Too much, of anything, can be fatal, even if it’s of something that seems as innocuous a vitamin dose.
A 10-year-old boy died in Delhi after he was given a Vitamin D dose that was almost 30 times higher than the recommended dosage.
The boy’s physical growth was stunted, so he was prescribed 6,00,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily for 21 days at a rural health facility, reported The Times of India. The usual dosage for a child is 1,000 IU, but it can go as high as 60,000 IU a week in dire medical cases.
The excessively high dosage led to a massive spike in the child’s calcium level, leading to pancreatitis, which ultimately killed him.
A senior doctor at the renowned All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) told TOI that the boy was admitted there after he complained of abdominal pain and vomiting due to Vitamin D toxicity. Though the doctors at AIIMS gave him travenous hydration and steroids and admitted him to the paediatric ICU, they could not save him.
Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise in India, especially among those who live in metro cities as they get very little exposure to sunlight. To combat this, supplements are being increasingly prescribed by doctors. However, common side-effects are nausea, vomitting and weight loss; death is rare. Problems mostly occur when people self-medicate and buy over-the-counter supplements.