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Do I Absorb Folic Acid While I Take Lamictal?

by
author image Destiny Simmons
Destiny Simmons has worked as a professional health writer since 2005. She specializes in health and nutrition articles. Her work has appeared in various health Web sites. Destiny holds a Bachelors of Science in nursing from Boston University and a Master of Public Health Nutrition from Tufts University.
Do I Absorb Folic Acid While I Take Lamictal?
Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy can cause neural tube defects. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Lamictal, whose generic name is lamotrigine, is an anticonvulsant drug used alone or with other drugs to treat seizures in adults and children with epilepsy. Lamictal is also used in patients with bipolar disease. Lamictal works by decreasing abnormal activities in the brain. If you are a woman of childbearing age, your doctor may advise you to increase folic acid intake while you are taking Lamictal.

Lamictal and Folic Acid Absorption

Folic acid is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin that helps the body make new healthy cells. Lamictal can reduce folic acid absorption. If you decide to get pregnant while taking Lamictal, your doctor may recommend that you start taking 5 mg of folic acid every day, according to the information website NetDoctor.co.uk. Begin taking the folic acid supplements as soon as you stop using contraceptives. If you have enough folic acid in your body before and during pregnancy, it can prevent major neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.

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Folic Acid Supplements

The recommended daily dietary intake of folic acid is 400 mcg in pregnant women. However, if you are on Lamictal therapy, the recommended daily intake of folic acid is 5 mg. Folic acid is found in over-the-counter multivitamins and prenatal vitamins. Consult your doctor before taking OTC folic acid supplements. The doctor will advise you on the best supplements to take or he may write you a prescription.

Natural Sources of Folic Acid

If you plan on conceiving, Increase intake of foods rich in folic acid as soon as you stop using contraceptives. You can obtain folic acid from foods such as spinach, kales, collard greens, mustard greens, pumpkin leaves, broccoli, dried beans, peas, beef liver, milk, yogurt, cheese, whole grains, enriched breads, fortified breakfast cereals and nuts, according to MedlinePlus.

Folic Acid Shots

The doctor may recommend folic acid injections if you have a severe folic acid deficiency. Folic acid shots are administered as intramuscular injections in muscles of your arms, hips and buttocks. You may experience pain, redness and irritation at the injection site. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop an allergic reaction after receiving folic acid shots.

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