Folic Acid (Oral Route, Injection Route)Drug Information provided by: Micromedex
US Brand Names
Vitamins are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in small amounts only and are usually available in the foods that you eat. Folic acid (vitamin B 9) is necessary for strong blood.
Lack of folic acid may lead to anemia (weak blood). Your health care professional may treat this by prescribing folic acid for you.
Some conditions may increase your need for folic acid. These include:
- Anemia, hemolytic
- Diarrhea (continuing)
- Fever (prolonged)
- Illness (prolonged)
- Intestinal diseases
- Liver disease
- Stress (continuing)
- Surgical removal of stomach
In addition, infants smaller than normal, breast-fed infants, or those receiving unfortified formulas (such as evaporated milk or goat's milk) may need additional folic acid.
Increased need for folic acid should be determined by your health care professional.
Some studies have found that folic acid taken by women before they become pregnant and during early pregnancy may reduce the chances of certain birth defects (neural tube defects).
Claims that folic acid and other B vitamins are effective for preventing mental problems have not been proven. Many of these treatments involve large and expensive amounts of vitamins.
Injectable folic acid is given by or under the direction of your health care professional. Another form of folic acid is available without a prescription.
For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.
Folic acid is found in various foods, including vegetables, especially green vegetables; potatoes; cereal and cereal products; fruits; and organ meats (for example, liver or kidney). It is best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible since they contain the most vitamins. Food processing may destroy some of the vitamins. For example, heat may reduce the amount of folic acid in foods.
Vitamins alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body also needs other substances found in food such as protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. Vitamins themselves often cannot work without the presence of other foods.
The daily amount of folic acid needed is defined in several different ways.
- For U.S.—
- Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
- Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
- For Canada—
- Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.
Normal daily recommended intakes in micrograms (mcg) for folic acid are generally defined as follows:
|Infants and children |
Birth to 3 years of age
|4 to 6 years of age||75–400||90|
|7 to 10 years of age||100–400||125–180|
|Adolescent and adult males||150–400||150–220|
|Adolescent and adult females||150–400||145–190|
This product is available in the following dosage forms: