If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you
should not use folic acid supplements without first talking to your healthcare
Folic acid should not be taken at
the same time as the antibiotic tetracycline because it interferes with the
absorption and effectiveness of this medication. Folic acid either alone or in
combination with other B vitamins should be taken at different times from
tetracycline. (All vitamin B complex supplements act in this way and should
therefore be taken at different times from tetracycline.)
In addition, long-term use of antibiotics can deplete vitamin B levels in the
body, particularly B2, B9, B12, and vitamin H (biotin), which is considered part
of the B complex.
Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Acetaminophen
When taken for long
periods of time, these medications, as well as other anti-inflammatories can
increase the body's need for folic acid.
Birth Control Medications, Anticonvulsants, and Cholesterol-lowering
Birth control medications, anticonvulsants for seizures
(namely, phenytoin and carbamazapine), and cholesterol-lowering medications
(namely, bile acid sequestrants including cholestyramine, colestipol, and
colesevelam) may reduce the levels of folic acid in the blood as well as the
body's ability to use this vitamin. Extra folate when taking any of these
medications may be recommended by your healthcare provider. When taking bile
acid sequestrants for cholesterol, folate should be taken at a different time of
Sulfasalazine, a medication used for ulcerative
colitis and Crohn's disease, may reduce the absorption of folic acid, leading to
lower levels of folic acid in the blood.
Methotrexate, a medication used to treat cancer
and rheumatoid arthritis, increases the body's need for folic acid. Folic acid
reduces the side effects of methotrexate without decreasing its effectiveness.
Antacids, cimetidine, and ranitidine (used for ulcers,
heartburn, and related symptoms) as well as metformin (used for diabetes) may
inhibit the absorption of folic acid. It is best, therefore, to take folic acid
at a different time from any of these medications.
Barbiturates, such as pentobarbital and phenobarbital, used for seizures, may
impair folic acid metabolism.