Folic acid is the man-made form of folate, also called as vitamin B found in many natural products. Folic acid is essential for healthy cell formation, particularly red blood cells. So, it is essential to get the sufficient dosage of folic acid before conception and during pregnancy to ensure the healthy growth of fetus. Every pregnant woman should know the side effects of low and higher doses of folic acid.
Right dosage of folic acid during pregnancy
Pregnant women need to take 600 mcg of folic acid and during the breast feeding period, the amount is 500 mcg. The risk of toxicity and harmful side effects from the too much folate consumption is very low. As folic acid is water soluble, even you consume higher amounts of folic acid, your body can excrete it.
100 mcg is the tolerable limit of folic acid for every person. If you get more than this limit, it may lead to adverse side effects and mask the intake of various other nutrients.Higher consumption of folic acid can greatly interfere with your prescription medicines. Furthermore, the symptoms associated with deficiency of B12 are similar to the symptoms from folatedeficiency. If you increase the folic acid intake, it could mask the problematic B12 deficiency, known as low blood cell count or megaloblastic anemia.
Anemia caused from B12 deficiency can be corrected by consuming folic acid, but it can’t help with the nerve damage resulting from B12 deficiency. Here are some of the side effects resulting from high dosage of folic acid:
- Abdominal cramps
- Sleeping difficulty
- Gas and bloating
- Zinc deficiency
- Irritability, excitability or hyperactivity
- Psychotic behavior
- Bitter taste in the mouth
Some studies stated that higher doses of folic acid can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other age-related difficulties. You need to seek medical attention if you observe any signs of allergic reaction, such as:
- Unexplained rash
- Swelling in the throat or mouth
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Though it is not a complete list of possible side effects, if you observe any other signs, you should make sure to consult your health care provider.
So, prior using this drug, inform your doctor in case you are allergic to it. Inform your doctor if you have vitamin B12 deficiency. Higher doses of folic acid can also lead to low birth weight. It is recommended to discuss with your doctor in order to avoid these complications.