Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)


  • Vitamin


  • Dietary supplement; water-soluble vitamin


  • Vitamin C deficiency

  • necessary for collagen and dentin formation and tissue repair

  • Scurvy treatment and prophylaxis

  • Antioxidant

  • Urine acidifier (at high doses >2 grams per day)

  • Idiopathic methemoglobinemia (150mg per day)


  • No significant contraindications.


  • Pregnancy category C

  • Excessive vitamin C doses may should not be adminstered to patients with diabetes, prone to renal calculi, undergoing stool occult blood tests, sodium restrictive diets or on anticoagulants.

  • High dose administration to pregnant women may cause the fetus to become “sensitized” to the levels and may experience “withdrawa” after delivery.

  • Some products contain tartrazine and/or sulfite, use in caution in patients who are sensitive to these agents.

  • Ascorbic acid increases serum levels of estrogens, use caution in patients receiving estrogen replacement therapy or oral contraceptives.

  • Ascorbic acid may reduce the anticoagulant effect of warfarin.

  • Large dose of vitamin C (>500mg) may cause false-positive urine glucose determinations.

  • Do not administer vitamin C within 48-72 hours of an stool occult blood test due to false negatives.

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • Relatively non-toxic in therapeutic doses

  • Large dose may cause diarrhea and precipitation of renal stones.

  • Transient mild soreness may occur at IM or SQ injection site.

  • Too rapid of IV administration may cause temporary faintness or dizziness.


  • Dietary sources: citric juices, fresh vegetables and fruit, potatoes

  • Administered orally or IV

  • Dietary supplementation (RDA: recommended daily allowance):

    • Adults: 60mg per day

  • Scurvy: 100-300mg per day over several days will reverse scurvy effects

  • Infants:

    • preventive: 30mg per day

    • treatment: 100-300mg per day

    • Premature infants: 75-100mg per day

  • Enhanced wound healing: 300-500mg per day for 7-10 days pre- and post-operatively

  • Burn patients: 1-2 grams per day

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