Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. It has to be continuously supplied in food and other sources. Excess amounts are usually passed in the urine but can be toxic.
Vitamin C is necessary for the maintenance of good health. It is required in the normal development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums, blood vessels and immune system. It is an antioxidant and is a factor in wound healing. It aids in absorption of iron. It is used in the prevention and treatment of scurvy. It has some potential therapeutic use in cancer and cardiovascular disease; cholesterol; immune system.
Symptoms of Deficiency
Bleeding gums, poor wound healing, extensive bruising, weight loss, susceptible to infections and severe deficiency leads to scurvy.
Causes of Deficiency
Poor diet, excessive alcohol use, smoking tobacco.
Citrus fruits, green vegetables, cantaloupe, beef liver, oysters, berries.
Discuss the dosage and duration of use with the pharmacist before taking the medication. It can be taken with other medications for other conditions on the advice of a pharmacist or a doctor.
Health Canada has recommended a minimum and a maximum daily requirement for Vitamin C:
all ages - 20 mg/day
1-3 years - 400 mg/day
4-8 years - 650 mg/day
9-13 years - 1200 mg/day
14-18 years - 1800 mg/day
19 years and older - 2000 mg/day
If serious overdosage then contact the poison control center or emergency room. If you miss a dose then take it as soon as remembered, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose, and go back to the regular dosing regimen. If taken an extra dose by mistake then contact the pharmacist or a doctor.
Tell the pharmacist/doctor if pregnant or planning to become pregnant or if breast feeding.
Possible Side Effects
When starting to take any new medication, if one notices any side-effect, contact the physician or pharmacist:
High doses can be factor in kidney stones especially in persons on Hemodialysis or suffering from recurrent kidney disease, or gout. An abrupt cessation of high doses can lead to `rebound scurvy’ or in pregnant women the presence of rebound scurvy after birth of their babies. Reduce the dosage slowly if taking high doses.
This is not an all inclusive list, discuss it with the pharmacist:
Smoking, oral contraception, ASA, indomethacin, interferes with glucose urine test.
Store medication in a safe place at room temperature; away from heat, light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink or on top of the fridge. Out dated medications must be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal.
Tell the pharmacist/doctor your complete medical history.
One must inform the pharmacist or doctor if taking any prescription medication, over the counter medication, herbal or alternative medications before starting any new medication, food supplement, herb or vitamin.