Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid, Folate)


  • Vitamin


  • Dietary supplement; water-soluble vitamin


  • Folic acid deficiency

    • necessary for proper protein and DNA synthesis, cellular growth and vitamin B12 function


  • Treatment of pernious anemia in patients where vitamin B12 is deficient.


  • Pregnancy category A

  • Folic acid deficiency is more pronounced in pregnant women.  Folate-deficient mothers are more prone to complications and fetal abnormalities, including:

    • Low birth weight

    • Placental abruption

    • Placenta previa

    • Abortions

    • Premature delivery

  • It is recommended that pregnant women take 0.4mg of folic acid daily during pregnancy.

  • Decreased vitamin B12 levels may occur in patients receiving long-term folic acid therapy.

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • Relatively non-toxic in therapeutic doses

  • Rare instances of allergic responses have occurred.

  • Patients receiving over 15mg per day may experience:

  • Altered sleep patterns, difficulty concentration, irritability, impaired judgement

  • Anorexia, nausea, abdominal distention, flatulence, bitter or bad taste


  • Dietary sources: liver, lean beef, veal, yeast, shole grains, leafy vegetables and fresh fruit

  • Administered orally (tablets) and injection

  • Dietary supplementation (RDA: recommended daily allowance):

    • Adult males: 200mcg per day

    • Adults females: 180mcg per day

  • Usual therapeutic dosage: 1mg per day

  • Infants: 0.1mg per day

  • Children (<4 years): up to 0.3mg per day

  • Adults and children (>4 years): 0.4mg per day

  • Pregnant and lactating women: 0.8mg per day

  • Parenteral: IV, IM or SQ is disease is severe or patient is unable to take orally

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