitacost (cheaper than Carlsons and more servings... 900 2,000 IU servings for $9.99).

    I consider myself to be a pretty smart fellow , but in my absent mindedness when I read the serving on the bottle of 1 drop = 2000 IU’s… I translated it as 1 dropper = 2,000 so I needed to take 5 per day.

    The last several days the symptoms I have been experiencing before such as fatigue, irritability have been off the charts. I have also been experiencing a little vertigo, which I have had before so thought maybe my body is just adjusting.

    I notice that the bottle was half empty today and then it hit me that maybe it was really just one drop, not dropper.

    If there are truly 900 2,000 IU servings in the bottle, then I have ingested about 900,000 IU's (150,000 IU's per day) of Vitamin D-3 over the last 6 days. That is basically about 3 months worth!

    I am not sure what to do. I have read a bit on the net of the side effects and possible negative results from a Vitamin D overdose.

    Should I just not take anymore Vitamin D for the next 12 weeks and then start again?

    Should I take something else to flush my system?

    I need some help here.

    Please provide any guidance here.

    Last edited by ALLBIZNISS; 01-02-2011, 10:16 PM.

  • #2
    You might want to read this: and the articles linked from it.

    Essentially, you will need a lot of Vitamin A and possibly magnesium to overcome the toxicity of your Vitamin D3 overdose. I can't say how much of either will help without introducing its own toxicity, especially with the Vitamin A. Taking magnesium until it induces diarrhoea is safe, if unpleasant
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


    • #3
      May also want to double check the bottle and/or check out the manufacturers website for actual stats of the supplement.
      My vit D drops are only a few hundred per drop and approx 5,000 IU per dropper full.
      If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

      Originally posted by tfarny
      If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least


      • #4
        I would call your local poison control center, ASAP, and do whatever they advise. They will know who to refer you to and will give you the same instructions that they'd be giving to the ER doc if you showed up at an ER and s/he called them. You can also call the manufacturer. They may give you the run-around, but maybe not. They are probably more aware than anyone of the potential toxicity of what they are selling. Keep us posted!


        • #5
          The obvious thing to do is to STOP taking the Vitamin D. If the toxicity is not immediately serious, you can let the levels go down over time until you feel safe enough to use it again. Be careful with nutritional supplements. They are not safe just because they are healthy. All vitamins and minerals are toxic and even fatal at some point.


          • #6
            Originally posted by peril View Post
            You might want to read this: and the articles linked from it.

            Essentially, you will need a lot of Vitamin A and possibly magnesium to overcome the toxicity of your Vitamin D3 overdose. I can't say how much of either will help without introducing its own toxicity, especially with the Vitamin A. Taking magnesium until it induces diarrhoea is safe, if unpleasant
            This is not good advice as "a lot of" Vitamin A in retinol form can be highly toxic. People have died from eating the livers of Arctic species of animals with extreme levels of retinol Vitamin A.


            • #7
              Agree with Stancel. DO NOT take Retinol, especially in excess.

              Here's a full quote of the Vitamin D Council page on vitamin D toxicity. From looking at this, I would advise you to contact Dr Cannell. He will certainly be interested in your case and you are likely to show up on the next version of this page!

              Vitamin D3 Cholecalciferol Toxicity The Truth About Vitamin D Toxicity

              VITAMIN D TOXICITY FEARS UNWARRANTED -- Is vitamin D toxic? Not if we take the same amount nature intended when we go out in the sun. Vieth attempted to dispel unwarranted fears in medical community of physiological doses of vitamin D in 1999 with his exhaustive and well-written review.

              Is toxicity a concern for you? If so, then increase your levels the way nature intended, with ultraviolet B light! His conclusions: fear of vitamin D toxicity is unwarranted, and such unwarranted fear, bordering on hysteria, is rampant in the medical profession. Even Ian Monroe, the chair of the relevant IOM committee, wrote to the Journal to compliment Vieth's work and to promise his findings will be considered at the time of a future Institute of Medicine review. That was more than two years ago.In 1999, Vieth indirectly asked the medical community to produce any evidence 10,000 units of vitamin D a day was toxic, saying "Throughout my preparation of this review, I was amazed at the lack of evidence supporting statements about the toxicity of moderate doses of vitamin D." He added: "If there is published evidence of toxicity in adults from an intake of 250 ug (10,000 IU) per day, and that is verified by the 25(OH)D concentration, I have yet to find it."

              Like most medication, cholecalciferol is certainly toxic in excess, and, like Coumadin, is used as a rodent poison for this purpose. Animal data indicates signs of toxicity can occur with ingestion of 0.5 mg/kg (20,000 IU/kg ), while the oral LD50 (the dose it takes to kill half the animals) for cholecalciferol in dogs is about 88 mg/kg, or 3,520,000 IU/kg. This would be equivalent to a 110-pound adult taking 176,000,000 IU or 440,000 of the 400 unit cholecalciferol capsules.Vieth reports human toxicity probably begins to occur after chronic daily consumption of approximately 40,000 IU/day (100 of the 400 IU capsules).

              Heavy sun exposure when combined with excessive supplement use is a theoretical risk for vitamin D toxicity, but if such a case has been reported, I am not aware of it.Physician ignorance about vitamin D toxicity is widespread. A case report of four patients appeared in the 1997 Annals of Internal Medicine, accompanied by an editorial warning about vitamin D toxicity.

              However, careful examination of the patients reveals that both papers are a testimony to the fact that incompetence about vitamin D toxicity can reach the highest levels of academia. See worst science for a full critique.

              CHOLECALCIFEROL, NOT ERGOCALCIFEROL, IS SAFE -- Although there are documented cases of pharmacological overdoses from ergocalciferol, the only documented case of pharmacological—not industrial—toxicity from cholecalciferol we could find in the literature was intoxication from an over-the-counter supplement called Prolongevity. On closer inspection, it seemed more like an industrial accident but it was interesting because it gave us some idea of the safety of cholecalciferol. The capsules consumed contained up to 430 times the amount of cholecalciferol contained on the label (2,000 IU). The man had been taking between 156,000–2,604,000 IU of cholecalciferol a day (equivalent to between 390–6,500 of the 400 unit capsules) for two years. He recovered uneventfully after proper diagnosis, treatment with steroids, and sunscreen.It is true that a few people may have problems with high calcium due to undiagnosed vitamin D hypersensitivity syndromes such as primary hyperparathyroidism, granulomatous disease, or occult cancers, but a blood calcium level, PTH, 25(OH)D, and calcitriol level should help clarify the cause of the hypersensitivity. Although D can be toxic in excess, the same can be said for water.

              THERAPEUTIC INDEX ----- As a physician, I know that psychotic patients should drink about 8 glasses of water a day. However, many would hurt themselves by regularly drinking 40 glasses a day (called compulsive water intoxication). So you could say that water has a therapeutic index of 5 (40/8).Heaney's recent research indicates that healthy humans utilize about 4,000 units of vitamin D a day (from all sources). However, 40,000 units a day, over several years, will hurt them.

              Therefore, vitamin D has a therapeutic index of 10 (40,000/4,000)—twice as safe as water. We are not saying vitamin D is as safe as water, we are saying vitamin D is safe when used in the doses nature uses.

              SUN SUPPLIES 10,000 UNITS OF VITAMIN D -- The single most important fact anyone needs to know about vitamin D is how much nature supplies if we behave naturally, e.g., go into the sun. Humans make at least 10,000 units of vitamin D within 30 minutes of full body exposure to the sun, what is called a minimal erythemal dose. Vitamin D production in the skin occurs within minutes and is already maximized before your skin turns pink.Fear of the fatal form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, keeps many people out of the sun. The problem with the theory is that the incidence of melanoma continues to increase dramatically although many people have been completely avoiding the sun for years.

              We are not saying sunburns are safe, they are not. We are saying that brief, full-body sun exposure (minimal erythemal doses) may slightly increase your risk of skin cancer but it is a much smarter thing to do than dying of vitamin D deficiency.

              HYPERSENSITIVITY, NOT TOXICITY -- Vitamin D hypersensitivity syndromes are often mistaken for vitamin D toxicity, as they cause hypercalcemia. The most common is primary hyperparathyroidism although some cases of "primary" hyperparathyroidism are actually secondary to Vitamin D deficiency. Patients with hyperparathyroidism should only take vitamin D under the care of a knowledgeable endocrinologist. Granulomatous diseases such as sarcoidosis, granulomatous TB, and some cancers can also cause Vitamin D hypersensitivity, as the granuloma or the tumor may make excessive amounts of activated Vitamin D, thus raising serum calcium. These patients should not take vitamin D except when under the care of a knowledgeable physician.Other syndromes occur when abnormal tissue subverts the kidney's normal regulation of endocrine calcitriol production. Aberrant tissues, usually granulomatous, convert 25(OH)D into calcitriol causing high blood calcium. The most common such conditions are sarcoidosis, oat cell carcinoma of the lung, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma but other illnesses can cause the syndrome and they can occur while the patient's 25(OH)D levels are normal, or even low. For that reason, while rare, it is advisable to seek a knowledgeable physician's care when repleting your vitamin D system, especially if you are older, have sarcoidosis, cancer, or other granulomatous diseases. In such high-risk patients, periodic monitoring of 25(OH)D levels and serum calcium will alert the physician to the need to do more tests—such as calcitriol or PTH—and take further action.It seems clear that restoring physiological serum levels of 25(OH)D will help many more patients that it will hurt. In fact, living in America today while worrying about vitamin D toxicity is like dying of thirst in the desert while worrying about drowning.

              John Jacob Cannell MD

              Executive Director
              updated 2009.06.20
              Last edited by slacker; 01-03-2011, 01:43 AM. Reason: get some line breaks in there


              • #8
                Originally posted by Stancel View Post
                This is not good advice as "a lot of" Vitamin A in retinol form can be highly toxic. People have died from eating the livers of Arctic species of animals with extreme levels of retinol Vitamin A.
                The linked articles above make it clear that there is a relationship between Vitamins A & D and magnesium and there are first hand anecdotes of both Vitamin A and magnesium being used to treat Vitamin D toxicity. Yes, magnesium is the safest option. As I was careful to point out, Vitamin A has its own toxicity so you must be careful how much you take. Nevertheless, it has been demonstrated to counter Vitamin D toxicity so is worthy of consideration in this case if you have taken as much Vitamin D as you suspect
                Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


                • #9
                  I agree with others - DON'T EXPERIMENT WITH THIS.


                  CALL POISON CONTROL ASAP

                  Please inform us of your results,


                  • #10
                    See a toxicologist.


                    • #11
                      I have no idea what you *should* do, but wanted to share (perhaps to give you a little bit of peace of mind--NOT to keep you from taking action/getting help) that my husband did something similar for at least a week. Our D is 2000 ius per drop, and he interpereted 3 drops to be 3 squeezes of the dropper--essentially taking a whole droppers-worth a day for some time (at least a week.) I noticed we were going through the D rather quickly, and happened to see him taking it one day and freaked out a bit and told him to take a break from it, showing him how much a drop actually is. I don't recall him taking any steps other than avoiding D for a bit--but he has not shown any negative reactions from doing it.

                      ***I do agree w/ others to contact your doc and/or poison control. Since your doc did prescribe it in the first place, he/she might have some helpful advice on what to do about it.

                      Good luck!!!
                      My Before/After Pics
                      Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                      "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco


                      • #12
                        Let's all take a deep breath of sanity and rational thinking for a moment.

                        Poison control, the ER and a toxicologist will not know what to do.

                        Studies done using single doses of 500,000 IU vitamin D administered one time, while not ideal, indicate that 500,000 IU's will not only not cause toxicity but will actually just bring levels up to normal, then within six months, levels are again deficient. You've taken nearly double that. I suspect that if you test at 6-12 weeks, you'll see levels at around 120-140 ng/mL. One individual who took over 2 million IUs (accidentally) did have symptoms of toxicity but his symptoms resolved with no permanent damage. Chances are that there is no problem in your case - especially given that your levels were so low to begin with.

                        While I don't know with certainty, based on what I do know of D physiology, it seems likely that the following would be appropriate and prudent:
                        Take sufficient magnesium (400-1000 mg per day from all sources)
                        Sufficient calcium (250-500 mg per day FROM ALL SOURCES not take calcium or eat dairy in excess of that amount)
                        Zinc (15-30 mg per day from all sources)
                        Vitamin K (1 drop per day of Thorne Vitamin K2 from
                        Vitamin A--take one *single* dose of 100,000 IU right now, then every day 10 days take one 10,000 IU capsule

                        Sufficient vitamin A will insure that D doesn't take over A receptors and/or cause a relative deficiency of A
                        High serum D causes a relative increase in gut calcium absorption which is why it's prudent to control calcium intake.
                        Vitamin K2 insures that the calcium goes where calcium is supposed to go rather than allowing it to settle in soft tissues (ie kidneys, heart, blood vessels)

                        To me, it would seem that over time, this is really a non-issue. I'd test levels at 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 18 weeks then start supplementing again when tests indicate - ie at 55-65 ng/mL, start taking 2,000 IU, then test again 3 months after that to see how D level is being maintained.

                        Be sure you're using LabCorp - not Quest - for testing. See my linked D doc below for more information. Even better than LabCorp may be ZRT's test via the D Action Study at

                        My linked docs below may have helpful info. If you can't access them once at the link destination, click 'request access' and I'll add you.

                        Last edited by cillakat; 01-03-2011, 07:21 AM.

                        iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                        • #13
                          Thank you all. I did call poison control and the rep said that he had never worked with anyone who had taken as muchm and really didn't know what to do. Since I haven't been vomiting or experiencing any other tell tell signs of toxicity he said I could go to the doctor and get some blood test and ekg but that was about it. After reading the below from the Vitamin D counsel and reading some of the other post and especially Cillakat's and FairayRae I feel much better about the situation.

                          Man what was I thinking.

                          I will lay off of the Vitamin D for at least 2 months and test again from there.

                          Thanks again everyone.


                          • #14
                            Personally, I would just eat a lot of sweet potatoes and spinach. Should balance out the D3 to a fairly good extent.


                            • #15
                              I got a reply back to an email from the Vitamin D counsel as well...

                              "Hello Javan,

                              The only way to know for sure if one is vitamin D toxic is to test serum levels. I can share with you some information that will help you understand the situation, however, you still should consult with your physician.

                              Given a starting blood level of 19 ng/mL, 150,000 IU per day for six days should not raise levels to toxic range, which begins at around 200 ng/mL. The symptoms of vitamin D toxicity are weakness, nausea, vomiting, pain in the joints, loss of appetite, and weight loss.


                              The symptoms you describe sound more like symptoms of magnesium deficiency, which is most likely the problem. Because the body needs adequate amounts of magnesium to draw from in order to metabolize vitamin D, increasing one's vitamin D levels creates a greater need for magnesium in the body. If enough cellular magnesium is not available, as in deficiency, symptoms of that deficiency can arise.

                              Because magnesium deficiency is epidemic, this has occurred with others and may do so at any dosage of vitamin D, though the risk will be greater at higher doses of vitamin D. When this happens, the problem is not the vitamin D - or too much vitamin D - but magnesium deficiency. One needs to simply cut back on the vitamin D dose, increase total body magnesium stores, then resume the D, though not at such a high dose as 150,000 IU per day. If the magnesium deficiency symptoms are really bad one may want to avoid all vitamin D products and foods containing it, including sun exposure if applicable, until magnesium levels have increased.

                              To help put risk of vitamin D toxicity into perspective, please read our newsletter about Gary Null, the health guru who unknowingly was supplementing with two million IUs of vitamin D per day for about a month or so. He did become toxic, but it took a lot more than 150,000 IU for six days.


                              Again, your doctor can help you determine if you are indeed vitamin D toxic.

                              Best wishes and may your new year be filled with sunshine,

                              Dana Clark
                              Vitamin D Council"