A randomized double-blinded placebo controlled trial of ergocalciferol 40,000 versus 100,000 IU per week for vitamin D inadequacy in institutionalized postmenopausal women

  • Pattranid Mueangpaisarn
  • Sumapa ChaiamnuayEmail author
Original Article



Vitamin D inadequacy is common in institutionalized post-menopausal women who are at the highest risk for osteoporotic fracture.


To evaluate efficacy and safety of ergocalciferol 40,000 versus 100,000 IU per week for 12 weeks for vitamin D inadequacy in institutionalized postmenopausal women.


A randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 94 institutionalized subjects with baseline 25(OH)D levels < 30 ng/mL. Subjects were randomized to receive ergocalciferol 40,000 (standard dose) or ergocalciferol 100,000 IU (high dose) per week. Serum 25(OH)D levels, calcium, phosphate, handgrip strength, time up and go (TUG) test and quality of life by EQ-5D-5L were measured at baseline and 12 weeks after randomization.


Of the 94 subjects enrolled, 85 subjects completed the study. Subjects in the high dose group had higher mean 25(OH)D levels than subjects in the standard group (51.73 ± 19.35 and 34.5 ± 9.12, p < 0.001). More subjects in the high dose group (90.9%) achieved optimal 25(OH)D levels (> 30 ng/mL) than those in the standard group (65.9%), p = 0.007. In a subgroup analysis of subjects with vitamin D deficiency (< 20 ng/mL, n = 44) and severe vitamin D deficiency (< 10 ng/mL, n = 9), more subjects in the high dose group achieved optimal 25(OH)D levels than those in the standard group (88% and 100% versus 47.4% and 16.7% with p of 0.007 and 0.018, respectively). There were no differences in handgrip strength, TUG, EQ-5D-5L and adverse events between groups.


Subjects who received high dose ergocalciferol achieved more optimal 25(OH)D levels than those who received standard dose. High dose ergocalciferol is preferred to optimize 25(OH)D levels in subjects with severe vitamin D deficiency.


Vitamin D Ergocalciferol Postmenopausal women Institutionalized 



The funding from the Phramongkutklao College of Medicine.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was approved by the Human Subjects Research Committee of the Royal Thai Army Ethic Committee (number 1346/2559) and registered in Thai Clinical Trials Registry: register number TCTR20171122002. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All patients voluntarily signed a form indicating their informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rheumatic Disease Unit, Department of Internal MedicinePhramongkutklao Hospital and Phramongkutklao College of MedicineBangkokThailand

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