What Types of Drugs May Interact with Vitamin B9

What Types of Drugs May Interact with Vitamin B9

What Types of Drugs May Interact with Vitamin B9?

• Drugs like antacid medications, gallbladder juice inhibitors, diabetes drugs, anticonvulsant drugs, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and antibiotics may reduce the absorption of vitamin B9 by the intestines.

• Methotrexate is a prescription drug that treats cancers and rheumatoid arthritis. Taking vitamin B9 supplements reduces side effects associated with methotrexate without affecting its efficacy.

• Phenytoin is a medication used to treat epilepsy. Vitamin B9 can inhibit the efficacy of phenytoin. Patients who take phenytoin should consult with their physicians before taking vitamin B9 supplements. Safety Issues

• Side effects. Long-term use of high-dose vitamin B9 could damage the kidneys and increase the risk of prostate cancer. The daily dose of vitamin B9 should not exceed 1,000 mcg.

• Vitamin B12. Both vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 are required for the production of new red blood cells in bone marrow.

Deficiency of either vitamin B9 or vitamin B12 can cause anemia. Vitamin B9 taken at a daily dose of 400 mcg alone can alleviate the symptoms of anemia. Thus taking vitamin B9 supplements could potentially conceal the hidden problem of vitamin B12 deficiency, leading to permanent damage to the nervous system.

Vitamin B9 is also known as folic acid. In 1941, Henry Mitchell isolated a water-soluble nutrient from spinach leaves. This nutrient was essential for the growth of Streptococcus bacteria. He called it folic acid from the Latin word folium, meaning "leaves," and found that it could cure megaloblastic anemia, a condition in which abnormally large red blood cells appear in the bloodstream. In the 1950s, scientists discovered that folic acid is involved in many enzymatic reactions. Recognizing its role as an essential nutrient, they named it vitamin B9.

Vitamin B9 participates in one-carbon metabolism involving the methylation of DNA and synthesis of methionine. A sufficient amount of vitamin B9 is needed to avoid incorrect synthesis of new DNA, which is of particular importance during the fetal and infant stages. Incorrect synthesis of DNA could lead to birth defects and growth retardation. The infants of pregnant women who are vitamin B9 deficient have a high risk of birth defects.