Vitamin B9 - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Vitamin B9 or folic acid is a supplement to prevent and overcome vitamin B9 deficiency (deficiency). Vitamin B9 plays an important role in the process of formation of red blood cells and genetic material, like DNA. Folic acid is also used to prevent neural tube defects (neural tube defects) on the fetus.

Naturally, the need for vitamin B9 can be fulfilled by regularly consuming foods rich in folic acid, such as beef liver, spinach, cereals, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, lettuce, papaya, bananas, avocados, oranges, lemons, peanuts, eggs, or fish.

In addition, folic acid is also available in the form of vitamin supplements which are generally consumed by pregnant women, women who are planning a pregnancy, or people who have anemia.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid) trademarks: Anemolate, Camabion, Ferrolate, Folic Acid, Folavit, Geriavita, Sangobion Kids, Soluvit N, Blood Boost Tablets, Tivilac, Maltofer Fol, Nucalci, Regenesis Max, R-Betix, and Vivena-12

What Is Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

groupOver-the-counter drugs and doctor's prescriptions
CategoryVitamin supplements
BenefitOvercoming folic acid deficiency, megaloblastic anemia, and preventing neural tube defects in the fetus.
Used byAdults and children
Vitamin B9 for pregnant and lactating womenCategory A: Controlled studies in pregnant women have not shown any risk to the fetus, and it is unlikely that harm to the fetus is possible.

Folic acid can be absorbed into breast milk, but is considered safe for consumption by nursing mothers. Breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women are advised to take B9 supplements that are specifically intended for pregnant or lactating women.

Drug formTablets, syrups, caplets, capsules, powders and injectables

Precautions Before Using Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

There are several things you should pay attention to before using vitamin B9 supplements, including:

  • Do not use B9 supplements if you are allergic to the ingredients in this product.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin B9 supplements if you have or are currently suffering from kidney disease, vitamin B12 deficiency, infection, pernicious anemia, cancer, or alcoholism.
  • Talk to your doctor about using folic acid if you are currently or have recently undergone hemodialysis or heart ring placement (stent).
  • Consult about the appropriate dose and duration of folic acid, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages while taking folic acid treatment, because it can interfere with the absorption of this vitamin.
  • See your doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction to a drug or an overdose after taking vitamin B9.

Dosage and Instructions for Use of Vitamin B9(Folic acid)

The dose of vitamin B9 varies, depending on the age and condition of the patient, as well as the purpose of use. The following is a breakdown of general vitamin B9 dosages based on their intended use:

Purpose: As an additional supplement

Drug form: Tablets, caplets, capsules and syrups

  • Adults: 400 mcg per day
  • Pregnant women: 600 mcg per day
  • Breastfeeding mothers: 500 mcg per day
  • Children 14 years: 400 mcg per day
  • Children 9–14 years: 300 mcg per day
  • Children 4–9 years: 200 mcg per day
  • Children 1-4 years: 150 mcg per day
  • Children 7–12 months: 80 mcg per day
  • Children 0–6 months: 65 mcg per day

Purpose: Overcoming folic acid deficiency

Drug form: Tablets, caplets, capsules, syrups and injections

  • Adults: 400–000 mcg
  • Children aged 1–10 years: Initial dose 1000 mcg/day, continued dose 100–400 mcg/day
  • Infants: 15 mcg/kg body weight per day or 50 mcg

Purpose: Prevents neural tube defects in the fetus

Drug form: Tablets, caplets, capsules and syrups

  • Pregnant women: 600 mcg per day
  • Women planning pregnancy: 400 mcg per day
  • Women who are at high risk or who have a family history of neural tube defects: 4,000 mcg per day

Purpose: Treat megaloblastic anemia caused by folate deficiency

Drug form: Tablets, caplets, capsules and syrups

  • Children >1 year of age to adults: 5,000 mcg per day for up to 4 months. Dosage may be increased to a maximum of 15,000 mcg per day if malabsorption occurs

Drug form: Inject

  • Adult: Maintenance dose 400 mcg per day, maximum dose 1000 mcg
  • Children >12 years: Same as adult dose
  • Children 4 years: 400 mcg per day
  • Children <4 years: up to 300 mcg per day
  • Infants: 100 mcg per day

Purpose: Overcoming methanol poisoning

Drug form: Inject

  • Adults: 50,000–75,000 mcg every 4 hours, for 24 hours
  • Children: 1,000 mcg/kg every 4 hours, for 24 hours

Nutritional Adequacy Rate (RDA) Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Vitamin B9 needs can be met through food, supplements, or a combination of both. The measure for calculating the RDA for vitamin B9 is known as dietary folate equivalents (DFE) or food equivalents of folate.

Please note, 1 mcg of DFE is equivalent to:

  • 1 mcg of folate from food
  • 0.6 mcg folic acid from vitamin-fortified foods or supplements taken with food
  • 0.5 mcg of folic acid from supplements taken on an empty stomach

The recommended nutritional adequacy rate (RDA) varies based on age and health conditions. The following is a breakdown of the daily RDA for vitamin B9 by age and DFE:

  • 0–6 months: 65 mcg DFE
  • 7–12 months: 80 mcg DFE
  • Ages 1–3 years: 150 mcg DFE
  • Ages 4–8 years: 200 mcg DFE
  • Ages 9–13 years: 300 mcg DFE
  • Age 14 years: 400 mcg DFE

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need more vitamin B9 intake, which is 600 mcg DFE per day for pregnant women and 500 mcg DFE mcg per day for breastfeeding mothers.

How to Use Vitamin B9(Folic Acid) Correctly

Vitamin and mineral supplements are taken to meet the body's need for vitamins and minerals, especially when the intake from food is not sufficient. Keep in mind, supplements are only as a complement to nutritional intake, not as a substitute for nutrients from food.

Use vitamin B9 supplements according to the description on the packaging. If necessary, discuss with your doctor to find out the appropriate dose for your condition.

Provision of vitamin B9 supplements in the form of injections will be carried out by a doctor or medical officer under the supervision of a doctor. Vitamin B9 injection form will be injected into the muscle (intramuscular / IM), vein (intravenous / IV), or skin (subcutaneous / SC).

Vitamin B9 supplements can be taken before or after meals. Take the medicine with a glass of water. Try to take it at the same time every day for maximum treatment results.

If you forget to take a vitamin B9 supplement, take the drug immediately if the break with the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore it and do not double the dose.

Store vitamin B9 in a cool dry place. Avoid heat and direct sunlight. Keep supplements out of reach of children.

Interaction of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) with Other Drugs

Drug interactions can occur if vitamin B9 is used together with certain drugs. The following drug interactions can occur:

  • Decreased absorption of vitamin B9 used with triamterene or sulfasalazine
  • Increased risk of lithium side effects
  • Decreased blood levels of vitamin B9 and decreased levels of pyrimethamine or antiepileptic drugs, such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, or valproate
  • Decreased therapeutic effect of methotrexate
  • Enhanced effect of capecitabine or fluorouracil
  • Decreased therapeutic effect of vitamin B9 when used with chloramphenicol

Side Effects and Dangers of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Vitamin B9 rarely causes side effects when taken according to the recommended dosage. However, there are some side effects that can occur after taking folic acid, namely:

  • Nauseous
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Easy to get angry