Folic Acid (Folate)

Medication Information Leaflet

​What is the medication used for?

Folic acid (or folate) is a type of vitamin naturally found in some foods that helps the body to produce red blood cells. A lack of folic acid may result in folate-deficiency anemia, a condition in which there is insufficient healthy red blood cells to provide oxygen to the body.

During pregnancy, folic acid supplementation may reduce the incidence of birth defects (e.g. abnormal development of brain and spinal cord in the baby).

Folic acid supplementation may be required in those with certain conditions (e.g. kidney disease, excessive alcohol intake) or taking certain medications (e.g. Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine).

How should I take the medication?

  • Do not stop taking your medications without checking with your healthcare professional 
  • This medication may be taken with or without food

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose. 

What precautions should I follow when taking the medication?

Before starting on this medication, inform your healthcare professional if you:
  • Are allergic to this medication, or any of the other ingredients in this medication
  • Are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

Some side effects of folic acid include bloating, rash, itch or difficulty breathing.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately. 

How should I store the medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. Throw away all expired medications. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on December 2019

Folic Acid (Folate)

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