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Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) (By mouth)

Helps patients who do not have enough vitamin C in the body. It is sometimes used to add acidity to the urine.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Vitamins are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in small amounts only and are usually available in the foods that you eat. Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is necessary for wound healing. It is needed for many functions in the body, including helping the body use carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Vitamin C also strengthens blood vessel walls. Lack of vitaminRead more
Brand names include
Ascocid, C-500, C-Time w/Rose Hips, Ce-Vi-Sol, Cecon, Cemill 1000, Cemill 500, Cevi-Bid, Chewable C, Mega-C, Nature's Blend Vitamin C, One-Gram C, PharmAssure Vitamin C, Protexin, Revitalose-C-1000, Revitonus C-1000 Yellow Ampule, Rite Aid Vitamin C, Rite Aid Vitamin C with Acerola, Sunkist Vitamin C, Vitamin C Powder, Vitamin C250
Other forms
By injection
Drug classes About this
Calcium Supplement, Nutritive Agent, Vitamin Combination, Adult Formula
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold

The common cold is a major cause of visits to a doctor in high‐income countries and of absenteeism from work and school. There are over 200 viruses which can cause the common cold symptoms including runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sore throat, cough, and sometimes headache, fever and red eyes. Symptoms vary from person to person and cold to cold. Since the common cold is usually caused by one of the respiratory viruses, antibiotics are useless and therefore other potential treatment options are of substantial public health interest.

Vitamin C for Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth (CMT) disease (hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy)

CMT disease represents a broad spectrum of inherited peripheral neuropathies (conditions in which the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord are damaged), which in general progress slowly, and cause muscle wasting and loss of sensation. Muscle wasting and loss of sensation are caused by destruction of nerve fibres that go to the muscles or skin. Vitamin C has been proposed as a treatment for CMT, because vitamin C is necessary for myelination (development of the myelin, or insulation around the nerve fibres) in laboratory cultures of nerve cells and the peripheral nerves of mice.

Vitamin C and superoxide dismutase (SOD) for diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy or eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Laser therapy currently is the primary means in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. It nevertheless is a procedure which destroys important cells in the eye. There are theories that so‐called free radicals (substances which are thought to be harmful to body tissues) might be influenced by new medications to prevent or slow down vision loss in people with diabetes. Preliminary studies with vitamin C and 'superoxide dismutase' suggest that they may have an important role in treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

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Summaries for consumers

Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold

The common cold is a major cause of visits to a doctor in high‐income countries and of absenteeism from work and school. There are over 200 viruses which can cause the common cold symptoms including runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sore throat, cough, and sometimes headache, fever and red eyes. Symptoms vary from person to person and cold to cold. Since the common cold is usually caused by one of the respiratory viruses, antibiotics are useless and therefore other potential treatment options are of substantial public health interest.

Vitamin C for Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth (CMT) disease (hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy)

CMT disease represents a broad spectrum of inherited peripheral neuropathies (conditions in which the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord are damaged), which in general progress slowly, and cause muscle wasting and loss of sensation. Muscle wasting and loss of sensation are caused by destruction of nerve fibres that go to the muscles or skin. Vitamin C has been proposed as a treatment for CMT, because vitamin C is necessary for myelination (development of the myelin, or insulation around the nerve fibres) in laboratory cultures of nerve cells and the peripheral nerves of mice.

Vitamin C and superoxide dismutase (SOD) for diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy or eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Laser therapy currently is the primary means in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. It nevertheless is a procedure which destroys important cells in the eye. There are theories that so‐called free radicals (substances which are thought to be harmful to body tissues) might be influenced by new medications to prevent or slow down vision loss in people with diabetes. Preliminary studies with vitamin C and 'superoxide dismutase' suggest that they may have an important role in treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

See all (29)

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