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Generic name: ascorbic acid (vitamin C) [ as-KORE-bik-AS-id ]
Brand names: Acerola, Ascorbic Acid Quick Melts, Cemill 1000, C-Time, Easy-C, ... show all 16 brands
Drug class: Vitamins

Medically reviewed by on Dec 21, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is ascorbic acid?

Ascorbic acid is used to treat and prevent vitamin C deficiency.

Ascorbic acid is also used in supporting antioxidant activity and the immune system to work properly to protect the body from disease.

Ascorbic acid may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.

Ascorbic acid side effects

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

Ascorbic acid may cause serious side effects. Stop using ascorbic acid and call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of Acerola may include:

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.


Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use ascorbic acid if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a vitamin C supplement.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if ascorbic acid is safe to use if you have ever had:

Ask a doctor before using Acerola if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How should I use ascorbic acid?

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

The recommended daily dose of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) changes with age. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions. You may also consult the Office of Dietary Supplements of the NIH, or the USDA Nutrient Database of recommended daily allowances for more information.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are using ascorbic acid.

You must chew the chewable tablet before you swallow it.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.

Measure liquid medicine with the supplied measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Keep the orally disintegrating tablet in the package until you are ready to use it. Use dry hands to remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. Allow the orally disintegrating tablet to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.

Do not stop using ascorbic acid suddenly after long-term use at high doses, or you could have "conditional" vitamin C deficiency. Symptoms include bleeding gums, feeling very tired, and red or blue pinpoint spots around your hair follicles. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose. Conditional vitamin C deficiency can be difficult to correct without medical supervision.

Store tightly closed at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using ascorbic acid?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What other drugs will affect ascorbic acid?

Other drugs may affect ascorbic acid, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.