Information about Folic Acid

Folic Acid Uses

Folic Acid is used in the treatment of anemia due to folic acid deficiency.

How Folic Acid works

Folic Acid is a form of vitamin B. It plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It is also essential in pregnancy due to its role in the development of the unborn baby's brain and spinal cord.

Common side effects of Folic Acid

No common side effects seen
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
26 Apr 2021 | 04:46 AM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Folic Acid

FolinalAlembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd
45 to ₹2274 variant(s)
FoleraManeesh Pharmaceuticals Ltd
46 to ₹2122 variant(s)
FolicanMed Manor Organics Pvt Ltd
15 to ₹3503 variant(s)
VitfolGujarat Terce Laboratories Ltd
10 to ₹482 variant(s)
FolicynAcron Pharmaceuticals
101 variant(s)
UPFUPS Healthcare
111 variant(s)
IcefolStalwart Remedies Pvt Ltd
101 variant(s)
RifolDawn Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
141 variant(s)
PteroWelbe Life Sciences
111 variant(s)
QfolQ4Q Health Solutions India Private Limited
381 variant(s)

Expert advice for Folic Acid

  • Folic Acid is used for the treatment of folic acid deficiency.
  • It is also taken before and during pregnancy to decrease the risk of defects in the neural tube, which forms the spinal cord in the baby.
  • Inform your doctor if you have a history of seizures as you may need a higher dose of the seizure medicines than what you normally take.

Frequently asked questions for Folic Acid

Folic Acid

Q. Is it ok to take Folic Acid when not pregnant?

Usually, folic acid requirements are met from the diet and therefore additional supplements are not required. In general, Folic Acid is recommended only when you have a deficiency of folic acid. However, Folic Acid is advised to women who are pregnant and who want to conceive. The medicine should be taken at least 4 weeks before pregnancy and should continue its use up to 3 months of pregnancy. Consult your doctor if not sure.

Q. Can Folic Acid cause weight gain?

Animal studies on Folic Acid suggest that taking the medicine in excess along with a high-fat diet may lead to weight gain and fat accumulation. But this weight gain was not evident when taken along with a normal or low-fat diet, even with excess Folic Acid. In humans, similar studies have not been conducted and therefore knowledge regarding weight gain is lacking. Therefore, if you are on Folic Acid eat a low-fat meal to be on the safer side.

Q. How long does Folic Acid take to work?

Folic Acid usually starts working within a few hours of taking it. If you are taking it for iron deficiency anemia, you may start feeling better after a few weeks of taking it. In case you are taking it during pregnancy, you may not notice any difference but this does not mean that the dose is not working. Continue taking Folic Acid for the duration recommended by your doctor.

Q. Why should women start taking Folic Acid before they become pregnant?

Maintaining the right level of folic acid in the body before getting pregnant reduces the risk of developing neural tube defects in the baby. The neural tube defect, in most cases, is caused if the structure (neural tube) from which the central nervous system develops (brain and spinal cord) in a baby does not form or is only partially closed. full closure of the neural tube occurs during the end of the fourth week of pregnancy. Folic acid helps in the formation of neural tubes. Therefore, to prevent this defect women should start Folic Acid before four weeks of pregnancy.

Q. Can I breastfeed while taking Folic Acid?

Yes, you can breastfeed while taking Folic Acid as it is not harmful to the baby. Folic Acid contains folic acid which is naturally found in breast milk. Though its initial levels in breast milk are low, it rises eventually. Since it is actively secreted in breast milk, the mother may take Folic Acid every day to maintain the required levels. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions related to nutrient supplementation in breastfeeding.

Q. When should I take Folic Acid, in the morning or at night?

You can take Folic Acid any time of the day, but try to take it at the same time each day. This will help you remember to take it. Take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The medicine should be swallowed as a whole with a glass of water. Do not chew, cut or crush the medicine.

Q. Can Folic Acid make you sick?

Generally, Folic Acid is well tolerated. However, some people may experience nausea (feeling sick), loss of appetite, bloating, and excessive passing of gas. The medicine may also worsen the symptoms of any coexisting vitamin B12 deficiency. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor but do not stop taking Folic Acid.

Q. How long do I need to take Folic Acid?

The duration of treatment with Folic Acid depends on the reason you are taking it for. If you are planning your pregnancy, you may start taking it 4 weeks before pregnancy and continue up to the first 3 months of pregnancy. If you are taking it for folic acid deficiency then you may have to take it for 4 months or longer (if your deficiency does not subside). If you are taking it to reduce the side effects of methotrexate then you may need to take it for as long as you are taking methotrexate. Consult your prescribing physician to know the exact duration of your therapy.


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