Patient Leaflet

Folic Acid 5mg (per tab)

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Quick Overview

Folic acid is important for pregnancy as it can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. You should take folic acid tablet every day while you are trying to get pregnant and until you are 12 weeks pregnant. If you didn't take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.

You should also eat foods that contain folate (the natural form of folic acid), such as green leafy vegetables and brown rice. Some breakfast cereals, breads and margarines have folic acid added to them.

Some women have an increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect, and are advised to take a higher dose of 5 milligrams (5mg) of folic acid each day until they are 12 weeks pregnant. Women have an increased risk if they:

  •     or their partner have a neural tube defect

  •     have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect

  •     or their partner have a family history of neural tube defects

  •     have diabetes  

The very early stages of pregnancy are crucial in the need for folic acid and therefore folic acid supplements are recommended for women planning a pregnancy.

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