Prenatal multivitamin

Generic Name: prenatal multivitamin (pree-NATE-al muhl-tee-VYE-ta-min)
Brand Name: Examples include Prenate AM and Vitafol-Ultra

Accidental overdose of products that contain iron is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children younger than 6 years old. Keep products that contain iron out of the reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.


Prenatal multivitamin is used for:

Treating or preventing a lack of vitamins or minerals before, during, and after pregnancy, and while breast-feeding. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Prenatal multivitamin is a vitamin and other supplement combination. It works by providing vitamins and minerals to the body to help meet nutritional requirements.

Do NOT use prenatal multivitamin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in prenatal multivitamin
  • you have certain iron metabolism problems (eg, hemosiderosis, hemochromatosis) or high levels of iron in your blood
  • your product contains vitamin A and you are taking acitretin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your product contains vitamin A

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

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Before using prenatal multivitamin:

Some medical conditions may interact with prenatal multivitamin. 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 stomach or bowel problems (eg, colitis, Crohn disease, diverticulitis, ulcers), parathyroid or thyroid problems, or kidney stones
  • if you have hemolytic anemia, pernicious anemia, or other types of anemia, or if you have a condition that may cause anemia (eg, sickle cell disease, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase [G6PD] deficiency)
  • if you have blood problems (eg, porphyria, thalassemia) or you have had multiple blood transfusions

Prenatal multivitamin may interact with other medicines or health problems. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all of your medicines (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take prenatal multivitamin with all of your medicines and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine without checking with your doctor.

How to use prenatal multivitamin:

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

  • Prenatal multivitamin is absorbed better on an empty stomach but may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach. Some foods (eg, eggs, whole grain breads, cereal, dairy products, coffee, tea) may decrease the amount of iron in the prenatal multivitamin absorbed by your body. Talk with your doctor about the best way to take prenatal multivitamin with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Take prenatal multivitamin by mouth with a full glass of water (8 oz [240 mL]).
  • Do not take an antacid within 2 hours of prenatal multivitamin.
  • Do not take dairy products with this drug. Dairy products may make this drug not work as well.
  • If you are taking a chewable product, chew well before swallowing.
  • If you take bisphosphonates (eg, etidronate), cephalosporins (eg, cefdinir), quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), tetracyclines (eg, minocycline), thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine), or thrombopoietin mimetics (eg, eltrombopag), ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with prenatal multivitamin.
  • If you miss a dose of prenatal multivitamin, take 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 take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use prenatal multivitamin.

Important safety information:

  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Do not take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or megavitamin therapy) while you use prenatal multivitamin unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Prenatal multivitamin may cause darkened or green stools. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
  • Prenatal multivitamin may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking prenatal multivitamin.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Prenatal multivitamin is intended for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use prenatal multivitamin, check with your doctor.

Possible side effects of prenatal multivitamin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; dark or green stools; diarrhea; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach cramps, pain, or upset; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; blood or streaks of blood in the stools; fever; severe or persistent nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting; vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds.

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 prenatal multivitamin:

Store prenatal multivitamin at room temperature. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep prenatal multivitamin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about prenatal multivitamin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Prenatal multivitamin 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 prenatal multivitamin 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 prenatal multivitamin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to prenatal multivitamin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using prenatal multivitamin.

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.

Hide
(web2)