High-Dose Ergocalciferol May Be Better for Raising Vitamin D Levels

It also may be more effective at lowering parathyroid hormone levels compared with conventional dosing.
It also may be more effective at lowering parathyroid hormone levels compared with conventional dosing.

SAN DIEGO—High-dose rather than conventional-dose ergocalciferol may be more effective at increasing 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and decreasing parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), researchers concluded in a presentation at Kidney Week.

Bancha Satirapoj, MD, and colleagues at Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, studied 63 CKD patients with vitamin D insufficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25-OHD] levels below 30 ng/mL). The researchers randomly assigned patients into 2 groups: a conventional treatment group treated with oral ergocalciferol as recommended by Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) guidelines, and a high-dose oral ergocalciferol group treated with double the recommended dosage of ergocalciferol.

From baseline to 12 weeks, the mean 25-OHD level increased significantly in both groups: from 18.98 to 27.95 ng/mL in the conventional-treatment group and from 18.15 to 32.08 ng/mL in the high-dose group. The increase in 25-OHD levels was significantly greater in the high-dose than conventional-treatment arm (13.64 vs. 8.52 ng/mL). The high-dose group also experienced significantly greater decreases in serum PTH level (-16.75 vs. -0.25 pg/mL). The groups did not differ significantly with respect to serum calcium and phosphate. The researchers observed no adverse effect associated with treatment.

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