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FOLIC ACID

Brand Name(s) : None
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

FOLIC ACID WARNINGS

Folic acid should be used with caution in:

It should not be used in:

Also see list of precautions and interactions

STORAGE

Do not store above 25°C

FOLIC ACID USES

Folic acid is used to prevent or treat a deficiency of folic acid in the body.

It is a type of vitamin.

In general this drug is used: in pregnancy to reduce the risk of babies being born with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida; for treatment of certain types of anaemia; in malabsorption syndromes.

Listed below are the typical uses of folic acid.

  • Folate deficient anaemia, which can include anaemia caused by vitamin deficiency, pregnancy, medications used to treat epileptic fits
  • malabsorption syndromes e.g. coeliac disease
  • prevention of neural-tube defects
  • haemolytic anaemias such as sickle cell anaemia
  • prevention of folate deficiency in dialysis

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list. Such conditions are listed below.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • If you are taking folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, you should take it once a day whilst trying to get pregnant, and up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
  • Otherwise, take the medication as instructed by your doctor. You can split the daily dose into smaller doses which you can take throughout the day.
  • Use this medication regularly, as instructed during pregnancy, or for duration of prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Folic acid is unlikely to affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor, or continue as recommended during pregnancy. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

FOLIC ACID SIDE EFFECTS

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

FOLIC ACID PRECAUTIONS

Before taking folic acid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other vitamin supplements; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have known allergies to folic acid or any other ingredient, folate-dependent tumours, Addison's disease (a disease of the adrenal glands), cancer.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: pernicious anaemia, vitamin B12 deficiency.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol intake is not known to affect folic acid.

The elderly: folic acid can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Folic acid is suitable to take during pregnancy, folic acid supplements are often recommended during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Folic acid passes into breast milk. You should talk to your doctor before taking folic acid while breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

FOLIC ACID INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore before using folic acid, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

FOLIC ACID OVERDOSE

There have been no cases of people taking an overdose with this medicine.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of folic acid or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

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.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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