Ascorbic Acid (Oral Route)Drug Information provided by: Micromedex
US Brand Names
Canadian 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. Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is necessary for wound healing. It is needed for many functions in the body, including helping the body use carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Vitamin C also strengthens blood vessel walls.
Lack of vitamin C can lead to a condition called scurvy, which causes muscle weakness, swollen and bleeding gums, loss of teeth, and bleeding under the skin, as well as tiredness and depression. Wounds also do not heal easily. Your health care professional may treat scurvy by prescribing vitamin C for you.
Some conditions may increase your need for vitamin C. These include:
- AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
- Diarrhea (prolonged)
- Fever (prolonged)
- Infection (prolonged)
- Intestinal diseases
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Stomach ulcer
- Stress (continuing)
- Surgical removal of stomach
Also, the following groups of people may have a deficiency of vitamin C:
- Infants receiving unfortified formulas
- Patients using an artificial kidney (on hemodialysis)
- Patients who undergo surgery
- Individuals who are exposed to long periods of cold temperatures
Increased need for vitamin C should be determined by your health care professional.
Vitamin C may be used for other conditions as determined by your health care professional.
Claims that vitamin C is effective for preventing senility and the common cold, and for treating asthma, some mental problems, cancer, hardening of the arteries, allergies, eye ulcers, blood clots, gum disease, and pressure sores have not been proven. Although vitamin C is being used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, there is not enough information to show that these uses are effective.
Injectable vitamin C is given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Other forms of vitamin C are available without a prescription.
Once a medicine or dietary supplement has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, vitamin C is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
- Overdose of iron (to help another drug in decreasing iron levels in the body)
- Methemoglobinemia (a blood disease)
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.
Vitamin C is found in various foods, including citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit), green vegetables (peppers, broccoli, cabbage), tomatoes, and potatoes. 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, exposure to air, drying, salting, or cooking (especially in copper pots), mincing of fresh vegetables, or mashing potatoes may reduce the amount of vitamin C in foods. Freezing does not usually cause loss of vitamin C unless foods are stored for a very long time.
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 vitamin C 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 for vitamin C are generally defined as follows:
|Infants and children |
Birth to 3 years of age
|4 to 6 years of age||45||25|
|7 to 10 years of age||45||25|
|Adolescent and adult males||50–60||25–40|
|Adolescent and adult females||50–60||25–30|
This product is available in the following dosage forms:
- Powder for Solution
- Capsule, Liquid Filled
- Tablet, Chewable
- Powder for Suspension
- Tablet, Extended Release
- Capsule, Extended Release