Vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol, helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphorous. It is often used as a dietary supplement, especially in people who have vitamin D deficiency.

Having the right amount of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus is important for building and keeping strong bones, according to WebMD.

Supplements containing vitamin D3 are also used to treat and prevent bone disorders, such as osteomalacia, rickets, etc.

Usually, the body generates vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is often advised along with calcium to treat or prevent osteoporosis. It is also advised with other drugs to treat low levels of calcium or phosphate due to disorders such as hypoparathyroidism, pseudohypoparathyroidism, or familial hypophosphatemia.

Vitamin D3 may also be used in patients with chronic kidney disease to keep calcium levels normal and allow normal bone growth.

Vitamin D is generally available in brand names Drisdol and Calciferol. And vitamin D3 is sold under many brand names Carlson D, Ddrops, Decara, Enfamil D-Vi-Sol, Replesta, Thera-D Rapid Repletion, UpSpringbaby D, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin D3, according to

Generic names for vitamin D3 include cholecalciferol, 1,25-Dihydroxycholecalciferol, or ergocalciferol.

Your doctor may advise oral vitamin D3 that you need to take after a meal but may be taken with or without food. If you are using the liquid form of vitamin D3, carefully measure the dose and use it as advised.

Vitamin D3 is available as a generic drug and the lowest price for the most common version of generic Vitamin D3 is around $3.14, according to GoodRx.

A generic version of vitamin D3 500000IU costs around $4 for 12 capsules, 63% cheaper than the branded version that may cost you around $9. Vitamin D3 supplements are available over-the-counter.