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Do Not Take Folic Acid And Fancidar During Pregnancy

23 Apr, 2019 at 12:01AM    825    1

WARNING: DO NOT USE FANSIDAR AND FOLIC ACID (5mg) IN PREGNANCY!


For those of you who may not know, allow me explain what this is about....

Folic acid (FA)- usually sold as 5mg tablets- is an important supplement in pregnancy. It is taken daily by pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects (defects that make the baby look like monster) in the babies. Also, it helps in maintaining adequate blood levels so that the woman does not have blood shortage. That's for folic acid (FA).

Fansidar, the trade name for sulfadoxine pyremathamine, is a an antimalarial drug widely used to prevent malaria in pregnancy. Usually, the drug is prescribed to pregnant women to help reduce the malaria parasite load. Malaria is a common killer of babies and pregnant women in Africa. So it has to be prevented.

Anyways, while both drugs are very useful in pregnancy, the practise of using them at the same time may prove counterproductive. You see, FA, although very useful in preventing birth defects in newborns, is the chief ingredient used by malaria parasites to multiply and cause havoc. The other drug, fansidar, actually works by blocking folic acid from reaching the parasites so that they get starved to death. That's how fansidar works.
When fansidar is taken with FA, the fansidar's efficacy is reduced. This can make the malaria fester and cause severe complications. So it is generally advised that one avoids taking the two together, except when the folic acid is taken at very low doses of about 0.4mg (this is not even available in the market).

WAY FORWARD?

1. You can either stop the intake of FA while on fansidar and resume back after completing the dose or,

2. You can use a derivative of FA known as methyl-THF in place of FA (this works just fine) or,

3. You can take a very low dose of FA (0.4mg) when taking fansidar so that fansidar is still able to work.

Those are the 3 alternatives. Anything outside that can prove costly.

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Tukur Hamid

Thank you for this.
It's really educating!

08 Aug, 2019 at 11:54 AM 2 replies