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Vitamin A

Generic Name: vitamin A (VYE ta min A)
Brand Name: A-25, A/Fish Oil, Aquasol A

Medically reviewed: December 14, 2017

What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A is found in foods such as liver, milk, cheese, eggs, carrots, squash, dark green and yellow vegetables, and fruits such as cantaloupe or apricots. Vitamin A is important for the eyes and skin, and for normal growth.

Vitamin A is used to treat vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin A may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Never take more than the recommended dose of vitamin A. Avoid taking more than one vitamin 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.

An overdose of vitamin A can cause serious or life-threatening side effects.

Do not take vitamin A without medical advice if you are pregnant. Vitamin A can cause birth defects if taken in large doses.

Before taking vitamin A, tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Before using vitamin A, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or other healthcare provider. You may not be able to use vitamin A if you have certain medical conditions.

Do not take vitamin A without medical advice if you are pregnant. Although some vitamin A is needed for the normal development of a baby, vitamin A can cause birth defects if taken in large doses. You may need to use a prenatal vitamin specially formulated for pregnant women.

Ask your doctor about taking vitamin A if you are breast-feeding a baby. Your dose needs may be different while you are nursing.

How should I take vitamin A?

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.

Swallow the tablet or capsule whole.

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

Never take more than the recommended dose of vitamin A. Avoid taking more than one vitamin 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.

Your healthcare provider may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from vitamin A. The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A increases with age. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions. You may also consult the National Academy of Sciences "Dietary Reference Intake" or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Dietary Reference Intake" (formerly "Recommended Daily Allowances" or RDA) listings for more information.

Store at room temperature away from light, moisture, and heat.

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 vitamin A can cause serious or life-threatening side effects.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, vision changes, hair loss, peeling skin, cracked skin around your mouth, changes in menstrual periods, dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling, bone or joint pain, severe headache, pain behind your eyes, severe stomach pain, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

What should I avoid while taking vitamin A?

Avoid taking orlistat (alli, Xenical) or mineral oil while you are taking vitamin A.

Vitamin A 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.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, and you may have none at all.

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 vitamin A?

Do not take vitamin A without your doctor's advice if you are also taking:

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with vitamin A. Tell your healthcare provider about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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.

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