Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) (By mouth)
Uses of This Medicine
Vitamins are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in small amounts only and are usually available in the foods that you eat. Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is necessary for wound healing. It is needed for many functions in the body, including helping the body use carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Vitamin C also strengthens blood vessel walls.
Lack of vitamin C can lead to a condition called scurvy, which causes muscle weakness, swollen and bleeding gums, loss of teeth, and bleeding under the skin, as well as tiredness and depression. Wounds also do not heal easily. Your health care professional may treat scurvy by prescribing vitamin C for you.
Some conditions may increase your need for vitamin C. These include:AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) Alcoholism Burns Cancer Diarrhea (prolonged) Fever (prolonged) Infection (prolonged) Intestinal diseases Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) Stomach ulcer Stress (continuing) Surgical removal of stomach Tuberculosis
Also, the following groups of people may have a deficiency of vitamin C:
Infants receiving unfortified formulas
Patients who undergo surgery
Individuals who are exposed to long periods of cold temperatures
Increased need for vitamin C should be determined by your health care professional.
Vitamin C may be used for other conditions as determined by your health care professional.
Claims that vitamin C is effective for preventing senility and the common cold, and for treating asthma, some mental problems, cancer, hardening of the arteries, allergies, eye ulcers, blood clots, gum disease, and pressure sores have not been proven. Although vitamin C is being used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, there is not enough information to show that these uses are effective.
Injectable vitamin C is given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Other forms of vitamin C are available without a prescription.
Once a medicine or dietary supplement has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, vitamin C is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Overdose of iron (to help another drug in decreasing iron levels in the body)
Methemoglobinemia (a blood disease)
Importance of Diet
For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.
Vitamin C is found in various foods, including citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit), green vegetables (peppers, broccoli, cabbage), tomatoes, and potatoes. It is best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible since they contain the most vitamins. Food processing may destroy some of the vitamins. For example, exposure to air, drying, salting, or cooking (especially in copper pots), mincing of fresh vegetables, or mashing potatoes may reduce the amount of vitamin C in foods. Freezing does not usually cause loss of vitamin C unless foods are stored for a very long time.
Vitamins alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body also needs other substances found in food such as protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. Vitamins themselves often cannot work without the presence of other foods.
The daily amount of vitamin C needed is defined in several different ways.
For U.S.—Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person’s age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy). Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
For Canada—Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.
Normal daily recommended intakes for vitamin C are generally defined as follows:Persons U.S. (mg) Canada (mg) Infants and children Birth to 3 years of age 30–40 20 4 to 6 years of age 45 25 7 to 10 years of age 45 25 Adolescent and adult males 50–60 25–40 Adolescent and adult females 50–60 25–30 Pregnant females 70 30–40 Breast-feeding females 90–95 55 Smokers 100 45–60
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Tablet, Powder, Chewable Tablet, Long Acting Tablet, Long Acting Capsule, Liquid
Your doctor will tell you how much to take and how often. Always follow the dose instructions on the label if you take this medicine in over-the-counter form.
May be taken with or without food.
Swallow the tablet or capsule whole, do not chew or crush.
Chew the chewable tablet and swallow.
Carefully measure the oral liquid using a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, or with the dropper that comes with the medicine. This medicine may either be mixed with foods such as cereal and fruit juice, or be dropped into the mouth.
If a dose is missed:
Try not to miss any doses; however, it is usually not a problem if you miss one or two doses.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:
Store at room temperature in a closed container away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze.
Keep all medicine away from children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking a blood thinner, such as Coumadin®.
When Not To Use
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to ascorbic acid vitamin C).
Check with your doctor before taking vitamin C if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical problems.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
Ascocid, Ascocid-500, Ascocid-500-D, C-500, C-Time w/Rose Hips, Ce-Vi-Sol, Cecon, Cemill 1000, Cemill 500, Cevi-Bid, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Great Taste Vitamin C, Mega-C, Nature Made Diabetes Health Pack, Nature’s Blend Vitamin C, One-Gram C, PharmAssure Vitamin C, Protexin, Revitalose-C-1000, Revitonus C-1000 Yellow Ampule, Rite Aid Vitamin C, Sunkist Vitamin C, Vitamin C Powder, Vitamin C250
There may be other brand names for this medicine.