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 folic acid 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.
There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while you are taking folic acid, unless your doctor directs otherwise.
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.
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 this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
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 folic acid and talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following less serious side effects, which have occurred with large doses of folic acid:
- decreased appetite,
- abdominal distention,
- bitter or bad taste,
- insomnia, or
- difficulty concentrating.
This is not a complete list of 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. 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 folic acid.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with folic acid. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
FA-8, Folacin-800, and folic acid
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