Folic acid Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to folic acid: capsule, injectable, solution, tablet
Along with its needed effects, folic acid 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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking folic acid:Rare
- general weakness or discomfort
- reddened skin
- shortness of breath
- skin rash or itching
- tightness in chest
- troubled breathing
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to folic acid: compounding powder, injectable solution, oral tablet
Rare (less than 0.1%): Mild gastrointestinal upset, nausea, abdominal distension, flatulence[Ref]
Nausea, abdominal distension, and flatulence were reported in patients taking 15 mg folic acid daily for 1 month.[Ref]
Bitter or bad taste, altered sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, overactivity, and impaired judgement were reported in patients taking 15 mg folic acid daily for 1 month.
Increased seizure incidence was seen in some epileptic patients receiving phenobarbital, primidone, or diphenylhydantoin.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Bitter or bad taste, altered sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, overactivity, impaired judgement, increased incidence of seizures in some epileptic patients[Ref]
Rare (less than 0.1%): Allergic responses (including erythema, skin rash, itching, general malaise, respiratory difficulty due to bronchospasm), anaphylaxis (including shock)[Ref]
Rare (less than 0.1%): Anorexia
Frequency not reported: Decreased vitamin B12 serum levels, worsening symptoms of B12 deficiency[Ref]
Anorexia was reported in patients taking 15 mg folic acid daily for 1 month.
Decreased vitamin B12 serum levels was reported with prolonged folic acid therapy.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Decreased diphenylhydantoin serum levels[Ref]
Decreased diphenylhydantoin serum levels were reported in patients taking 5 or 15 mg folic acid daily.[Ref]
Irritability, excitement, mental depression, and confusion were reported in patients taking 15 mg folic acid daily for 1 month.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Irritability, excitement, mental depression, confusion[Ref]
1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
3. "Product Information. Folic Acid (folic acid)." Method Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Arlington, TX.
Some side effects of folic acid may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
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