Can I get too much folate or folic acid?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist
Foliate is the form of vitamin B9 found in natural food sources. You can't get too much folate. However, it's possible to take too much folic acid, the manmade form found in supplements and fortified foods. Doing so can cause stomach problems, trouble sleeping and skin reactions.

Certain people should be especially careful about taking folic acid, including those who:
  • take anticonvulsant medications. High levels of folic acid can provoke seizures in people on these drugs.
  • are being treated for cancer. Folic acid may raise the amounts of certain chemotherapy drugs to potentially dangerous levels while interfering with the effectiveness of other cancer treatments.
  • are on antibiotics. Taking folic acid supplements at the same time as certain antibiotics may interfere with the body's absorption of the antibiotics and their effectiveness.
  • have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Folic acid may trigger serious symptoms, including potentially permanent nerve damage.
Talk to your doctor before taking folic acid or any dietary supplement.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.