Generic Name: beta-carotene (BAY-tah KARE-oh-teen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.
Beta-carotene is used for:
Treating vitamin A deficiency. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin.
Do NOT use beta-carotene if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in beta-carotene
- you are taking vitamin A supplements or any multivitamins that contain vitamin A
- you are taking acitretin
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using beta-carotene:
Some medical conditions may interact with beta-carotene. 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 take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or multivitamin therapy)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with beta-carotene. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Acitretin because the risk of serious side effects may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if beta-carotene 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 beta-carotene:
Use beta-carotene as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take beta-carotene with food or milk.
- Take beta-carotene regularly to receive the most benefit from it. Taking beta-carotene at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- If you miss a dose of beta-carotene, 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 beta-carotene.
Important safety information:
- Beta-carotene may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to beta-carotene. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
- Your skin may turn slightly yellow while you are taking beta-carotene. This is harmless and not a cause for concern.
- Do not take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or megavitamin therapy) while taking beta-carotene unless directed by your doctor.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using beta-carotene during pregnancy. If you are or will be breast feeding while you are using beta-carotene, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of beta-carotene:
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:
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).
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 beta-carotene:
Store beta-carotene at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep beta-carotene out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about beta-carotene, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Beta-carotene 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 beta-carotene 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 beta-carotene. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to beta-carotene. 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 beta-carotene.
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.