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Even though vitamins are important to your health, multivitamins and vitamin supplements can cause side effects. Some supplements cause side effects in normal doses, and others cause side effects in excessive doses. Calcium is a mineral that helps to control muscle and nerve functioning as well as to build strong bones and teeth. However, taking too much calcium can cause headaches.
The recommended daily allowance of calcium is 1,000 milligrams for most healthy adults and 1,200 milligrams for adults over the age of 51, according to Harvard Health Publications 3. Taking higher doses of calcium over time or taking large amounts of calcium at one time can cause calcium overdose. Symptoms of calcium overdose can include:
- headache as well as abdominal pain
- bone pain
- irregular heartbeat
- muscle twitching
Multivitamin Side Effects
Can Excess Calcium Cause Dizziness?
Multivitamins are over-the-counter supplements that contain both vitamins and minerals; you usually take them once a day. Certain multivitamin formulas, including prenatal vitamins, contain the mineral calcium. Common multivitamin and prenatal vitamin side effects include headache, nausea and abdominal pain.
Having high blood calcium levels and taking multiple calcium or vitamin D supplements can result in hypercalcemia over time. High calcium levels can interfere with muscle contractions, hormone levels and brain functioning. Consult with your physician if you think you have taken too much calcium.
Ibuprofen & Calcium
To avoid having a calcium overdose, do not take more than the recommended daily allowance or the amount your physician prescribes. The tolerable upper limit for calcium is 2,500 milligrams per day, according to Harvard Health Publications 3. Exceeding this level can result in calcium toxicity.
Can Excess Calcium Cause Dizziness?
Ibuprofen & Calcium
Health Problems from Calcium Carbonate
Can Too Much Calcium Carbonate Have Side Effects?
Do Calcium Supplements Cause Abdominal Pains?
What Effect Does Tums Have on Your Calcium Level?
Side Effects of Calcium Supplements
What Are the Daily Values of Calcium for a 2000 Calorie Diet?
Centrum Silver Side Effects
The Side Effects on the Stomach of Calcium & Vitamin D
- MedlinePlus: Calcium Carbonate Overdose
- The University of Chicago Medicine: Hypercalcemia
- Harvard Health Publications: Listing of Vitamins
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hypercalcemia
- Bolland, MJ, et. al. Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2011 Apr 19;342:d2040. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d2040
- Reid IR. The roles of calcium and vitamin D in the prevention of osteoporosis. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 27: 389-398. DOI:10.1016/s0889-8529(05)70011-6
- Chen M, Pan A, Malik VS, Hu FB. Effects of dairy intake on body weight and fat: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012;96(4):735-747. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.112.037119
- Williams V, Rawat A, Vignesh P, Shandilya JK, Gupta A, Singh S. Fc-gamma receptor expression profile in a North-Indian cohort of pediatric-onset systemic lupus erythematosus: An observational study. Int J Rheum Dis. 2019;22(3):449-457. doi: 10.6061/clinics/2012(07)22
- Reid IR, Birstow SM, Bolland MJ. Calcium and Cardiovascular Disease. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2017;32(3):339-349. doi: 10.3803/EnM.2017.32.3.339
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, "Milk-alkali syndrome"
- Bolland MJ, Grey A, Avenell A, Gamble GD, Reid IR. Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women’s Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis. BMJ. d2040-d2040. DOI:10.1136/bmj.d2040
- Chan Soo Shin, et. al. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 30(1): 27–34. DOI: 10.3803/EnM.2015.30.1.27
- Linus Pauling Institute. Calcium.
- National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Calcium.
- Weingarten MAMA, Zalmanovici Trestioreanu A, Yaphe J. Dietary calcium supplementation for preventing colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003548. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003548.pub4
- Zemel, MB et. al. Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults. Obes Res. 2004 Apr;12(4):582-90. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2004.67
April Khan is a medical journalist who began writing in 2005. She has contributed to publications such as "BBC Focus." In 2012, Khan received her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also holds an Associate of Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas and a Master of Science in international health from University College London.