Folic acid is the man-made form of folate. Folate is a B-vitamin naturally found in some foods. It is needed to form healthy cells, especially red blood cells.
Folic acid supplements may come in different forms (such as L-methylfolate, levomefolate, methyltetrahydrofolate). They are used to treat or prevent low folate levels. Low folate levels can lead to certain types of anemia. Conditions that can cause low folate levels include poor diet, pregnancy, alcoholism, liver disease, certain stomach/intestinal problems, kidney dialysis, among others. Women of childbearing age should receive adequate amounts of folic acid either through their diet or supplements to prevent infant spinal cord birth defects.
Take this product by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. If you are taking the over-the-counter product, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this product more often than directed.
Take this product regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Follow the diet plan recommended by your doctor or dietician. See also Notes section.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.
Folic acid usually has very few side effects. If you have any unusual effects from taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this product, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this product do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: vitamin B-12 deficiency (pernicious anemia).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Folic acid is safe to take during pregnancy when used as directed. It is included in prenatal vitamin products. Certain spinal cord birth defects may be prevented by taking adequate amounts of folic acid during pregnancy. Consult your doctor for more details.
Folic acid passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: mental/mood changes.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood count, folate blood level, vitamin B-12 blood level) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress. Consult your doctor for more details.
Folate is naturally found in leafy green vegetables, organ meats (liver, kidney), citrus fruits, and other foods. Folic acid is added to enriched grain products such as bread, pasta, and cereal. Consult your doctor or dietician for a diet plan rich in folate/folic acid.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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