Vitamins. Err, what?

Yes, my GP says my vit D level is too low so he put out a prescription for me. Out of curiosity I got it filled today (I'm already taking vit D). I got home and opened the paper bag - to find a bottle labeled................ wait for it.................."vitamins".

Yes, really. Now I have to phone them in the morning and find out what's in them and at what strengths. I mean honestly, dohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

34 Replies

  • Oh dear :( !!!!

  • Ask the pharmacy for the Patient Information Leaflet. I wish it were compulsory to always include one. However, it isn't, but it is your RIGHT to get one.

    That should say exactly what it is.


  • One reason to always collect your own prescription (rather than have it sent directly to the pharmacy) is so that you can scrutinise what the doc has written on it before you hand it over to the pharmacist! And thus be able to check that your paper bag contains what you are expecting. I always check the bag contents before I leave the shop. Surely your GP can't have simply prescribed 'vitamins' ... can he/she?

  • oh yes he could !!!

  • How strange, when I had low vitamin D my label read on the bottle from my pharmacy vitamin D3.

    ummm needs checking. x

  • Almost like getting "Happy pills" or "Pain pills", they walk among us !!

  • Or "Dr Carter's All Purpose Medicine". We think alike.

  • Have you tried Snake Oil? Cures everything.

  • Can't do worse than levothyroxine!

  • Hi Do you see an endo? D, hormonal ,is really their concern. You also need a corrected calcium test before D treatment. Out of range ( high) calcium is dangerous. Just a suggestion, if not seeing an endo, you could suggest to the GP that you should see one on this basis, never mind the rest.Make sure your choice of endo and not the GP`s! All my relevant consultants say that they are not allowed to treat D or even advise on it as so complicated. MY GP will do my vit D but only does one other patient`s in the practice,in a year, not necessary!!!For any one else

    Best wishes,


  • Hi Jackie. No, I don't see an endo but I did see Dr P. Someone else also suggested calcium should be measured, so I feel a call to my GP coming on. Thanks for the suggestion, but I've deliberately not asked for a referral as I feel, rightly or wrongly, that an endo would just muddy the waters having seen Dr P. How many endos recommend NAX and NT?

  • Endo's don't seem to recommend NAX or NT, but the Dermatologist I saw this morning did, so I am going to go back on NA. He also prescribed Sunlight treatment (not in the form of a holiday to sunnier climes though), so that should at least help my Vit D levels.

  • Hi I see your problem, A good endo will base the treatment on what is best for you with consideration to all tests. they wlll also do all the tests needed but also use symptoms etc Any endo, NHS and private instruct the GP on drugs and treatment. if privately without any isurance, ie self funding, will if asked, give the GP instructions er tests etc. However, the emphasis is on good, before asking for a referral, if you want one, essential to do all your research first and not go by GP `s choice. In the mean time, yes D puts calcium up, only the corrected calcium matters, ( 2 done) but essential it is never over range. Also requires a repeat test after 3 months D and calcium. Then sometimes to check calcium not suddenly over range, which can happen. I was on a huge dose of D, Endo scrypt from GP. Ca went over range, mine did after some years. had to reduce D, then still over, stop D, although I have Osteomalacia. Not nice, but safety first!

    Best wishes,


  • I rang Boots, so now I know what's in the "vitamins". Mainly vit A and colecalciferol. Colecalciferol is Vit D3 AND calcium! I'm not taking them.

  • Just to clarify, Colecalciferol is the name for vitamin D3 only (not vit D3 and calcium combined which is what your post above has come across as). The pills you've been given may also contain calcium of course.

  • Hi RedApple. Ok, I was going on what it says on the NHS website - "This medicine is a calcium and vitamin D supplement and helps correct low levels of calcium and vitamin D in the body.". I wonder if that's why people say to be careful that VitD might make your calcium levels too high?

  • Yes, that info is a bit confusing I agree, but it is talking about a vit D3 + calcium combo med :)

  • Ok - now you really have confused me!! Easily done. So is colecalciferol Vit D or Vit D + Calcium????

  • Colecalciferol is vitamin D3. This is the name for the vitamin D that is made by your body when exposed to UVB light from the sun. The synthetic form is what we take as a supplement when we can't get enough sunshine!

    The medicine being described on the page you linked to is a pill that contains both Colecalciferol and calcium. This combo medicine is often given to patients who need calcium (e.g. osteoporosis treatment). Usually the amount of vit D in these combo medicines is minimal (e.g. 400 iu max) and not enough to make a significant difference when trying to raise our D3 level.

    Hope that clarifies :)

  • Ahhh - thanks. Now I get it. :)

  • Hi Not a good idea to take calcium with vit D, although a lot of them come together. Make sure the GP not let off completely by doing the bloods!

    Best wishes,


  • PS - when the surgery rang me, they did say the GP said I could buy vit D rather than take what he prescribed, if I preferred to. He's learning.

  • Hmmmmm He should just be able to prescribe the right ones in the first place ...

  • There are lots of things that doctors "should" be able to do.

  • Ha ha I know my whole surgery of 6 doctors are useless . What I meant was that the vitamin D tablets - just the straight Vitamin D are available to prescribe .

    What I sometimes do is pop into the chemist & look in the book that the doctors use for prescribing ... that way I know what is available & then I can request that .

  • Vitamin D levels are not considered toxic until they reach 250 nmol .

    175 - 200 nmol considered Optimal . NHS thinks your " fine " if over 50 nmol probably over 50 nmol means you won't get rickets .

    Yes you do need to keep an eye on calcium .

    If you have autoimmune conditions you should run at high levels . It is pretty hard to overdose on vitamin D

  • Hi

    My vit D levels were 20 and my GP said she didnt know much about it, so couldnt prescribe anything, so I took advice from here and ordered 5000iu of Vit D3, have been taking them daily, went back to GP and asked when I should get my levels checked again. She told me she would take them now as it had been nearly 4 months. Some good and some bad doctors out there, but still not enough knowledge between them about hypothyroidism, and am not under any endo!!

  • Also if you are low expect to be on HIGH doses . Most doctors have not a clue about this .

    I have been on 60,000 a week for nearly a year & am only reaching 125 nmols now . My boys have been on 40,000 IU & 50,000 IU for 10 months and are now around 130 nmols .

    Calcium is fine .

    Vitamin D is also fine taken in a once a week dose . Which is what we do .

  • Interesting, thanks. My vitD level was 42. I'm taking 2000iu a day at the moment. I'll go back for a retest in a month, and also ask for Calcium. Didn't know you could take VitD just once a week.

  • I would like to suggest that anyone taking Vitamin D3 and/orCalcium and who is worried about Calcium levels either read the book "Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox" or look up information on the web.

  • The more VitD you take the more calcium your body makes which can lead to painful gall stones or calcium being deposited in other harmful places around the body hence why you should always get your calcium levels checked in case they are already high. VitK2 directs the calcium away from the kidney and the heart and deposits it in safe places.

    Moggie x

  • I would love to be able to do this. Vitamin D3 gives me aweful side effects, but then I read people like yourself and boys doing this? Woah is me :( I have been D deficient due to being housebound for years.

  • Hi just been reading all the above post and wondered if anyone could help me recently had tests done and it reads as follows Serum calcium level (XE2Q3) 2.26 mmol/L (2.2 -2.26)

    CORRECTED SERUM CALCIUM LEVEL (44Ic) 2.37 mmol/L (2.2 -2.6 I have just purchased a bog standard Aldi's product of Calcium and Vitamin D 2 per day Vitamin D 5ug RDA100% and Calcium 800mg 100%. Is it safe for me to take these. Would be grateful for any advice as I have read above comments and just want to be sure that I am safe.

  • well, that's so little Vit D you may as well eat a sardine?

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