folic acid (folate, vitamin B9, FA-8, Folacin, Folic Acid, GNC Folic Acid 400, and many more)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/8/2015

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