Treatment

Treatment for vitamin deficiency anemia includes supplements and changes in diet.

  • Folate deficiency anemia. Treatment involves eating a healthy diet and taking folic acid supplements as prescribed by your doctor. In most cases, folic acid supplements are taken orally. Once your body's level of folate increases to normal, you may be able to stop taking the supplements. But if the cause of your folate deficiency can't be corrected, you may need to take folic acid supplements indefinitely.
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia, including pernicious anemia. For milder cases of vitamin B-12 deficiency, treatment may involve changes to your diet and vitamin B-12 supplements in pill form or as a nasal spray. Your doctor may suggest vitamin B-12 injections, particularly if your vitamin B-12 deficiency is severe. At first, you may receive the shots as often as every other day. Eventually, you'll need injections just once a month, which may continue for life, depending on your situation.
  • Vitamin C deficiency anemia. Treatment for anemia related to vitamin C deficiency is with vitamin C tablets. Additionally, you increase your intake of foods and beverages that contain vitamin C.
Nov. 09, 2016
References
  1. Kaushansky K, et al. Folate, cobalamin, and megaloblastic anemias. In: Williams Hematology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2016. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?sectionid=101237678&bookid=1581&Resultclick=2#1121092138. Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  2. Schrier SL, et al. Etiology and clinical manifestations of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  3. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.  Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  4. Goldman L, et al., eds. Approach to the anemias. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 18, 2016.
  5. Pazirandeh S, et al. Overview of water-soluble vitamins. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  6. Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/.  Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  7. Schrier SL. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  8. Walker BR, et al. Environmental and nutritional factors in disease. In: Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. 22nd ed. London, England: Churchill Livingston Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com.
  9. Folate: Fact sheet for health professionals. National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/.  Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  10. Alcohol and public health: Frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm. Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
  11. Mesa RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 17, 2016.