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beta-carotene (generic name)

(bay ta - KARE oh teen): A vitamin - It is added to a healthy diet to prevent or treat low vitamin A levels

beta-carotene

What is this medicine?
BETA-CAROTENE (bay ta - KARE oh teen) is changed into vitamin A in the body. It is added to a healthy diet to prevent or treat low vitamin A levels.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain, tightness
  • joint pain
  • dizziness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • yellowing of the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package or prescription label. For best results take this vitamin with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
  • cholestyramine
  • mineral oil
  • orlistat
  • other vitamin A supplements

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

Who should NOT use this medication?

  • Known hypersensitivity to beta carotene or any ingredient in the formulation.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Follow a healthy diet. Taking a vitamin supplement does not replace the need for a balanced diet. Some foods that have beta-carotene naturally are green and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Too much of this vitamin can be unsafe. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about how much is right for you.

Any yellow color that develops in the hands, feet or face will disappear within 1 to 2 weeks after you stop taking this vitamin.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • high levels of vitamin A in the body
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to vitamin A, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding
Can I stop taking the medication if I feel better?
As a general rule, you should always take your medications exactly as prescribed and do not change the dosage or stop taking the medication without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.
I am on so many medications; do I have to take them all?
This is called polypharmacy—many different medications being used at the same time by one person. Sometimes, being on multiple medications is acceptable and appropriate but at other times it may be problematic. If you are receiving your medications from multiple physicians you need to ensure that they all know what medications you are taking. The best way to do this is to make a list of all the medications you are currently using, including all nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies, vitamins and over-the-counter drugs (if possible, also include all the diseases you have been diagnosed with). Give a copy to every doctor who takes care of you so they have it on file, this way they can avoid duplicating medications and perhaps even try to consolidate some. After every doctor's visit remember to update the list accordingly. Also, as much as you possibly can, try to use the same pharmacy to fill all your prescriptions, this way any potential drug interactions can be caught and averted.
Where can I get more information?
More Information

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