Folic acid Uses

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What is Folic acid?

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:

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.

Folic acid indications

An indication is a term used for the list of condition or symptom or illness for which the medicine is prescribed or used by the patient. For example, acetaminophen or paracetamol is used for fever by the patient, or the doctor prescribes it for a headache or body pains. Now fever, headache and body pains are the indications of paracetamol. A patient should be aware of the indications of medications used for common conditions because they can be taken over the counter in the pharmacy meaning without prescription by the Physician.

Folic acid is used in the treatment and prevention of the folate deficiency state. It does not correct folate deficiency due to dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors. Folic acid is also used in women of child-bearing potential and pregnant women to protect against neural tube defects in their offspring. It is also used for the treatment of folate-deficient megaloblastic anaemia, chronic haemolytic states such as thalassaemia major or sickle-cell anaemia.

How should I use Folic acid?

Use Folic acid as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Folic acid.

Uses of Folic acid in details

There are specific as well as general uses of a drug or medicine. A medicine can be used to prevent a disease, treat a disease over a period or cure a disease. It can also be used to treat the particular symptom of the disease. The drug use depends on the form the patient takes it. It may be more useful in injection form or sometimes in tablet form. The drug can be used for a single troubling symptom or a life-threatening condition. While some medications can be stopped after few days, some drugs need to be continued for prolonged period to get the benefit from it.

Folic acid is the man-made form of folate. Folate is a B-vitamin naturally found in some foods. It is needed to form healthy cells, especially red blood cells.

Folic acid supplements may come in different forms (such as L-methylfolate, levomefolate, methyltetrahydrofolate). They are used to treat or prevent low folate levels. Low folate levels can lead to certain types of anemia. Conditions that can cause low folate levels include poor diet, pregnancy, alcoholism, liver disease, certain stomach/intestinal problems, kidney dialysis, among others. Women of childbearing age should receive adequate amounts of Folic acid either through their diet or supplements to prevent infant spinal cord birth defects.

How to use Folic acid

Take this product by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. If you are taking the over-the-counter product, follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this product more often than directed.

Take this product regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Follow the diet plan recommended by your doctor or dietician. See also Notes section.

If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, get medical help right away.

Folic acid description


A member of the vitamin B family that stimulates the hematopoietic system. It is present in the liver and kidney and is found in mushrooms, spinach, yeast, green leaves, and grasses (poaceae). Folic acid is used in the treatment and prevention of folate deficiencies and megaloblastic anemia. [PubChem]

Folic acid dosage

Folic acid Dosage

Applies to the following strength(s): 1 mg; 0.4 mg; 5 mg/mL; 0.8 mg

The information at is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Usual Adult Dose for:

Usual Pediatric Dose for:

Additional dosage information:

Usual Adult Dose for Megaloblastic Anemia

1 mg orally, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or IV once a day. May continue until clinical symptoms of folate deficiency and the hematological profile have normalized.

Usual Adult Dose for Folic acid Deficiency

400 to 800 mcg orally, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or IV once a day.

Women of childbearing age, pregnant, and lactating women: 800 mcg orally, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or IV once a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Folic acid Deficiency


0.1 mg orally, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or IV once a day.


Less than 4 years: up to 0.3 mg orally, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or IV once a day.

4 years or older: 0.4 mg orally, intramuscularly, subcutaneously or IV once a day.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation

Recommended daily allowance (RDA):

Premature neonates: 50 mcg/day (15 mcg/kg/day).

Full-term neonates and infants 1 to 6 months: 25 to 35 mcg/day.


1 to 3 years: 150 mcg/day.

4 to 8 years: 200 mcg/day.

9 to 13 years: 300 mcg/day.

14 years and older: 400 mcg/day.

Renal Dose Adjustments

Data not available

Liver Dose Adjustments

Data not available

Dose Adjustments

Rarely, a dosage of 2 mg/day may be required, particularly in patients with malabsorption, alcoholism, chronic hemolysis, chronic exfoliative skin disease or who are on concomitant anticonvulsant therapy.


Folic acid is removed by both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. The amount removed varies with type equipment used.

Because folate may accumulate in patients with end-stage renal disease, side effects may be more likely in this patient who is undergoing dialysis. Once this patient's body stores of folate are replete, three times a week dosing may be just as beneficial as once daily dosing but should portend a lower risk of side effects.

Other Comments

The recommended daily allowance of Folic acid for adult males and females ranges from 150 to 200 and 150 to 180 mcg/day, respectively.

There is a potential danger in administering Folic acid to patients with undiagnosed anemia, since Folic acid may obscure the diagnosis of pernicious anemia by alleviating the hematologic manifestations of the disease while allowing the neurologic complications to progress.

Severe megaloblastic anemia may require therapy for 4 to 5 weeks. Once stabilized, if dietary intake is inadequate, maintenance therapy can be started.

More about Folic acid

Consumer resources

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Folic acid interactions

See also:
What other drugs will affect Folic acid?


Medications that interfere with your bodys ability to use folate may also increase the need for this vitamin. Medications can interfere with folate utilization, including: anticonvulsant medications (such as phenytoin, and primidone) metformin (sometimes prescribed to control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes) sulfasalazine (used to control inflammation associated with Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis) triamterene (a diuretic) Methotrexate There has been concern about the interaction between vitamin B12 and Folic acid. Folic acid supplements can correct the anemia associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Unfortunately, Folic acid will not correct changes in the nervous system that result from vitamin B12 deficiency. Permanent nerve damage could theoretically occur if vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated. Therefore, intake of supplemental Folic acid should not exceed 1000 micrograms (g, sometimes mcg) per day to prevent Folic acid from masking symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. It is important for older adults to be aware of the relationship between Folic acid and vitamin B12 because they are at greater risk of having a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you are 50 years of age or older, ask your physician to check your B12 status before you take a supplement that contains folic acid.

Folic acid side effects

See also:
What are the possible side effects of Folic acid?

Allergic sensitization has been reported following both oral and parenteral administration of Folic acid.

Folic acid is relatively nontoxic in man. Rare instances of allergic responses to Folic acid preparations have been reported and have included erythema, skin rash, itching, general malaise, and respiratory difficulty due to bronchospasm. One patient experienced symptoms suggesting anaphylaxis following injection of the drug. Gastrointestinal side effects, including anorexia, nausea, abdominal distention, flatulence, and a bitter or bad taste, have been reported in patients receiving 15 mg Folic acid daily for 1 month. Other side effects reported in patients receiving 15 mg daily include altered sleep patterns, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, overactivity, excitement, mental depression, confusion, and impaired judgment. Decreased vitamin B12 serum levels may occur in patients receiving prolonged Folic acid therapy.

In an uncontrolled study, orally administered Folic acid was reported to increase the incidence of seizures in some epileptic patients receiving phenobarbital, primidone, or diphenylhydantoin. Another investigator reported decreased diphenylhydantoin serum levels in folate-deficient patients receiving diphenylhydantoin who were treated with 5 mg or 15 mg of Folic acid daily.


Folic acid contraindications

See also:
What is the most important information I should know about Folic acid?

Because it may mask the hematologic abnormalities while neurological damage progresses, Folic acid should not be used in the therapy of patients with vitamin B12 deficiency of any cause, unless there is associated folate deficiency. The Folic acid content of one tablet a day however, is unlikely to mask pernicious anemia should this condition be present. Also, pregnancy during pernicious anemia is very rare.

Active ingredient matches for Folic acid:

Folic acid

Unit description / dosage (Manufacturer)Price, USD
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 1 mg
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 0.8 mg
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 5 mg
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 10 mg
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 0.4 mg
Tablet, Extended Release; Oral; Folic Acid 800 mcg
Injectable; Injection; Folic Acid 5 mg / ml
Capsule; Oral; Folic Acid 1 mg
Injectable; Injection; Folic Acid / Sodium Folate 5 mg / ml
Capsule; Oral; Folic Acid 0.8 mg
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 25 mg
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 5 mg; Liver Extract 450 mg
Folic acid 5 mg/ml vial$ 2.14
Folic Acid 5 mg/ml$ 2.04
Folic acid powder$ 1.68
Folvite 5 mg/ml vial$ 1.38
Folic Acid 1 mg tablet$ 0.15
Folic acid 400 mcg tablet$ 0.07
Apo-Folic 5 mg Tablet$ 0.04
CVS Pharmacy folic acid 800 mcg tablet$ 0.02
Folic acid 0.4 mg tablet$ 0.02
Folic acid 0.8 mg tablet$ 0.02
Folic Acid / VPP 5 mg x 100's
Folic Acid / VPP 5 mg x 1000's
Folic Acid / VPP 5 mg x Blister pk
Folic Acid / Winston 5 mg
Folic Acid / GCPC 5 mg x 1000's
Folic Acid / GCPC 5 mg x Blister pk
Folic Acid / GCPC 10 mg x 1000's
Folic Acid / Y.Y 5 mg x 1000's
Folic Acid 5 mg Wingd Pharma Tablet$ 0.01
Folic Acid 5 mg LOCOST Tablet$ 0.00
Folic Acid 5 mg Tablet$ 0.03
Folic Acid 5 mg Unicure Tablet$ 0.00
Folic Acid 5 mg Acichem Tablet$ 0.00
Folic Acid 5 mg Densa Pharma Tablet$ 0.01
Folic Acid tablet 1 mg/1 (Apace Packaging (US))
Folic Acid injection, solution 5 mg/mL (APP Pharmaceuticals, LLC (US))
Folic Acid capsule 1 mg (Sisu Inc. (Canada))

List of Folic acid substitutes (brand and generic names):

100ml (Baroda Pharma Pvt Ltd)$ 1.86
Folica 5 mg Tablet (Baroda Pharma Pvt Ltd)$ 0.01
Folica Benzyl nicotinate 0.2 % w/v, Vitamin K 0.2 % w/v, Salicylicacid 0.1 % w/v. Hairtinct / 100ml (Baroda Pharma Pvt Ltd)$ 1.86
FOLICA Hair tinct 100ml (Baroda Pharma Pvt Ltd)$ 2.16
Folica Benzyl nicotinate 0.2 % w/v, Vitamin K 0.2 % w/v, Salicylicacid 0.1 % w/v. Hairtinct / 100ml (Baroda Pharma Pvt Ltd)$ 1.86
10 mg x 30's (RND Lab)$ 1.11
Folica-OD 10mg TAB / 30 (RND Lab)$ 1.11
FOLICA-OD tab 10 mg x 30's (RND Lab)$ 1.17
Folica-OD 10mg TAB / 30 (RND Lab)$ 0.91
FOLICAN TABLET 1 strip / 10 tablets each (Med Manor Organics Pvt Ltd)$ 0.24
Drops; Otic; Lidocaine Hydrochloride 10 mg; Phenazone 40 mg / g
Folicap 5 mg x 100's
Folicard 5 mg x 100's (Gruppo Medica)$ 15.56
Folicard cap 5 mg 100's (Gruppo Medica)$ 0.16
Solution; Oral; Folic Acid 0.4 mg / 5 ml (Medico Health Care)
5 mg x 10's (Medico Health Care)$ 0.16
Folicare 5 mg x 60's (Medico Health Care)
Folicare 5 mg x 100's (Medico Health Care)
Folicare 5mg TAB / 10 (Medico Health Care)$ 0.16
Folicare 5 mg Tablet (Medico Health Care)$ 0.02
FOLICARE tab 5 mg x 10's (Medico Health Care)$ 0.16
Tablet; Oral; Folic Acid 1 mg
Folicil tab 5 mg 60's (Bial)
Folicon 5 mg Tablet (Icon Pharma & Surgicals Pvt. Ltd)$ 0.01
Folicon 5mg Tablet (Icon Pharma & Surgicals Pvt. Ltd)$ 0.03
FOLICON TABLET 1 strip / 10 tablets each (Icon Pharma & Surgicals Pvt Ltd)$ 0.30
Folid 5 mg Tablet (Zorex Pharma Pvt. Ltd.)$ 0.01
Folid tab 5 mg 60's (Zorex Pharma Pvt. Ltd.)


  1. DailyMed. "ASCORBIC ACID; BIOTIN; CYANOCOBALAMIN; DEXPANTHENOL; ERGOCALCIFEROL; FOLIC ACID; NIACINAMIDE; PHYTONADIONE; PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE; RIBOFLAVIN 5'-PHOSPHATE SODIUM; THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE; VITAMIN A; VITAMIN E: DailyMed provides trustworthy information about marketed drugs in the United States. DailyMed is the official provider of FDA label information (package inserts).". (accessed September 17, 2018).
  2. PubChem. "folic acid". (accessed September 17, 2018).
  3. DrugBank. "folic acid". (accessed September 17, 2018).


The results of a survey conducted on for Folic acid are given in detail below. The results of the survey conducted are based on the impressions and views of the website users and consumers taking Folic acid. We implore you to kindly base your medical condition or therapeutic choices on the result or test conducted by a physician or licensed medical practitioners.

User reports

2 consumers reported useful

Was the Folic acid drug useful in terms of decreasing the symptom or the disease?
According to the reports released by website users, the below mentioned percentages of users say the drug is useful / not useful to them in decreasing their symptoms/disease. The usefulness of the drug depends on many factors, like severity of the disease, perception of symptom, or disease by the patient, brand name used [matters only to a certain extent], other associated conditions of the patient. If the drug is not effective or useful in your case, you need to meet the doctor to get re-evaluated about your symptoms/disease, and he will prescribe an alternative drug.

1 consumer reported price estimates

Was the price you paid to purchase the drug reasonable? Did you feel it was expensive?
The below mentioned numbers have been reported by website users about whether the Folic acid drug is expensive or inexpensive. There is a mixed opinion among users. The rating about the cost of the drug depends on factors like which brand drug the patient purchased, how effective it was for the price paid, the country or place the drug is marketed, and the economic condition of the patient. The users who feel the drug is expensive can look for an alternative brand drug or a generic drug to save the cost.
Not expensive1

1 consumer reported time for results

To what extent do I have to use Folic acid before I begin to see changes in my health conditions?
As part of the reports released by website users, it takes 2 weeks and a few days before you notice an improvement in your health conditions.
Please note, it doesn't mean you will start to notice such health improvement in the same time frame as other users. There are many factors to consider, and we implore you to visit your doctor to know how long before you can see improvements in your health while taking Folic acid. To get the time effectiveness of using Folic acid drug by other patients, please click here.
2 weeks1

7 consumers reported age


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Information checked by Dr. Sachin Kumar, MD Pharmacology

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