Folic acid

Pronunciation

Generic Name: folic acid (FOE-lik ASS-id)
Brand Name: Generics only. No brands available.

Folic acid is used for:

Treating certain types of anemia. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Folic acid is a vitamin. It works by helping the body to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Do NOT use folic acid if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in folic acid

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using folic acid:

Some medical conditions may interact with folic acid. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a long-term infection, seizure disorder (eg, epilepsy), or liver problems (eg, alcoholic cirrhosis), or if you are on kidney dialysis
  • if you drink alcohol regularly
  • if you have other types of anemia (eg, anemia due to low vitamin B12 levels)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with folic acid. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Fluorouracil because its actions and side effects may be increased by folic acid
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because their effectiveness may be decreased by folic acid
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), methotrexate, nitrofurantoin, phenytoin, primidone, or pyrimethamine because the effectiveness of folic acid may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if folic acid may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use folic acid:

Use folic acid as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Folic acid may be administered as an injection by your health care professional.
  • If you are using folic acid at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider. If the medicine contains particles, is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain local regulations for selecting an appropriate container and properly disposing of the container when full.
  • If you miss a dose of folic acid, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use folic acid.

Important safety information:

  • Check any other vitamin products you may be taking for folic acid content. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any other medicines that you take contain folic acid.
  • LAB TESTS, including red blood cell counts, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using folic acid during pregnancy. Folic acid is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding, check with your doctor to discuss the benefits and risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of folic acid:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. When used in small doses, no COMMON side effects have been reported with this product. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of folic acid:

Store folic acid at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep folic acid, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about folic acid, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Folic acid is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take folic acid or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about folic acid. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to folic acid. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using folic acid.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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