Folic Acid

Folic Acid Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Food Interaction and all others data.

Folic Acid is essential for the production of certain coenzymes in many metabolic systems such as purine and pyrimidine synthesis. It is also essential in the synthesis and maintenance of nucleoprotein in erythropoesis. It also promotes WBC and platelet production in folate-deficiency anaemia.

Folic Acid is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin found in foods such as liver, kidney, yeast, and leafy, green vegetables. Also known as folate or Vitamin B9, folic acid is an essential cofactor for enzymes involved in DNA and RNA synthesis. More specifically, folic acid is required by the body for the synthesis of purines, pyrimidines, and methionine before incorporation into DNA or protein. Folic Acid is the precursor of tetrahydrofolic acid, which is involved as a cofactor for transformylation reactions in the biosynthesis of purines and thymidylates of nucleic acids. Impairment of thymidylate synthesis in patients with folic acid deficiency is thought to account for the defective deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis that leads to megaloblast formation and megaloblastic and macrocytic anemias. Folic Acid is particularly important during phases of rapid cell division, such as infancy, pregnancy, and erythropoiesis, and plays a protective factor in the development of cancer. As humans are unable to synthesize folic acid endogenously, diet and supplementation is necessary to prevent deficiencies. In order to function properly within the body, folic acid must first be reduced by the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) into the cofactors dihydrofolate (DHF) and tetrahydrofolate (THF). This important pathway, which is required for de novo synthesis of nucleic acids and amino acids, is disrupted by anti-metabolite therapies such as Methotrexate as they function as DHFR inhibitors to prevent DNA synthesis in rapidly dividing cells, and therefore prevent the formation of DHF and THF.

In general, folate serum levels below 5 ng/mL indicate folate deficiency, and levels below 2 ng/mL usually result in megaloblastic anemia.

Trade Name Folic Acid
Generic Folic acid
Folic acid Other Names Acide folique, ácido fólico, Acidum folicum, Folacin, Folate, Folic acid, Folsäure, Vitamin B9, Vitamin Bc, Vitamin M
Weight 5mg, , 1mg, 0.4mg, 0.8mg, 0.02mg + 1mg + 0.1mg
Type Tablet, Oral Tablet, Oral Kit, Film Coated
Formula C19H19N7O6
Weight Average: 441.3975
Monoisotopic: 441.139681375
Protein binding

Very high to plasma protein

Groups Approved, Nutraceutical, Vet approved
Therapeutic Class Drugs for Megaloblastic Anemia, Vitamin-B preparations
Manufacturer Albro Pharma, Amico Laboratories Ltd, Belsen Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Essential Drugs Company Ltd, Innova Pharmaceuticals Limited, Sharif Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Wockhardt Uk Ltd, Riyadh Pharma, Phapros, First Medifarma, Marin Liza Farmasi, Triman, Futamed Pharmaceuticals, Promedrahardjo Farmasi Industri, Juhel Nigeria Limited, Reagan Remedies Ltd, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Reagan Remedies Limited
Available Country Pakistan, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States, Indonesia, Nigeria
Last Updated: September 19, 2023 at 7:00 am
Folic Acid
Folic Acid


Prophylaxis of megaloblastic anaemia in pregnancy, Supplement for women of child-bearing potential, Folate-deficient megaloblastic anaemia, Prophylaxis of neural tube defect in pregnancy

Folic Acid is also used to associated treatment for these conditions: Anaemia folate deficiency, Folate deficiency, Iron Deficiency (ID), Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA), Latent Iron Deficiency, Neural Tube Defects (NTDs), Vitamin Deficiency, Methotrexate toxicity, Nutritional supplementation

How Folic Acid works

Folic Acid, as it is biochemically inactive, is converted to tetrahydrofolic acid and methyltetrahydrofolate by dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). These folic acid congeners are transported across cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis where they are needed to maintain normal erythropoiesis, synthesize purine and thymidylate nucleic acids, interconvert amino acids, methylate tRNA, and generate and use formate. Using vitamin B12 as a cofactor, folic acid can normalize high homocysteine levels by remethylation of homocysteine to methionine via methionine synthetase.


Folic Acid dosage

Supplement for women of child-bearing potential: 0.4 mg daily.

Folate-deficient megaloblastic anaemia: 5 mg daily for 4 mth, up to 15 mg daily in malabsorption states. Continued dosing at 5 mg every 1-7 days may be needed in chronic haemolytic states, depending on the diet and rate of haemolysis.

Prophylaxis of neural tube defect in pregnancy: 4 or 5 mg daily starting before pregnancy and continued through the 1st trimester.

Prophylaxis of megaloblastic anaemia in pregnancy: 0.2-0.5 mg daily.

May be taken with or without food.

Side Effects

GI disturbances, hypersensitivity reactions; bronchospasm.


IPR-MUS LD50 85 mg/kg,IVN-GPG LD50 120 mg/kg, IVN-MUS LD50 239 mg/kg, IVN-RAT LD50 500 mg/kg, IVN-RBT LD50 410 mg/kg


Treatment resistance may occur in patients with depressed haematopoiesis, alcoholism, deficiencies of other vitamins. Neonates.


Antiepileptics, oral contraceptives, anti-TB drugs, alcohol, aminopterin, methotrexate, pyrimethamine, trimethoprim and sulphonamides may result to decrease in serum folate contrations. Decreases serum phenytoin concentrations.

Food Interaction

No interactions found.

Volume of Distribution

Tetrahydrofolic acid derivatives are distributed to all body tissues but are stored primarily in the liver.

Elimination Route

Folic Acid is absorbed rapidly from the small intestine, primarily from the proximal portion. Naturally occurring conjugated folates are reduced enzymatically to folic acid in the gastrointestinal tract prior to absorption. Folic Acid appears in the plasma approximately 15 to 30 minutes after an oral dose; peak levels are generally reached within 1 hour.

Elimination Route

After a single oral dose of 100 mcg of folic acid in a limited number of normal adults, only a trace amount of the drug appeared in the urine. An oral dose of 5 mg in 1 study and a dose of 40 mcg/kg of body weight in another study resulted in approximately 50% of the dose appearing in the urine. After a single oral dose of 15 mg, up to 90% of the dose was recovered in the urine. A majority of the metabolic products appeared in the urine after 6 hours; excretion was generally complete within 24 hours. Small amounts of orally administered folic acid have also been recovered in the feces. Folic Acid is also excreted in the milk of lactating mothers.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding use

Pregnancy Category A. Adequate and well-controlled human studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).


Undiagnosed megaloblastic anaemia; pernicious, aplastic or normocytic anaemias.

Storage Condition

Store at 15-30° C.

Innovators Monograph

You find simplified version here Folic Acid

Folic Acid contains Folic acid see full prescribing information from innovator Folic Acid Monograph, Folic Acid MSDS, Folic Acid FDA label


What does Folic Acid do to the body?

Folic Acid helps make healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. If we do not have enough folic acid, the body can make abnormally large red blood cells that do not work properly. This causes folate deficiency anaemia, which can cause tiredness and other symptoms.

Who needs Folic Acid?

CDC urges all women of reproductive age to take 400 micrograms (mcg) of Folic Acid each day, in addition to consuming food with folate from a varied diet, to help prevent some major birth defects of the baby's brain (anencephaly) and spine (spina bifida). Prophylaxis of megaloblastic anaemia in pregnancy, Supplement for women of child-bearing potential, Folate-deficient megaloblastic anaemia, Prophylaxis of neural tube defect in pregnancy

Why would a doctor prescribe Folic Acid?

Folic Acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. As a medication, Folic Acid is used to treat folic acid deficiency and certain types of anemia (lack of red blood cells) caused by folic acid deficiency.

How long should I take Folic Acid?

You should take Folic Acid supplements for two to three months before you conceive and until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

Who is at risk of Folic Acid deficiency?

Folate deficiency is most commonly found in pregnant and lactating women, people with chronic conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, people following restricted diets due to weight-loss regimes or medical conditions, people with alcohol dependence and people more than 65 years of age.

What are the symptoms of low folic acid?

The symptoms of anemia that occur due to folate deficiency include:

  • persistent fatigue.
  • weakness.
  • lethargy.
  • pale skin.
  • shortness of breath.
  • irritability.

How to take Folic Acid?

  • If you are taking Folic Acid every day, take it at the same time each day, either in the morning OR in the evening.
  • Take your Folic Acid tablets with a glass of water.
  • You can take Folic Acid with or without food.
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember.

Why Folic Acid is bad?

Several studies indicate that chronically elevated levels of unmetabolized Folic Acid may have adverse health effects, including: Increased cancer risk. High levels of unmetabolized Folic Acid have been associated with increased cancer risk.

When should I stop taking Folic Acid?

Once you reach 12 weeks pregnant your baby's spine will have developed, so you can stop taking Folic Acid if you wish. However you can continue to take supplements after 12 weeks if you choose to and it won't harm your baby to do so.

Does Folic Acid help to get pregnant fast?

“Folate supplementation prior to conception has been associated with a greater chance for getting pregnant, improved success with fertility treatments, and reduced risk of neural tube defects in the baby,” says Low Dog. “Though, more testing is needed.” For pregnant women, the RDA of Folic Acid is 600 micrograms (mcg).

What food has folic acid?

Good sources of folic acid include:

  • broccoli.
  • brussels sprouts.
  • leafy green vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, spring greens and spinach.
  • peas.
  • chickpeas and kidney beans.
  • liver (but avoid this during pregnancy)
  • breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid.

How long does it take for Folic Acid tablets to work?

When Folic Acid is taken for deficiencies, the benefits are usually felt quickly. In most cases, you'll feel better within 24 hours.

Do I really need to take Folic Acid?

It's important to take a 400 micrograms Folic Acid tablet every day before you're pregnant and until you're 12 weeks pregnant. Folic Acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.

Does Folic Acid improve skin?

Folic Acid (folic acid) helps to facilitate the development of healthy skin cells, it can help fight out premature aging, specifically wrinkles and fine lines. It has also been found to increase the production of collagen to give you firmer and more toned skin.

How many Folic Acid should I take a day?

All women need 400 micrograms of Folic Acid every day. Women who can get pregnant should get 400 to 800 micrograms of Folic Acid from a vitamin or from food that has added folic acid, such as breakfast cereal. This is in addition to the folate you get naturally from food. Some women may need more Folic Acid each day.

What vegetables contain folic acid?

Folic acid is commonly found in dark green and leafy vegetables such as:

  • spinach.
  • asparagus.
  • romaine lettuces.
  • turnip greens.
  • dried or fresh beans and peas, etc.
  • A pound of potatoes also probably contains as much vitamin B6 and folic acid as 1 Ib.
  • A glass of milk is also a good way to get more folic acid into your diet.
  • Tomatoes are a great source of naturally-occurring folate.

Can Folic Acid regulate periods?

Folate is said to promote regular ovulation and increased progesterone levels in the second half of the menstrual cycle. This may support fertility. Current recommendations are 400 micrograms (mcg) daily. Your doctor may suggest 800 mcg or more depending on your health history.

What are the benefits of Folic Acid?

Folic Acid acts by helping the body produce and maintain new cells. In particular, red blood cell formation is dependent upon adequate levels of this vitamin. Folic Acid deficiency is a known cause of anemia in both adults and children.

*** Taking medicines without doctor's advice can cause long-term problems.