PRESCRIBED FOR: Folic acid is used to treat and prevent folate deficiency and its complications. Complications of folic acid deficiency include megaloblastic and macrocytic anemias and the inability of the bowel to absorb nutrients properly. Additionally, folic acid is used to treat folic acid deficiency associated with ulcerative colitis, alcoholism, kidney dialysis, and liver disease.
Folic acid supplements also are used by women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to prevent miscarriages and neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
SIDE EFFECTS: Folic acid naturally found in food is not harmful. However to prevent side effects, folic acid supplements and fortified foods should be consumed in amounts not exceeding the recommended daily intake values. Possible side effects include
- weight loss,
- upset stomach,
- taste disturbances,
- sleep problems,
- difficulty concentrating,
- increased activity levels,
- confusion, and
- impaired judgment.
Long term use of folic acid may decrease blood levels of vitamin B12.
SIDE EFFECTS WARNING: Folic acid supplementation is generally thought to be safe for human use. However, in rare cases, allergic or anaphylactoid reactions have occurred. Patients experiencing any signs or symptoms of a severe allergic reaction including hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and shortness of breath should seek emergency medical help.
Quick GuidePortion Control Tips: Lose Weight and Stick to Your Diet
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.