Multivitamin preparations are prescribed for people who are on a special diet or who are unable to get the vitamins they need from the food they eat.
|Type of medicine||Vitamin preparation|
|Used for||To prevent vitamin deficiency|
|Also called||Abidec®, Dalivit®, Forceval®, Ketovite®|
|Available as||Tablets, capsules, drops, and oral liquid|
Multivitamin preparations contain a mix of vitamins which are essential to help our bodies grow, develop, and function properly. Most people get the vitamins they need from the food they eat, but if you are on a special diet or if you are unable to eat a well-balanced diet (as is the case for some young children or elderly people), then you may need extra vitamins.
Not all multivitamin preparations are the same. They contain different amounts of vitamins and different combinations of vitamins.
Before taking multivitamins
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start taking multivitamins it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding. This is because you are not advised to take any medicines while you are expecting or feeding a baby unless they have been recommended by a doctor.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take multivitamins
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack.
- Multivitamin preparations are often (but not always) taken once daily. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you what dose is right for you, and this will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you. Do not take more than this recommended dose.
- If you forget to take a dose, don't worry, just take the next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up.
Getting the most from your treatment
- If you buy any medicines, food supplements or herbal remedies, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take. Most multivitamin preparations contain vitamins A and D and it is known that taking large amounts of these vitamins may lead to problems. You are advised not to take any other supplements containing these vitamins at the same time.
Can multivitamins cause problems?
Recommended doses of multivitamin preparations are unlikely to cause any unwanted effects. However, if you experience any symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How to store multivitamins
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light. Ketovite® tablets and liquid should be stored in a refrigerator.
- Abidec® drops only keep for four weeks once the bottle has been opened. After this time, make sure you have a fresh supply.
Important information about all medicines
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out of-date-or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 16/10/2012||Document ID: 3409 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.