Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Parenteral Vitamin
Pharmacologic Class: Vitamin C (class)
Uses For ascorbic acid
Ascorbic acid injection is used to treat scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency) in patients who cannot take the medicine by mouth. It is used for short term treatment (up to 1 week) only.
Ascorbic acid is to be given by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before Using ascorbic acid
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ascorbic acid, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to ascorbic acid 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.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ascorbic acid injection in children 5 months of age and older. However, children younger than 2 years of age are more likely to have kidney stones and age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving ascorbic acid. Use is not recommended in children younger than 5 months of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ascorbic acid injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving ascorbic acid.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while 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. When you are receiving ascorbic acid, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using ascorbic acid with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using ascorbic acid with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
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.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of ascorbic acid. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD)—Use with caution. May cause hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells) in patients with this condition.
- Kidney disease or
- Kidney stones, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper Use of ascorbic acid
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you ascorbic acid. It is given through a needle placed into one your veins.
You will be retreated with ascorbic acid if your symptoms do not improve after 1 week of treatment.
Precautions While Using ascorbic acid
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure ascorbic acid is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Ascorbic acid may increase your risk for kidney problems, including kidney stones. Check with your doctor right away if you have bloody urine, a decrease in frequency or amount of urine, an increase in blood pressure, increased thirst, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, nausea, swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs, troubled breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, or weight gain.
Ascorbic acid may cause hemolysis in patients with glucose-6-dehydrogenase deficiency. Check with your doctor right away if you have stomach or back pain, dark urine, decreased urination, fever, tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin.
Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking ascorbic acid. The results of some tests may be affected by ascorbic acid.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Ascorbic acid Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Back pain
- dark urine
- decreased urination
- side or lower back pain
- stomach pain
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- feeling of warmth
- pain and swelling at the injection site
- redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
- temporary faintness
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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