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Vitamin A

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Brand Name: Retinol, Aquasol A, Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate

Generic Name: Vitamin A

Drug Class: Vitamins, Fat-Soluble

What Is Vitamin A and How Does It Work?

Vitamin A is an over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs work properly. There are two different types of Vitamin A. The first, preformed vitamin A, is found in meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. The second, provitamin A, is found in fruits, vegetables and other plant-based products. The most common type of provitamin A is beta-carotene which can be found in foods and dietary supplements.

Vitamin A is available under the following different brand names: Retinol, Aquasol A, Retinyl Acetate, and Retinyl Palmitate.

Dosages of Vitamin A:

Adult and pediatric

Capsule

  • 7,500 U
  • 8,000 U
  • 10,000 U
  • 25,000 U

Injectable solution

  • 50,000 U/ml

Tablet

  • 10,000 U
  • 15,000 U

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Described as retinol activity equivalent (RAE)

1 RAE = Retinol 1 mcg

Adults:

Males: 900 mcg per day (3,000 units per day)

Females:

  • 700 mcg per day (2330 units per day)
  • Older than 18 years pregnant: 750-770 mcg per day (2,500-2,600 units per day)
  • Older than 18 years breastfeeding: 1300 mcg retinol activity equivalent (4330 units per day)

Pediatrics:

  • Infants 0-6 months: 400 mcg/day retinol activity equivalent (1,333 units per day)
  • Infants 6-12 months: 500 mcg/day retinol activity equivalent (1,666 units per day)
  • Children 1-3 years: 300 mcg/day retinol activity equivalent (1,000 units per day)
  • Children 3-8 years: 400 mcg/day retinol activity equivalent (1,333 units per day)
  • Children 8-13 years: 600 mcg/day retinol activity equivalent (2,000 units per day)
  • Children 13-18 years: 900 mcg/day retinol activity equivalent (3,000 units per day)

Upper Intake Levels

Adults:

  • Older than 18 years: 3,000 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (10,000 units per day)
  • During pregnancy: 3,000 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (10,000 units per day)
  • Lactation: 3,000 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (10,000 units per day)

Pediatrics:

  • Children 0-3 years: 600 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (2,000 units per day)
  • Children 3-8 years: 900 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (3,000 units per day)
  • Children 8-13 years: 1,700 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (5,667 units per day)
  • Children 13-18 years, pregnant: 2,800 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (9,333 units per day)
  • Children 13-18 years, breastfeeding: 2,800 mcg per day retinol activity equivalent (9,333 units per day)

Vitamin A Deficiency

Adults:

  • Malabsorption or oral administration not feasible: 100,000 units per day injected intramuscularly for 3 days; then 50,000 units per day for 2 weeks, to be followed with oral therapy
  • Oral therapy: take oral therapeutic multivitamin containing 10,000-20,000 units per day of vitamin A for 2 months
  • Deficiency prophylaxis: 10,000-50,000 units orally once per day

Pediatrics:

  • Use intermuscular route when oral administration is not possible or in malabsorption syndrome
  • Infants: 7,500-15,000 units per day for 15 days
  • Children 1-8 years: 17,500-35,000 units per day for 10 days
  • Children 8 years and older:
    • Malabsorption or oral administration not feasible: 100,000 units per day, intramuscular for 3 days, then 50,000 units per day for 2 weeks; follow with oral therapy
    • Oral therapy: Take oral therapeutic multivitamin containing 10,000-20,000 units of daily vitamin A for 2 months
    • Deficiency prophylaxis: 10,000-50,000 units orally once per day

Xerophthalmia (off label)

Adults:

  • Recommended dose except for females of reproductive age: 200,000 units orally once daily for 2 days. Repeat dose again after 2 weeks
  • Females of reproductive age with night blindness or Bitot's spots: 5,000-10,000 units per day; 10,000 units per day maximum of 25,000 units once weekly for no more than 4 weeks

Pediatrics:

  • Infants under 6 months: 50,000 units once per day for 2 days, repeat once with single dose after 2 weeks
  • Infants 6-12 months: 100,000 units once per day for 2 days, repeat with single dose after 2 weeks
  • Children over 12 months, except females of reproductive age: 200,000 units once per day for 2 days, repeat with a single dose after 2 weeks
  • Females of reproductive age with night blindness or Bitot's spots: 5,000-10,000 units per day, 10,000 units per day with a maximum of 25,000 units once weekly for no more than 4 weeks

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

  • None.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2017



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