Is Vitamin D3 Safe During Pregnancy?

Vitamin D-3 is a form of vitamin D that is readily available as an over-the-counter supplement. This nutrient helps your body perform a variety of functions, including absorb calcium, develop healthy bones and protect itself against infections. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor before beginning treatment with a vitamin B-3 supplement.

Getting enough vitamin D is important during pregnancy. Credit: View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images

Recommended Dosage

When used appropriately, vitamin D-3 supplements are usually safe during pregnancy. When a woman is expecting or breast-feeding, her daily recommended intake of vitamin D is 600 international units or IU. At daily doses in excess of 4000 IU, vitamin D-3 supplements may cause vitamin D toxicity in anyone age 9 or older, including pregnant or nursing women.

Side Effects

Vitamin D-3 is usually well tolerated when used as directed. However, taking a high daily dose of vitamin D-3 may cause an unhealthy increase in your blood levels of this nutrient. Though vitamin D toxicity occurs infrequently, symptoms of this condition include nausea, appetite loss, headache, dry mouth, increased urination, weakness, fatigue, constipation, bone pain and itchy skin. You can avoid such complications by consulting your doctor to ensure you take the correct dosage of vitamin D-3.

Medication Interactions

Treatment with vitamin D-3 supplements may not be appropriate for pregnant women who take certain medications. Vitamin D-3 supplements may reduce the effectiveness of atorvastatin. Pregnant women should also be aware that certain medications may lower their vitamin D levels. These medications include mineral oil, orlistat, anti-seizure medications, antacids and bile acid sequestrants. In addition, isoniazide, estrogen and thiazide, a diuretic, may increase blood levels of vitamin D, which may elevate the risk of toxicity.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Pregnant women who don't get enough vitamin D daily may be at an increased risk of experiencing pregnancy complications, including preeclamsia, gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginosis, a type of vaginal infection. These pregnancy complications may also result in preterm labor or low infant birth weight. In addition, women with low vitamin D levels may be more likely to need a Caesarean section, or c-section, at the time of delivery.

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