The effect of intramuscular vitamin D (cholecalciferol) on serum 25OH vitamin D levels in older female acute hospital admissions

Ir J Med Sci. 2010 Mar;179(1):57-61. doi: 10.1007/s11845-009-0410-9. Epub 2009 Aug 28.


Introduction: Many studies have demonstrated the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in the older population.

Objective: This study sought to determine whether supplementation with intramuscular vitamin D improved 25OH vitamin D levels significantly.

Subjects: Ninety female inpatients aged over 65 years were assigned to receive 300,000 IU of intramuscular vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) or no intervention.

Methods: Baseline 25OH vitamin D and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels were taken and repeated 3 months after supplementation.

Results: Patients who received treatment showed a significant improvement in 25OH vitamin D levels, from 25.5 to 81 nmol/L with 11% remaining deficient. No patient became hypercalcaemic after treatment.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is common throughout all age groups in the Irish population and particularly the older female population who have increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Intramuscular vitamin D significantly improves 25OH vitamin D levels compared to no treatment and may combat non-compliance with oral medication.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / etiology
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Cholecalciferol