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ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ascorbic acid?

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to ascorbic acid.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using ascorbic acid if you have:

  • kidney disease or a history of kidney stones;
  • liver disease (especially cirrhosis); or
  • an enzyme deficiency called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD).

It is not known whether ascorbic acid is harmful to an unborn baby. Some vitamins and minerals can harm an unborn baby if taken in large doses. You may need to use a prenatal vitamin specially formulated for pregnant women. Do not take ascorbic acid without telling your doctor if you are pregnant.

Ascorbic acid can pass into breast milk, but it is not known whether it would be harmful to a nursing baby. Some vitamins and minerals are needed for breast milk production, but some may harm a nursing baby. Do not take ascorbic acid without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take ascorbic acid?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

The recommended dietary allowance of ascorbic acid increases with age, and whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Follow your doctor's instructions. You may also consult the National Academy of Sciences "Dietary Reference Intake" or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Dietary Reference Intake" (formerly "Recommended Daily Allowances" or RDA) listings for more information.

Take the ascorbic acid regular tablet or capsule with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

The ascorbic acid chewable tablet must be chewed before swallowing. Ascorbic acid gum may be chewed over a long period and then spit out and thrown away.

Remove the disintegrating tablet from the package using dry hands, and place the tablet in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away. Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Dissolve the powder form of ascorbic acid in a small amount of water or other liquid. Follow the directions on the package label about what types of liquid you may use. Stir the mixture and drink all of it right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Store ascorbic acid at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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