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Vitamin E

Generic name: vitamin E [ VYE-ta-min-E ]
Brand names: Aqua-E, Aqua-E Concentrate, Aquasol E, Aquavite-E, Aqueous Vitamin E, ... show all 8 brands
Dosage forms: oral capsule (100 intl units; 1000 intl units; 180 mg; 200 intl units; 33.5 mg; 400 intl units; 90 mg; dl-alpha 400 intl units; dl-alpha1000 intl units; with mixed tocopherols 1000 intl units; with mixed tocopherols 200 intl units; with mixed tocopherols 400 intl units), ... show all 6 dosage forms
Drug class: Vitamins

Medically reviewed by Sophia Entringer, PharmD. Last updated on Oct 27, 2023.

What is vitamin E?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in foods such as vegetable oils, wheat germ oil, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Vitamin E is also known as All Rac-Alpha-Tocopherol, D-Alpha Tocopheryl Succinate, D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, and other names.

Vitamin E is likely effective in alternative medicine as an aid in treating a condition that affects movement and motor control (ataxia with vitamin E deficiency) caused by very low vitamin E levels in the blood and to treat and prevent vitamin E deficiency.

Vitamin E has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating Alzheimer disease, beta-thalassemia, menstrual pain, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, nitrate tolerance, premenstrual syndrome, reducing the risk for bleeding into the brain or inside the skull, and improving symptoms in people with a movement disorder (tardive dyskinesia).

Vitamin E has also been used to treat or prevent macular degeneration (age-related vision loss), a nerve-muscle disorder (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), atopic dermatitis (eczema), cataracts, high blood pressure, liver disease, parkinson's disease, pre-eclampsia, scarring caused by surgery, and pain or stiffness caused by osteoarthritis. However, research has shown that vitamin E may not be effective in treating these conditions.

Other uses not proven with research have included asthma, dementia, depression, diabetes, Down syndrome, infertility, inflammatory bowel disease, menopausal symptoms, muscular dystrophy, obesity, osteoporosis, low bone mineral density (osteopenia), restless legs syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, stroke, sunburn, and uveitis.

It is not certain whether vitamin E is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Vitamin E should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Vitamin E is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Vitamin E side effects

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

Using high doses might increase the risk of certain side effects.

Vitamin E may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common vitamin E side effects 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.


Avoid taking other vitamins, mineral supplements, or nutritional products without your doctor's advice.

If you also take orlistat (alli, Xenical), do not take it within 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take vitamin E.

Before taking this medicine

Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have or have ever had:

Ask a doctor before using this product if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding.

Do not give vitamin E to a child without medical advice.

How should I use vitamin E?

When considering the use of vitamin E, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

If you choose to use vitamin E, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.

If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, stop using vitamin E at least 2 weeks ahead of time.

Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with vitamin E does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.

Store oil, tablets, and capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Store the liquid medicine in the original container in the refrigerator after opening.

Vitamin E dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin E Deficiency:

Abetalipoproteinemia: approximately 100 mg/kg or 5 to 10 grams alpha-tocopherol per day

Usual Adult Dose for Dietary Supplement:

US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):15 mg alpha-tocopherol (22.4 international units [IU])
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): 1000 mg alpha-tocopherol (1500 IU).

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dietary Supplement:

US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):

0 to 6 months: 4 mg alpha-tocopherol (6 international units [IU])

7 to 12 months: 5 mg alpha-tocopherol (7.5 IU)

1 to 3 years: 6 mg alpha-tocopherol (9 IU)
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): 300 mg alpha-tocopherol (450 IU)

4 to 8 years: 7 mg alpha-tocopherol (10.4 IU)
UL: 300 mg alpha-tocopherol (450 IU)

9 to 13 years: 11 mg alpha-tocopherol (16.4 IU)
UL: 600 mg alpha-tocopherol (900 IU)

14 to 18 years: 15 mg alpha-tocopherol (22.4 IU)
UL: 800 mg alpha-tocopherol (1200 IU)

-Converting from international units (IU) to mg:
--1 IU natural vitamin E (commonly labeled d-alpha-tocopherol) = 0.67 mg alpha tocopherol.
--1 IU synthetic vitamin E (commonly labeled dl-alpha-tocopherol) = 0.45 mg alpha tocopherol.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and use the next regularly scheduled dose.

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 vitamin E?

Vitamin E can make it harder for your body to absorb iron. Tell your doctor if you are using an iron supplement.

Do not use different forms of vitamin E (pills, liquids, and others) at the same time or you could have an overdose.

Avoid using vitamin E together with other herbal/health supplements that can also affect blood-clotting. This includes angelica (dong quai), capsicum, clove, dandelion, danshen, evening primrose, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, poplar, red clover, saw palmetto, turmeric, and willow.

What other drugs will affect vitamin E?

Do not use vitamin E without medical advice if you are using any of the following medications:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may interact with vitamin E. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed.

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