Prenatal Vitamins

What is the most important information I should know about prenatal vitamins?

There are many brands and forms of prenatal vitamin available and not all brands are listed on this leaflet. donot Never take more than the recommended dose of a multivitamin. Avoid taking any other multivitamin product within 2 hours before or after you take your prenatal vitamins. Taking similar vitamin products together at the same time can result in a vitamin overdose or serious side effects.

Many multivitamin products also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Minerals (especially taken in large doses) can cause side effects such as tooth staining, increased urination, stomach bleeding, uneven heart rate, confusion, and muscle weakness or limp feeling. Read the label of any multivitamin product you take to make sure you are aware of what it contains. emt Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of vitamins A, D, E, or K can cause serious or life-threatening side effects and can also harm your unborn baby. Certain minerals contained in a prenatal multivitamin may also cause serious overdose symptoms or harm to the baby if you take too much.

Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, hair loss, peeling skin, tingly feeling in or around your mouth, changes in menstrual periods, weight loss, severe headache, muscle or joint pain, severe back pain, blood in your urine, pale skin, and easy bruising or bleeding. donot Do not take this medication with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium. Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb certain ingredients of the multivitamin.

What are prenatal multivitamins?

Prenatal vitamins are a combination of many different vitamins that are normally found in foods and other natural sources.

Prenatal vitamins are used to provide the additional vitamins needed during pregnancy. Minerals may also be contained in prenatal multivitamins.

Prenatal vitamins may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking prenatal vitamins?

Many vitamins can cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken in large doses. Do not take more of this medication than directed on the label or prescribed by your doctor.

Before taking prenatal vitamins, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions.

You may need to continue taking prenatal vitamins if you breast-feed your baby. Ask your doctor about taking this medication while-breast-feeding.

How should I take prenatal vitamins?

Use this medication as directed on the label, or as your doctor has prescribed. Do not use the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Never take more than the recommended dose of prenatal vitamins.

Many multivitamin products also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Minerals (especially taken in large doses) can cause side effects such as tooth staining, increased urination, stomach bleeding, uneven heart rate, confusion, and muscle weakness or limp feeling. Read the label of any multivitamin product you take to make sure you are aware of what it contains. Take your prenatal vitamin with a full glass of water.

Swallow the regular tablet or capsule whole. Do not break, chew, crush, or open it.

The chewable tablet must be chewed or allowed to dissolve in your mouth before swallowing. You may also allow the chewable tablet to dissolve in drinking water, fruit juice, or infant formula (but not milk or other dairy products). Drink this mixture right away.

It is important to take prenatal vitamins regularly to get the most benefit. Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Store prenatal vitamins in their original container. Storing vitamins in a glass container can ruin the medication.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of vitamins A, D, E, or K can cause serious or life-threatening side effects and can also harm your unborn baby. Certain minerals contained in a prenatal multivitamin may also cause serious overdose symptoms or harm to the baby if you take too much.

Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, hair loss, peeling skin, tingly feeling in or around your mouth, changes in menstrual periods, weight loss, severe headache, muscle or joint pain, severe back pain, blood in your urine, pale skin, and easy bruising or bleeding.

What should I avoid while taking prenatal vitamins?

Avoid taking any other multivitamin product within 2 hours before or after you take your prenatal vitamins. Taking similar vitamin products together at the same time can result in a vitamin overdose or serious side effects.

Avoid the regular use of salt substitutes in your diet if your multivitamin contains potassium. If you are on a low-salt diet, ask your doctor before taking a vitamin or mineral supplement.

Do not take this medication with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium. Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb certain ingredients of the prenatal vitamin.

What are the possible side effects of prenatal vitamins?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

When taken as directed, prenatal vitamins are not expected to cause serious side effects. Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach;
  • headache; or
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect prenatal vitamins?

Vitamin and mineral supplements can interact with certain medications, or affect how medications work in your body. Before taking a prenatal vitamin, tell your doctor if you also use:

  • diuretics (water pills);
  • heart or blood pressure medications;
  • tretinoin (Vesanoid);
  • isotretinoin (Accutane, Amnesteen, Clavaris, Sotret);
  • trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (Cotrim, Bactrim, Gantanol, Gantrisin, Septra, TMP/SMX); or
  • an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other medications that can interact with or be affected by prenatal vitamins. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Article Reviewed: July 11, 2012
Copyright © 2011 CitiHealth
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