Folic acid is strongly recommended for expectant mothers to prevent neural tube defect in babies. It is generally safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women when used in recommended amounts.
Folic acid is often used for people who are on low-dose methotrexate for long periods of time (methotrexate is commonly used to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis). This will help prevent mouth sores, nausea, or vomiting, or other liver side effects that can be caused by methotrexate.
Folic acid has also been studied with vitamins B6 and B12 to help prevent heart disease and to treat age-related macular degeneration (a type of vision loss). Some research shows that this combination of supplements may help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
When taken in recommended doses, folic acid is well tolerated. Higher doses of folic acid can cause side effects like stomach cramps, diarrhea, rash, sleep disturbances, irritability, and confusion.
Folic acid may interact with certain seizure medications. Check with your pharmacist if you are concerned.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.