Vitamin E

Reviewed on 8/10/2021

What Is Vitamin E and How Does It Work?

Vitamin E is a supplement used to prevent or treat a lack of vitamin E in the body. A low body level of vitamin E is rare. Most people who eat a normal diet do not need extra vitamin E. However, vitamin E supplements are used in premature newborns and in people who have problems absorbing enough vitamin E from their diets. Vitamin E is important in protecting your body's cells from damage. It is known as an antioxidant.

Vitamin E is available under the following different brand names: Aquasol E, alpha-tocopherol, and tocopherol.

Dosages of Vitamin E

Dosage Forms and Strengths


  • 200 units
  • 400 units
  • 600 units
  • 1000 units


  • 400 units/15 mL


  • 15 units/0.3mL

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

15 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 1000 mg/day

Pregnant Females

  • Under 18 years: 15 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 800 mg/day
  • Over 18 years: 15 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 1000 mg/day

Lactating Females

  • Under 18 years: 19 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 800 mg/day
  • Over 18 years: 19 mg/day orally once/day; not to exceed 1000 mg/day


  • Children 1-3 years: 6 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 200 mg/day
  • Children 3-8 years: 7 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 300 mg/day
  • Children 8-13 years: 11 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 600 mg/day
  • Children 13-18 years: 6 mg orally once/day; not to exceed 800 mg/day

Cystic Fibrosis Supplementation (Off-label)

  • Children 1-12 months: 40-50 units/day
  • Children 1-3 years: 80-150 units/day
  • Children 4-8 years: 100-200 units/day
  • Children over 8 years: 200-400 units/day

Vitamin E Deficiency

  • 60-75 units orally once/day

Postherpetic Neuralgia (Off-label)

  • 400 units orally twice or four times daily


  • Swallow capsules whole, do not crush or chew


Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Vitamin E?

Common side effects of vitamin_e include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurred vision
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (infants)
  • Increased serum creatinine
  • Increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke
  • Recent evidence suggests that Vitamin E may suppress action of other antioxidants
  • Very modest but statistically significant increase in all-cause mortality with supplemental intake of vitamin E 400 IU/day

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

What Other Drugs Interact with Vitamin E?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication for your condition, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions or side effects and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of this medicine or any medicine before getting further information from your doctor, healthcare provider or pharmacist first.

Vitamin E has no known severe or serious interactions with other drugs.

Moderate Interactions of vitamin_e include:

Vitamin E has mild interactions with at least 61 different drugs.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Vitamin E?


This medication contains vitamin E. Do not take Aquasol E, alpha-tocopherol, or tocopherol if you are allergic to vitamin E or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • Hypersensitivity to vitamin E or formulation components

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • Long-term use can cause changes in blood electrolytes that can cause heart function disorders, muscle weakness, liver damage, and other harmful effects.

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Vitamin E?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Vitamin E?"


  • Vitamin E, at Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) levels, does not increase bleeding time or affect warfarin except at megadoses (approximately 10x RDA or higher) - adjustment of warfarin may be necessary for such doses.
  • Discontinue high dose Vitamin E supplementation 1 month before surgery, may resume after recovery.
  • Use with caution in Vitamin K deficiency, bleeding propensity or lesions (bleeding peptic ulcers, hemophilia etc.).
  • Vitamin E increases efficacy and decreases toxicity of antineoplastic drugs.

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Vitamin E is considered generally acceptable for use during pregnancy at Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) levels. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.
  • Vitamin E is excreted in breast milk; it is considered safe for use while breastfeeding.


About how much does an adult human brain weigh? See Answer
Medscape. Vitamin E.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors