In this Article
- What other names is Vitamin A known by?
- What is Vitamin A?
- How does Vitamin A work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Vitamin A.
Long-term use of large amounts of vitamin A might cause serious side effects including fatigue, irritability, mental changes, anorexia, stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, mild fever, excessive sweating, and many other side effects. In women who have passed menopause, taking too much vitamin A can increase the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture.
There is growing concern that taking high doses of antioxidant supplements such as vitamin A might do more harm than good. Some research shows that taking high doses of vitamin A supplements might increase the chance of death from all causes and possibly other serious side effects.
Vitamin A is safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in recommended amounts of less than 10,000 units per day.
Vitamin A is safe for children when taken in the recommended amounts. When amounts greater than those recommended are taken, side effects can include irritability, sleepiness, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, headache, vision problems, peeling skin, increased risk of pneumonia and diarrhea, and other problems. The maximum amounts of vitamin A that are safe for children are based on age:
- Less than 2000 units/day in children up to 3 years old.
- Less than 3000 units/day in children ages 4 to 8 years old.
- Less than 5700 units/day in children ages 9 to 13 years old.
- Less than 9300 units/day in children ages 14 to 18 years old.
- You drink a lot of alcohol.
- You have an uncommon form of high cholesterol called "Type V hyperlipoproteinemia."
- You have liver disease.
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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