Folic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is important for the formation of red and white blood cells. It is present in foods such as dried beans, peas, lentils, oranges, whole-wheat products, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach.
As a medication, it is used to treat folic acid deficiency and megaloblastic anemia caused by folic acid deficiency.
Folic acid may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Take this medication only under the supervision of your doctor.
Folic acid should not be taken to treat undiagnosed anemia. Folic acid may hide the symptoms of pernicious anemia, leading to neurologic damage. Treatment of anemia during folic acid therapy may also require vitamin B12.
Folic acid is in the FDA pregnancy category A. This means that it is safe to take folic acid during pregnancy. In fact, increased amounts of folic acid are recommended during pregnancy to reduce the risk that a folic acid deficiency will cause complications. Talk to your doctor about taking this medication during pregnancy. It is safe to use folic acid during breast-feeding. Talk to your doctor about taking this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Take folic acid exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.
Take oral folic acid with a full glass of water.
Folic acid is usually taken every day. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to receive this medication by injection.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed, and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of folic acid unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
A folic acid overdose is unlikely to threaten life. Call an emergency room or poison control center for advice.
Symptoms of a folic acid overdose are not known.
There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while you are taking this medication, unless your doctor directs otherwise.
Side effects from folic acid are not common.
Stop taking folic acid and seek emergency medical treatment if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).
Continue taking this medication and talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following less serious side effects, which have occurred with large doses of this medication:
This is not a complete list of folic acid side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Large doses of folic acid may decrease the effects of phenytoin (Dilantin). Your doctor may need to adjust your dose of phenytoin to prevent seizures during treatment with this medication.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with this medication. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
- Your pharmacist has additional information about this medication written for health professionals that you may read.
Folic acid is available with a prescription and over the counter under several brand and generic names. Tablet and injection formulations are both available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.
Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision Date: 04/02/2009 3:39:50 PM.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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