Over the Counter Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are available in both prescription and OTC formats. So which is best? There is no easy answer because it is different for every woman. Here’s what you need to know:
Prescription prenatal vitamins usually contain 1,000 mcg (1mg) of Folic Acid. OTC prenatal vitamins usually contain anywhere from 400-800 mcg. The recommendation for pregnancy is 400 mcg. It is helpful to get more than 400mcg, but is not necessary.
Prescription prenatal vitamins often contain large doses of iron. Iron is necessary during pregnancy, but often causes nausea. Over the counter prenatal vitamins may contain less iron, which increases the chance of toleration. Micro-encapsulated iron slows down the absorption rate of iron, which can greatly reduce nausea. Promise Prenatal is the only prenatal vitamin we’ve found that contains micro-encapsulated iron.
Many prenatal vitamins available by prescription contain a high amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A should not be taken in high doses in early pregnancy as it can lead to birth defects. Also, Vitamin A should come from 100% beta carotene. If you are taking a prescription vitamin, check with your doctor to see if the level of Vitamin A is safe for you.
When a vitamin, supplement, or drug is sold by prescription, it must meet FDA standards. This requirement is not in place for over the counter prenatal vitamins. However, some OTC prenatals do adhere to these standards. Promise Prenatal is one such vitamin. You can purchase Promise Prenatal online without a prescription, yet it is manufactured to the same high standards as prescription prenatals.
Prescription prenatal vitamins are packed with nutrients, which means that quite often they are large pills. The size of the pill can affect toleration. Many women have trouble swallowing large pills during pregnancy. Some prenatal vitamins are liquid or chewable, allowing for better toleration.
if you experience any negative side effects when taking a prenatal vitamin, do not give up. You may need to try two or three brands before you find one that works for you. Remember, you are taking the vitamin to improve your growing baby’s health. Find a prenatal, whether it is prescription or OTC that works for you and take it faithfully. You and your baby will be glad you did.
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