Vitamin A plays an important role in eye health, the immune system, and cell growth. Vitamin A supplements can be used in the treatment of measles and vitamin A deficiencies, including xerophthalmia .
Naturally, the need for vitamin A can be met by consuming foods rich in this vitamin, such as milk, beef liver , cheese, yogurt , eggs, mangoes, spinach, carrots or fish oil.
To prevent vitamin A deficiency, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia conducts a program of routinely providing vitamin A supplements to toddlers.
Two kinds of vitamin A capsules are given, namely blue capsules for babies aged 6–11 months, and red capsules for children aged 1–5 years. Vitamin A red capsules can also be given to mothers who have just given birth (childbirth).
Vitamin A trademarks: Eyevision Vitamin A and D Soft Capsule, GNC Vitamin A & D, Nature's Plus SP Antiox, Renovit Gold, Vitamin A IPI
What is Vitamin A
|class||Over-the-counter and prescription drugs|
|Benefit||Prevent and treat vitamin A deficiency|
|Consumed by||Adults and children|
Vitamin A for pregnant and lactating women
(For doses according to daily nutritional allowance) Category A: Controlled studies in pregnant women have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, and there is little possibility of harm to the fetus.
(For doses exceeding >6,000 units per day)
Category C: Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women. Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus.
Vitamin A can be absorbed into breast milk, but it is still safe if consumed according to the daily nutritional adequacy value. Talk to your doctor about using vitamin A if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
|Drug form||Tablets, capsules|
Precautions Before Taking Vitamin A
There are several things that need to be considered before taking vitamin A, namely:
- Do not take vitamin A supplements if you are allergic to this vitamin.
- Consult your doctor about using vitamin A if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
- Consult your doctor about using vitamin A if you have anemia , iron or zinc deficiency, kidney disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis , malnutrition or malnutrition , pancreatic disease, or infection in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages if you are taking vitamin A supplements, as they can increase the risk of liver damage.
- Talk to your doctor about using vitamin A if you are taking other supplements, herbal products or certain medications.
- Immediately consult a doctor if you experience an allergic reaction or overdose after taking vitamin A.
Dosage and Rules for Use of Vitamin A
In general, the following is the distribution of vitamin A doses according to the conditions you want to treat:
Condition: Deficiency of vitamin A
- The treatment dose is 10,000–20,000 units per day for 2 months
- The preventive dose is 10,000–50,000 units per day.
- Adults: 200,000 units per day for 2 days. Giving repeated again after 2 weeks. For women of reproductive age with symptoms of night blindness or Bitot's spot, the dose is 5,000–10,000 units per day.
- Infants 0–6 months: 000 units per day for 2 days. Giving repeated again after 2 weeks.
- Infants 6–12 months: 000 units per day for 2 days. Repeat after 2 weeks.
Condition: Measles in children
- Ages 0–6 months: 000 units per day for 2 days.
- Ages 6–11 months: 000 units per day for 2 days.
- Age ≥12 months: 000 units per day for 2 days.
Daily Needs and Intake Limits of Vitamin A
The daily nutritional adequacy rate (RDA) for vitamin A depends on age, sex and health condition. This amount of intake can be obtained from food, supplements, or a combination of both.
The following is the daily RDA of vitamin A based on age:
|Age||Intake ( mcgRAE )|
|6 months – 3 years||400|
|Male 16–18 years||700|
|Male ≥18 years||650|
|Female ≥16 years||600|
How to Take Vitamin A Properly
Be sure to take your vitamin A supplement according to the directions on the package. If necessary, discuss with your doctor to find out the right dosage according to your condition. Do not exceed the recommended dose to avoid side effects.
Keep in mind that vitamin and mineral supplements are consumed to meet the body's need for vitamins and minerals, especially when the intake of vitamins and minerals from food alone is insufficient.
Vitamin A supplements should be taken with food to make them more easily absorbed by the body. Swallow the vitamin A tablets or capsules whole. Do not split, chew, or grind the supplement.
If you forget to take vitamin A, take this supplement immediately if it is not close to the next consumption schedule. If it is close, ignore the missed dose and do not double the next dose.
Store vitamin A tablets or capsules at room temperature, in a dry place, and avoid heat and direct sunlight. Keep this supplement out of reach of children.
Interactions of Vitamin A with Other Drugs
Interactions that can occur when vitamin A supplements are used with certain drugs include:
- Increased risk of bleeding when used with warfarin
- Increased pressure in the cavity of the head when used with demeclocycline , minocycline or tetracycline
- Increased risk of developing hypervitaminosis A (excess vitamin A in the blood) when used with other vitamin A derivatives, such as retinoids , tretinoin, or isotretinoin
- Decreased effectiveness of vitamin A when used with cholestyramine , colestipol or orlistat
Side Effects and Dangers of Vitamin A
If consumed according to the doctor's recommendations and the usage rules listed on the package, vitamin A supplements rarely cause side effects. However, if consumed in excess or in the long term, vitamin A can cause the following side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach ache
- Dry skin and chapped lips
- The body is easily tired or weak
- Hair loss
- Visual disturbances, such as double or blurred vision
Immediately consult a doctor if you experience the above symptoms or develop an allergic reaction, which can be characterized by an itchy rash on the skin, swelling of the face and tongue, or shortness of breath, after taking vitamin A supplements.