Before we talk about the side effects of folic acid, lets first talk about what it is. Folic acid is a form of Vitamin B that can be found in a variety of different foods. Some of them include broccoli, spinach, oranges and lentils just to name a few. Folic acid is responsible for helping your body produce and maintain new cells.
It also helps by preventing changes to your DNA that can lead to cancer. When used as a medication it treats various types of anemia as well as folic acid deficiencies. And when combined with other medications it can be used to treat Pernicious Anemia.
Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 for Cancer Prevention
Some Warnings About Folic Acid
If you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency folic acid will not be able to treat it. It will also not prevent damage to your spinal cord. So make sure you take any and all of your medication exactly the way the doctor tells you to.
Never take folic acid if you have previously had an allergic reaction to it. If you have kidney disease or are currently on dialysis, you should let your doctor know ahead of time. You should also let them know if you have an infection, have a drinking problem or are anemic. Pregnant women or women who are breast feeding should not take folic acid before talking to their doctor.
Folic acid is considered an FDA pregnancy category A medicine. This means there have been no studies showing it will cause harm to your unborn baby. During pregnancy you may find your dosage needs to increase. It may also change when you are breast feeding.
Folic Acid Side Effects
It is important you know not all side effects may be reported. You should also speak to your doctor about anything you may be feeling as a result of folic acid. If you are having side effects you can also report them to the FDA yourself. They actually encourage you to do so.
If you notice hives, have trouble breathing or your face and lips start to swell, you are having an allergic reaction. Stop using the medicine and get to the hospital immediately. Some other, less serious, side effects to be aware of include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Excessive gas
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
If you experience any of these side effects call your doctor. Please know this is not a complete list of all the possible side effects that may occur. That’s why it is very important you pay close attention to what’s going on with your body. If something different is going on, seek medical attention.
If a doctor prescribes you folic acid, make sure you take it as prescribed. Never take more than you are told to take and make sure you only take it for the recommended time. All the instructions you will need will be right on the label. Read over it and make sure you understand it. When you take folic acid, take it with a full glass of water. Also make sure you store it properly to avoid damaging the medication in any way. If you have any questions about how to take the medication, call either the pharmacy or the doctors office.
If you miss a dose just take as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the right time. Never take an extra does to make up for an mixed dose. Doing so could lead to an overdose and that is never a good thing.
If you do overdose or you think you have overdosed, get help immediately. Some of the symptoms associated with an overdose include confusion, trouble focusing, a tingling sensation and mouth pain just to name a few.
Everyone is different and will be advised to follow certain precautions. For example, some people will have food restrictions, beverage restrictions and restrictions on the activities they can participate in. If the doctor tells you not to do something, don’t do it. Always follow the doctors orders.
Some folic acid side effects can be avoided if you just listen to the doctor. If you are taking other medications make sure you tell your doctor. Not all medicines mix well together so it is very important you let them know before they prescribe it. Some of the medications you should inform your doctor about include Dilantin, Rheumatrex, Macrodantin, Daraprim or barbiturates such as Butisol.