22-Feb-13 8:00 AM  CST

Vitamin D Dosage Warnings: Labels Do Not Always Match Up

Pharmacy technicians should be aware of the various prescription drugs on the market, but also aware of the different kinds of supplements on pharmacy shelves.  Many supplements interfere with various prescription drugs so it is important to know about supplement dosages, how the supplement works, and how it can help or hurt a patient. 

Recently, analysis by Kaiser Permanente and a study published in JAMA’s Journal Internal Medicine states that many vitamin D supplement labels are not true to the supplements in the bottle.  Vitamin D content was as low as 9 percent and as high as 140 percent compared to the vitamin D dosage listed on the bottle.  This can be a huge problem as too much vitamin D can be harmful and too little vitamin D may not be helpful for those with vitamin D deficiencies. 

Pharmacy technicians should recommend that patients select a vitamin D supplement that is tested annually by the U.S. Pharmacopeial or USP.  In addition, suggesting a name brand vitamin can help to ensure quality and safe dosages. 

Pharmacy technicians may be interested to know that a full list of verified supplements can be found by going to the USP’s web site at http://www.usp.org/usp-verification-services/usp-verified-dietary-supplements/participating-companies

1.  Staupe, Vincent, & Mary Sawyers.  “Vitamin D Potency Varies Widely in Dietary Supplements.”  Kaiser Permanente Press Release.  Web.  11 Feb 2013.     

2.  Painter, Kim.  “Vitamin D Doses Often Don’t Match Labels, Study Says.”  USA Today.  Web.  11 Feb 2013. 

3.  Wasson, Nick.  “Vitamin D Supplement Dosage Warning.”  ABC News.  Web.  11 Feb 2013.          

4.  Haiken, Melanie.  “That Vitamin D You’re Taking?  It May Not Be What It Appears.”  Forbes.  Web.  11 Feb 2013.       

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer S. O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

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