Ester-C Side Effects
Generic name: ascorbic acid
Note: This document contains side effect information about ascorbic acid. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Ester-C.
Some side effects of Ester-C may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to ascorbic acid: oral capsule, oral gum, oral liquid, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet disintegrating
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking ascorbic acid (the active ingredient contained in Ester-C) hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using ascorbic acid and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
severe pain in your lower back or side;
blood in your urine;
pain when you urinate;
severe or ongoing diarrhea; or
feeling like you might pass out.
Less serious side effects of ascorbic acid may include:
heartburn, stomach cramps;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
flushing (warmth, redness, or tingling under your skin);
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to ascorbic acid: compounding powder, injectable solution, oral capsule, oral gum, oral liquid, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral tablet disintegrating, oral tablet extended release
Renal side effects have included oxalate and urate kidney stones.
Hyperoxaluria appears to be dose-related.
Migraine headache has been reported with a daily dose of 6 grams.
The manufacturer reports temporary dizziness and faintness may be associated with too rapid of a rate during intravenous administration.
Nervous system side effects have included dizziness, faintness, fatigue, and headache in less than 1% of patients. Migraine headache has also been reported.
Other side effects have included flank pain in less than 1% of patients. Conditional scurvy has also been reported.
Conditional scurvy is reported to occur following excessive doses of ascorbic acid over a prolonged period of time. The mechanism of action for this condition is thought to be that large doses of ascorbic acid condition the patient over time for rapid clearance of ascorbic acid resulting in scurvy. The plasma levels of ascorbic acid appear to remain within normal limits. The actual existence of conditional scurvy remains controversial.
Nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps appears to be associated with doses exceeding 2 g per day, although there have been some reports with as little as 1 g per day.
Esophagitis appears to be associated with prolonged or increased contact of ascorbic acid (the active ingredient contained in Ester-C) tablets with the esophageal mucosa.
Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and esophagitis.
Hematologic side effects have included hemolysis.
The majority of hemolysis reports have been associated with patients who have concurrent glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.
Local side effects have included transient mild soreness at the site of injection.
More Ester-C resources
- Ester-C Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Ascorbic Acid Monograph (AHFS DI)
- ascorbic acid MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- ascorbic acid Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Acerola Natural MedFacts for Professionals (Wolters Kluwer)
- Acerola Natural MedFacts for Consumers (Wolters Kluwer)
- Cecon solution MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Cenolate injection MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Cevi-Bid controlled-release capsules MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
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