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Injectable Vitamin D may be needed in some cases of Vitamin D deficiency or inability to increase Vitamin D level with oral supplements. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. It plays an important role in bone metabolism and structure. It has also been found to affect the immune regulation, control off- inflammatory reactions, and also be involved in a number of broad cellular functions throughout the body. Until a few years ago, very little attention was given to vitamin D levels. More recently, we have realized that due to a number of factors, there is a tendency for vitamin D deficiency to be present in the U.S. adult population. This finding is even more pronounced and severe in overweight patients.
The recommended dose for vitamin D supplements is much larger today than it was a few years ago. For example, it is not too uncommon to recommend an average dose of a 50,000 (IU) international unit of vitamin D by mouth on a daily basis after the duodenal switch operation.
Since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it is important that the appropriate type be utilized. Dry formulation of vitamin D is needed to ensure adequate absorption. There are a number of manufacturers that produce these. When searching for Dry Vitamin D the type a patient should be looking for is “Dry” D3-50. Some larger supplement manufacturer’s carry these products. The links to these manufacturers is located here. The “Dry” type of Vitamin D should NOT be taken with fatty or oily foods. Also to optimizes absorption they should be taken either 30 minutes prior to eating food or 30 minutes after eating.
If you are deficient in Vitamin D after trying “Dry” or water miscible Vitamin D then intramuscular Vitamin D injections might be an effective way to normalize your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D can be formulated and purchased from any compounding pharmacies that are equipped and experienced in the interpretation of injectable vitamins and minerals. Your primary care WILL need to contact the compounding pharmacy of their choose for the recommendations and be willing to make the injections available to you. UNLESS you have been told to stop taking your daily “Dry” Vitamin D tablet supplement you should continue taking it after the injection.
We are supplying the following so that your PCP will understand the research behind injectable Vitamin D and to hopefully ensure that every patient is armed with this knowledge. Vitamin D deficiencies are becoming more common place in society due to the use of sunscreen and sun shielding clothing and hats, not only Duodenal Switch patients.
This is a research paper out of Finland that discusses injectable Vitamin D for the aged. The information can translate to anyone who finds themselves in a Vitamin D deficit state. https://www.gwern.net/docs/nootropics/1992-heikinheimo.pdf
This research paper is out of Australia where despite then sun drenched climate they are experiencing a large amount of people with Vitamin D deficiencies due to sunscreen, veiling, malabsorption, etc.
Below find the order sheet with the Injectable Vitamin D concentration listed. The common dosing for the vitamin D is 600,000 IU, deep IM every 6 months till the levels are normalized. The patient then can take the oral supplements only.
Finally, this is an except from an another Australian research paper describing the use of Megadoses of injectable Vitamin D in patients after Biliopancreatic Diversion which has a malabsorptive component similar to Duodenal Switch.
Just as a reminder, we have no financial interest in any of the vendors that are recommended on our website. Also note, that this is not in any form or fashion a substitute for an evaluation by your primary care physician or your surgeon. This is for information only, and is not to be taken as a recommendation for any particular patients’ condition.
Injectable Vitamin A and Vitamin D can improve vitamin status post weight loss surgery. One of the common side effect of all weight loss surgical procedures is nutritional and/or mineral deficiencies. Patients undergoing weight loss surgical procedures are always instructed to supplement their diet with multivitamin, calcium, iron, vitamin D and other supplements or minerals. If you do not take your supplements regularly you can become deficient. The symptoms associated with vitamin A deficiency is night blindness. Chronic vitamin D deficiency may result in low calcium, osteoporosis and other health-related issues.
Vitamin A and vitamin D, both fat-soluble vitamins, are absorbed by duodenal switch patients only if taken and a dry formulation. An alternative to oral supplement, would be injectable form of these two vitamins. Both of these vitamins can be formulated and purchased from compounding pharmacies that are equipped and experienced with the interpretation of injectable vitamins and minerals. Your primary care WILL need to contact the pharmacy of their choice for the recommendations and be willing to make the injections available to you.
We will gladly be able to provide injectable Vitamin A and Vitamin D for patients whose data laboratory studies are available to us and see us in the office.Please be aware that these are compounded and are not covered by insurance.
We will not be able to provide prescriptions for injectable vitamins to be sent to your primary care or other physicians to provide the injections.
Vitamin D supplement has been discussed previously in my Blog .
The common dosing for the vitamin D is 600,000 IU, deep IM every 6 months till the levels are normalized. The patient then can take the oral supplements only.
Vitamin A supplements was also discussed in my Blog.
The common dosing for the vitamin D is 100,000 IU, deep IM every 2-6 months till the levels are normalized. The patient then can take the oral supplements only.
Vitamin A supplements was also discussed in my Blog.
The common dosing for injectable vitamin A is 50,000 IU, deep IM every 6 months till the blood levels are corrected, and the patient symptoms are resolved.
Just as a reminder, we have no financial interest in any of the vendors that are recommended on our website. Also, note that this is not in any form or fashion a substitute for an evaluation by your primary care physician or your surgeon. This is for information only, and is not to be taken as a recommendation for any particular patients’ condition.
It’s important to understand Vitamin D metabolism and deficiency potential following weight loss surgery Vitamins after DS need to be followed via laboratory blood studies. There are basic vitamin needs but individual needs should be based on medical history, genetics, alimentary limb length, common channel length and other surgical and physiologic determinations. Vitamins after DS are a life long commitment as well as protein needs and hydration. Duodenal Switch is a malabsorptive procedure which requires at least yearly laboratory blood studies, daily vitamins/minerals, daily high protein and daily hydration intake. There is not an all in one vitamin that is adequate for a DS patient or tailored to your individual needs. (example: you may need more Vitamin D and less Vitamin A if you are taking a all-in-one vitamin you can’t get more of one and less of another vitamin)
DS patients are recommended to take Dry forms (water miscible form) of Vitamin A, D3, E, K due to the fat malabsorption after DS. Dry formulations by Biotech are processed so they can be absorbed by a water soluble method after the DS procedure. Vitamin D seems to be the vitamin that can become deficient the easiest, followed by Vitamin A. Take these vitamins away from dietary fat.
In some cases, patients may need injectable Vitamin A or D to improve vitamin levels.
Many DS surgeon’s do not recommend Children’s vitamins or chewable vitamins unless there is a specific reason or need for them.
DS Surgeon Blog on Vitamin D:
Webinar on Vitamin D metabolism:
Medications that effect Bone health:
This does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or prescribing. It is simply a compiled list of gathered information. If you are in doubt or have questions please contact your medical healthcare professional.
New FDA regulations for compounding pharmacies has spurred changes in our pricing and ability to provide injectable Vitamin A and Vitamin D. The compounding pharmacies are no longer compounding injectable Vitamin A and there is a nationwide shortage of the national brand of injectable Vitamin A. We have a tentative date of February 2018 when we may be able to obtain injectable Vitamin A. We won’t be able to quote pricing on Vitamin A injections until we are able to orders.
We are able to obtain and supply our patients with injectable Vitamin D but with a price increase.
The following is the letter we received from our compounding pharmacy.
“The healthcare industry has continuously undergone changes in regulations and legislation. The compounding industry is no exception and has faced rigorous regulatory requirements this past year such as new testing specifications and compliance standards.
We are set on facing these demanding challenges by meeting and exceeding these new regulatory requirements. We want to assure you we will continue to provide the best products on the market for you and your patients. Quality and safety remain a top priority. We understand that our pharmacy plays a vital role in providing care to your patients. The increase in pricing is a reflection of the additional cost in producing and testing the product based on regulatory specifications.”
Unfortunately, we have been informed that the company we order our Vitamin A injections from will no longer have Vitamin A available. We have contacted several other companies and they also do not have it available. The manufacturer of Vitamin A states that there is a nationwide shortage of injectable Vitamin A and it may be available next year.
Our office has a few vials left and we are hoping that we can get to as many people as possible before we are completely out. We will continue to look for a source of Vitamin A injections. We will let you know when it is no longer available and when we receive a new shipment. Thank you for your understanding and we apologize for this issue.
Information on Vitamin A deficiency here.
You can find our list of recommended supplements here.
Just as a reminder, we have no financial interest in any of the vendors that are recommended on our website. Also, please note that this is not in ANY form or fashion a substitute for the evaluation by your surgeon or primary care physician. This is informational only and is not to be taken as a recommendation for any patients’ condition.
We have received notice that the FDA and the compounding pharmacy have changed their regulations for several medications. Unfortunately, this affects our office and Duodenal Switch patients in regards to injectable Vitamin D and Vitamin A. In the past, we have been able to have injectable Vitamin A and injectable Vitamin D in bulk in our office. The new regulations require that a patient be assigned to the medication, so we will be unable to have it on hand in our office. This is out of our hands and control.
We are requesting that if you are anticipating the need for injectable vitamins that you have your laboratory results in our office at least 3 weeks prior to your office visit. This will give our staff adequate time to order your injectable vitamins to be available at your visit.
Injectable Vitamin D may be needed in some cases of Vitamin D deficiency or inability to increase Vitamin D level with oral supplements. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. It plays an important role in bone metabolism and structure. It has also been found to affect the immune regulation, control off- inflammatory reactions, and also be involved in a number of broad cellular functions throughout the body.
Research and information regarding Injectable Vitamin D.
Thank you for your understanding in this manner.
Thank you to Contributor: Mariam Michelle Gyulnazaryan
Vitamins are organic, essential nutrients that are necessary to keep your body in good health. Most vitamins must be obtained through diet because they cannot be synthesized in the body. However, the human body is able to make its own vitamin D in the skin through sun exposure or it can be obtained by food and supplements of Vitamin D3.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is responsible for regulating muscle contraction, immune function, bone health, and intestinal absorption of magnesium, calcium, phosphate, iron, and zinc. Good sources of Vitamin D include sun exposure, dairy products, fatty fish, fortified orange juice, cod liver oil, mushrooms, and supplements.
There are two types of Vitamin D: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Both types have the same mechanism of action, but different sources and kinetics.
Ergocalciferol is easily obtained through Vitamin D-rich foods in normal anatomy. However, a post Duodenal Switch patient will have less absorption of Vitamin D via food due to fat malabsorption. Ergocalciferol is hydroxylated to ercalcidiol [25(OH)D2] in the liver. Its second hydroxylation takes places in the kidney, where it is converted to the active form of Vitamin D2 known as ercalcitriol [1,25(OH)2D2]. Now in it’s active form, Vitamin D2 can bind to the Vitamin D receptor (VDR) and help the body where it’s needed.
In the epidermis of the skin, precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) forms cholecalciferol as a result of UVB radiation. Several factors such as increased skin pigmentation, age, and sunscreen application reduce the skin’s production of choleciferol (6). Cholecalciferol is hydroxylated in the liver to become calcidiol [25(OH)D3]. It is then moved to the kidney for further hydroxylation to Vitamin D3’s active form known as calcitriol [1,25(OH)2D3], also called calcifediol. The active form allows binding to VDR for biological activity.
Both forms of Vitamin D have been shown to effectively increase 25(OH)D levels. Research shows that after administering a single dose of 50,000 international units (IU) Vitamin D2 or D3, both experienced a similar increase in serum 25(OH)D concentration. However, Vitamin D2 levels rapidly declined while Vitamin D3 levels remained high (1). Further studies have confirmed that Vitamin D3 is more effective in elevating and maintaining 25(OH)D levels for a longer amount of time (5). Scientists believe the most reasonable explanation for Vitamin D3’s substantial efficacy is its higher affinity to metabolites, which results in a longer circulating half-life than Vitamin D2 making it more potent(4). For a post Duodenal Switch patient, due to fat malabsorption, it is important to use “Dry” Water Miscible form of Vitamin D3.
A 25-hydroxy Vitamin D blood test is the most accurate way to measure levels. A level between 20 ng/mL-50 ng/mL may be considered sufficient, however in our bariatric practice we would like to keep the levels in 60-80 ng/mL. It is worth nothing that recently the reference ranges was increase to 30-100 ng/mL. Treatments of Vitamin D deficiency include frequent sun exposure, fortified foods, supplements, and injectables. in addition to 50000IU of vitamin D on daily basis in emulsified (water soluble) formulary or unto 600,000IU in injection form. The parallel guide for adequate vitamin D supplementation is normalization of PTH levels. Monitoring these levels is imperative in a post bariatric patient.
In conclusion, studies have shown that Vitamin D2 and D3 are not interchangeable. Although they have comparable absorption, Vitamin D2 has a shorter duration of action which makes it less potent than Vitamin D3. Researchers have shown that neither form is harmful to treat Vitamin D deficiency, but they should not be considered bio-equivalent.
1. Armas LAG, Hollis BW, Heaney RP. Vitamin D2 is much less effective than Vitamin D3 in humans. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2004; 89(11) 5387-5391.
2. Creighton D, Ignaszewski A, Francis G. Vitamin D: new d-fence against cardiovascular disease. BCMJ. 2012; 54(3) 136-140.
3. Holick MF, Schnoes HK, DeLuca HF. Identification of 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol, a form of Vitamin D3 metabolically active in the intestine. PNAS. 1971; 68(4) 803-804.
4. Hollis BW. Comparison of equilibrium and disequilibrium assay conditions for ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol and their major metabolites. J Steroid Biochem. 1984; 21(1) 81-86.
5. Houghton LA, Vieth R. The case against ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 84 (4): 694-697.
6. Howick Mf, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gordon CM, Hanley DA, Heaney RP, Murad MH, Weaver CM. Evaluation, treatment and prevention of Vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011; 96(7) 1911-1930.
7. Johal M, Levin A. Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone in general populations: understandings in 2009 and applications to chronic kidney disease. CJASN. 2009; 4(9) 1508-1514.
8. Tetley EA, Brule D, Cheney MC, Davis Cd, Esslingen KA, Fischer PWF, Friedl KE, Green-Finestone LA, Guenther PM, Klurfeld DM, L’Abbe MR, McMurry KY, Starke-Reed PE, Trumbo PR. Dietary reference intakes for Vitamin D: justification for a review of the 1997 values. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 89(3) 719-727.
9. Tripkovic L, Lambert H, Hard K, Smith CP, Bucca G, Penson S, Chope G, Hypponen E, Berry J, Vieth R, Lanham-New S. Comparison of Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 95(6) 1357-1364.
The following research articles are information that Dr. Ara Keshishian has had published or participated in on a variety of subjects dealing with Bariatric Surgery, General Surgery and revision to weight loss surgery, in particular Duodenal Switch, Vertical Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass RNY to Duodenal Switch and Adjustable Gastric Banding procedure revisions.