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multivitamin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: multivitamins (MUL tee VYE ta mins)
Brand Name: Berocca, Primaplex, ...show all 246 brand names.

What is a multivitamin?

Multivitamins are a combination of many different vitamins that are normally found in foods and other natural sources.

Multivitamins are used to provide vitamins that are not taken in through the diet. Multivitamins are also used to treat vitamin deficiencies (lack of vitamins) caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders, and many other conditions.

Multivitamins may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about multivitamins?

Never take more than the recommended dose of a multivitamin. Avoid taking more than one multivitamin product at the same time unless your doctor tells you to. Taking similar vitamin products together can result in a vitamin overdose or serious side effects.

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

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of vitamins A, D, E, or K can cause serious or life-threatening side effects. Certain minerals contained in a multivitamin may also cause serious overdose symptoms if you take too much.

Do not take this medicine with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium. Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb certain ingredients of the multivitamin.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking multivitamins?

Many vitamins can cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken in large doses. Do not take more of this medicine than directed on the label or prescribed by your doctor.

Before you use multivitamins, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and allergies. In some cases, you may not be able to use multivitamins, or you may need a dose adjustment or special precautions.

Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Do not take multivitamins without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Some vitamins and minerals can harm an unborn baby if taken in large doses. You may need to use a prenatal vitamin specially formulated for pregnant women.

Multivitamins can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take multivitamins?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Never take more than the recommended dose of a multivitamin. Avoid taking more than one multivitamin product at the same time unless your doctor tells you to. Taking similar vitamin products together can result in a vitamin overdose or serious side effects.

Many multivitamin products also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Minerals (especially taken in large doses) can cause side effects such as tooth staining, increased urination, stomach bleeding, uneven heart rate, confusion, and muscle weakness or limp feeling. Read the label of any multivitamin product you take to make sure you are aware of what it contains.

Take your multivitamin with a full glass of water.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Use multivitamins regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the liquid medicine from freezing.

Store multivitamins in their original container. Storing multivitamins in a glass container can ruin the medication.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of vitamins A, D, E, or K can cause serious or life-threatening side effects. Certain minerals may also cause serious overdose symptoms if you take too much.

Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, hair loss, peeling skin, tingly feeling in or around your mouth, changes in menstrual periods, weight loss, severe headache, muscle or joint pain, severe back pain, blood in your urine, pale skin, and easy bruising or bleeding.

What should I avoid while taking multivitamins?

Avoid taking more than one multivitamin product at the same time unless your doctor tells you to. Taking similar vitamin products together can result in a vitamin overdose or serious side effects.

Avoid the regular use of salt substitutes in your diet if your multivitamin contains potassium. If you are on a low-salt diet, ask your doctor before taking a vitamin or mineral supplement.

Do not take this medication with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium. Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb certain ingredients of the multivitamin.

Multivitamins side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

When taken as directed, multivitamins are not expected to cause serious side effects. Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach;

  • headache; or

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect multivitamins?

Multivitamins can interact with certain medications, or affect how medications work in your body. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use multivitamins if you are also using any of the following drugs:

  • tretinoin or isotretinoin;

  • an antacid;

  • an antibiotic;

  • a diuretic or "water pill";

  • heart or blood pressure medications;

  • a sulfa drug; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with multivitamins and minerals, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about multivitamins.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 2014-01-24, 9:24:53 AM.

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