Vitamin a Side Effects
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 4, 2022.
For the Consumer
Applies to vitamin a: capsule, capsule liquid filled, solution, tablet
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, vitamin a 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking vitamin a:
- Bleeding from gums or sore mouth
- bulging soft spot on head (in babies)
- confusion or unusual excitement
- dizziness or drowsiness
- double vision
- headache (severe)
- irritability (severe)
- peeling of skin, especially on lips and palms
- vomiting (severe)
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking vitamin a:
- Bone or joint pain
- convulsions (seizures)
- drying or cracking of skin or lips
- dry mouth
- general feeling of discomfort or illness or weakness
- increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
- increase in frequency of urination, especially at night, or in amount of urine
- loss of appetite
- loss of hair
- stomach pain
- unusual tiredness
- yellow-orange patches on soles of feet, palms of hands, or skin around nose and lips
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to vitamin a: intramuscular solution, oral capsule, oral liquid
Frequency not reported: Hypervitaminosis A syndrome[Ref]
General manifestations: fatigue, malaise, lethargy, abdominal discomfort, anorexia, vomiting.
-Skeletal: hard tender cortical thickening over the radius and tibia, migratory arthralgia, slow growth, premature closer of the epiphysis leading to arrested bone growth in children
-Central nervous system: irritability, headache, increased intracranial pressure manifested by bulging fontanels, papilledema, and exophthalmos
-Dermatologic: fissures of the lips, drying and cracking of the skin, alopecia, scaling, massive desquamation, increased pigmentation
Acute toxicity occurs at single doses of 350,000 units for infants and at over 2 million units for adults.
Chronic toxicity occurs in infants (3 to 6 months) at 8,500 Units per day for 1 to 3 months, and in adults at 1 million Units daily for 3 days, at 500,000 Units daily for 2 months, or 50,000 units daily for over 18 months.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Acute toxicity (single dose of 25,000 Units/kg), chronic toxicity (4000 Units/kg for 6 to 15 months)[Ref]
Frequently asked questions
More about vitamin a
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- En español
- Drug class: vitamins
- Drug Information
- Vitamin a Oral, Intramuscular (Advanced Reading)
- Vitamin A Tablets and Capsules
- Vitamin A Injection
Related treatment guides
1. "Product Information. Aquasol A (vitamin A)." Hospira Inc, Lake Forest, IL.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.