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Folic acid tablets are the man-made version of the vitamin folate (also known as vitamin B9).
Folate helps the body make healthy red blood cells and is found in certain foods.
Folic acid is used to:
Folate deficiency anaemia can be caused by poor diet, a plant based diet but more commonly intestinal problems that prevent the body absorbing enough folate. All of these conditions can lead to Folate Deficiency anaemia which can be diagnosed by your doctor with a blood test, from here they will identify the cause.
Folic acid is often recommended to pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant as it can help prevent birth defects in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. A lot of pregnancy vitamin supplements will contain folic acid. We cannot prescribe folic acid tablets to pregnant women online from e-Surgery but this medication can be acquired from your doctor or GP.
There is some evidence to suggest that taking Folic acid tablets can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, though there is not enough to prove this to be the case. We would recommend Folic acid tablets to be taken by those with a diagnosed Folate deficiency anaemia.
Folic acid tablets can be purchased from your local pharmacy or online. This will require a short 2 minute health questionnaire to verify you are receiving the correct medication. When buying Folic acid tablets or any other medication online make sure to buy from reputable, registered pharmacies.
Take 1 5mg Folic acid tablet once a day as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. The general length of treatment is 4 months after which your doctor may want a check up.
You can take folic acid with or without food. Swallow the tablets whole with a drink.
The folic acid will start to work within 24 hours. Do not stop taking folic acid tablets if you start to feel better, complete the full treatment you have been prescribed.
Vitamin B9 (commonly called folate) deficiency anaemia occurs when a lack of folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that cannot function properly. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body using a substance called haemoglobin.
Anaemia is the general term for having either fewer red blood cells than normal or having an abnormally low amount of haemoglobin in each red blood cell. There are several different types of anaemia and each one has a different cause.
Folate deficiency can cause a variety of symptoms including:
Folate is a water soluble nutrient meaning the body cannot store it, this requires your body to have a constant supply in the form of the food that we eat or supplements. Some causes of Folate deficiency anaemia are:
As with all medication there is a possibility of side effects, though Folic acid is generally considered quite safe. Read the Folic Acid tablet patient information leaflet for more information:
Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if these side effects bother you or do not go away:
Contact a doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms as it could be a sign of an allergic reaction:
Remember it’s important to read Folic Acid tablets patient information leaflet before taking this medication.
It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol with folic acid as alcohol may stop folic acid being absorbed. Drinking alcohol might mean your folic acid may not work as well.
You can eat and drink normally when taking Folic Acid tablets.
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription:
If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Do not take Folic acid tablets if:
You should take Folic acid tablets to prevent or reduce Folate deficiency anaemia, as it can cause you to feel tired and drowsy. Folate is required for the body to function properly, and if you are unable to absorb it naturally medication is the second best thing. You can easily order Folic acid tablets online from e-Surgery with a quick 2 minute health questionnaire, and better yet free delivery straight to your door!
Although for some Folic acid tablets will be the best option, there are some foods high in folate that may help reduce your deficiency. These include:
Store Folic Acid tablets as per the patient information leaflet in a cool, dry place. Do not use Folic Acid tablets after the expiration date on the box.
You can buy Folic Acid tablets online from registered online prescribers such as e-Surgery.
Whenever you are buying Folic Acid tablets or any other medication, make sure you check for the green GPhC and MHRA logo on the bottom of each page of the website you are using.
You can find more information about Folic Acid tablets in the Folic Acid tablet patient information leaflet.
You can also use our completely free Ask-a-Pharmacist service to get health advice from a trained professional. We’re here to help!
e-Surgery uses Royal Mail delivery with choices starting from Royal Mail 48 tracked delivery, Royal Mail tracked 24 and Royal Mail 1pm special delivery (discover more about e-Surgery delivery). Your Folic Acid tablets will arrive in discreet, recyclable packaging at a delivery address of your choice. Find out to recycle packaging from e-Surgery.
Folic Acid tablets come in blister packs that are not currently recyclable, so once they have been used can be disposed of in a general waste bin. If Folic Acid tablets are unfinished dispose of medication safely and drop them off at a local pharmacy. Cardboard packaging and paper patient information leaflets are recyclable. For any more information on disposal of Folic Acid tablets you can use our free Ask-a-Pharmacist service.
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