Folic acid (folacin, pteroylglutamic acid, folate)
Brand Name: Folvite
Pregnancy Category A
Drug class: Folic acid
Active reduced form of folic acid; required for nucleoprotein synthesis and maintenence of normal erythropoiesis.
· Treatment of megoblastic anemias due to sprue, nutritional deficiency, pregnancy, infancy, and childhood
· Contraindicated with allergy to folic acid preparations; pernicious, aplastic, normocytic anemias.
· Hypersensitivity: Allergic reactions
· Local: Pain and discomfort at injection site
· Decrease in serum phenytoin and increase in seizure activity with folic acid preparations
· Decreased absorption with sulfasalazine, aminosalicyclic acid
Name confusion has been reported between folinic acid (leucovorin) and folic acid; use extreme caution.
· Administer orally if at all possible. With severe GI malabsorption or very severe disease, give IM, SC, or IV.
· Test using Schilling test and serum vitamin B12 levels to rule out pernicious anemia. Therapy may mask signs of pernicious anemia while the neurologic deterioration continues.
· Use caution when giving the parenteral preparations to premature infants. These preparations contain benzyl alcohol, may produce a fatal gasping syndrome in premature infants.
· Monitor patient for hypersensitivity reactions, especially if drug previously taken. Maintain supportive equipment and emergency drugs on standby in case of serious allergic response.