riboflavin (Oral route)

Pronunciation

RYE-boe-flay-vin

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Ribo-100
  • Ribo-2

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Capsule
  • Tablet
  • Tablet, Enteric Coated

Therapeutic Class: Nutritive Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Vitamin B

Uses For riboflavin

Vitamins are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in small amounts only and are usually available in the foods that you eat. Riboflavin (vitamin B 2) is needed to help break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also makes it possible for oxygen to be used by your body.

Lack of riboflavin may lead to itching and burning eyes, sensitivity of eyes to light, sore tongue, itching and peeling skin on the nose and scrotum, and sores in the mouth. Your doctor may treat this condition by prescribing riboflavin for you.

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Herbal and Dietary Supplements Deserve Your Attention

Some conditions may increase your need for riboflavin. These include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Diarrhea (continuing)
  • Fever (continuing)
  • Illness (continuing)
  • Infection
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Serious injury
  • Stress (continuing)
  • Surgical removal of stomach

In addition, riboflavin may be given to infants with high blood levels of bilirubin (hyperbilirubinemia).

Increased need for riboflavin should be determined by your health care professional.

Claims that riboflavin is effective for treatment of acne, some kinds of anemia (weak blood), migraine headaches, and muscle cramps have not been proven.

Oral forms of riboflavin are available without a prescription.

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

Riboflavin is found in various foods, including milk and dairy products, fish, meats, green leafy vegetables, and whole grain and enriched cereals and bread. It is best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible since they contain the most vitamins. Food processing may destroy some of the vitamins, although little riboflavin is lost from foods during ordinary cooking.

Vitamins alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body also needs other substances found in food such as protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. Vitamins themselves often cannot work without the presence of other foods.

The daily amount of riboflavin needed is defined in several different ways.

  • For U.S.—
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
  • For Canada—
  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Normal daily recommended intakes for riboflavin are generally defined as follows:

Persons U.S.
(mg)
Canada
(mg)
Infants and children
Birth to 3 years of age
0.4–0.8 0.3–0.7
4 to 6 years of age 1.1 0.9
7 to 10 years of age 1.2 1–1.3
Adolescent and adult males 1.4–1.8 1–1.6
Adolescent and adult females 1.2–1.3 1–1.1
Pregnant females 1.6 1.1–1.4
Breast-feeding females 1.7–1.8 1.4–1.5

Before Using riboflavin

If you are taking this dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For this supplement, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to riboflavin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Geriatric

Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Breast Feeding

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of riboflavin

Dosing

The dose of riboflavin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of riboflavin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • To prevent deficiency, the amount taken by mouth is based on normal daily recommended intakes:
      • For the U.S.
      • Adults and teenage males—1.4 to 1.8 milligrams (mg) per day.
      • Adults and teenage females—1.2 to 1.3 mg per day.
      • Pregnant females—1.6 mg per day.
      • Breast-feeding females—1.7 to 1.8 mg per day.
      • Children 7 to 10 years of age—1.2 mg per day.
      • Children 4 to 6 years of age—1.1 mg per day.
      • Children birth to 3 years of age—0.4 to 0.8 mg per day.
      • For Canada
      • Adults and teenage males—1 to 1.6 mg per day.
      • Adults and teenage females—1 to 1.1 mg per day.
      • Pregnant females—1.1 to 1.4 mg per day.
      • Breast-feeding females—1.4 to 1.5 mg per day.
      • Children 7 to 10 years of age—1 to 1.3 mg per day.
      • Children 4 to 6 years of age—0.9 mg per day.
      • Children birth to 3 years of age—0.3 to 0.7 mg per day.
    • To treat deficiency:
      • Adults and teenagers—Treatment dose is determined by prescriber for each individual based on the severity of deficiency.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of riboflavin, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the dietary supplement in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

riboflavin Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a dietary supplement may cause some unwanted effects. Riboflavin may cause urine to have a more yellow color than normal, especially if large doses are taken. This is to be expected and is no cause for alarm. Usually, however, riboflavin does not cause any side effects. Check with your health care professional if you notice any other unusual effects while you are using it.

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