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Vitamin A (By mouth)

Treats vitamin A deficiency.

What works?

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

Brand names include
A-25, PharmAssure Vitamin A
Other forms
By injection
Drug classes About this
Nutritive Agent, Vitamin Combination, Adult Formula

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

The use of regular vitamin A preparations for children and adults with cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis can lead to certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, not being properly absorbed by the body. This can result in problems caused by vitamin deficiency. A lack of vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency) can cause specific problems such as eye and skin problems. It can also be associated with poorer general and respiratory health. Therefore people with cystic fibrosis are usually given regular vitamin A preparations from a very young age. However, too much vitamin A can also cause respiratory and bone problems. The review aimed to show whether giving vitamin A regularly to people with cystic fibrosis is beneficial or not. However, the authors did not find any relevant trials to include in the review. They are therefore unable to draw any conclusions regarding the routine administration of vitamin A supplements and recommend that until further evidence is available, local guidelines are followed regarding this practice.

Vitamin A for preventing acute lower respiratory tract infections in children up to seven years of age

Acute lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), especially pneumonia and bronchiolitis, are leading causes of mortality in children up to five years of age. The Global Burden of Disease 2000 project estimated that the annual number of acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI)‐related deaths in children up to five years of age was 2.1 million (excluding deaths caused by measles, whooping cough and neonatal deaths). Others estimate worldwide child deaths from ARTIs at 1.9 million in 2000, 70% of them in Africa and Southeast Asia. Vitamin A deficiency is common in low‐income countries and weakens barriers to infection.

Vitamin A creams and lotions for nappy (diaper) rash

There is not enough evidence to support the use of vitamin A to treat nappy rash. Nappy or diaper rash is a term used to describe inflammation in babies' napkin area. Whilst nappy rash does not make babies very sick, it is very common and it causes varying levels of discomfort to infants and concern to parents. Ointments that contain vitamin A have been suggested as possible treatments for napkin rash. Our review found that there is not enough evidence to say whether vitamin A is effective for treating or preventing napkin rash; more research is needed. One small trial found that applying vitamin A in the first three months of life did not prevent napkin rash.

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Summaries for consumers

The use of regular vitamin A preparations for children and adults with cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis can lead to certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, not being properly absorbed by the body. This can result in problems caused by vitamin deficiency. A lack of vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency) can cause specific problems such as eye and skin problems. It can also be associated with poorer general and respiratory health. Therefore people with cystic fibrosis are usually given regular vitamin A preparations from a very young age. However, too much vitamin A can also cause respiratory and bone problems. The review aimed to show whether giving vitamin A regularly to people with cystic fibrosis is beneficial or not. However, the authors did not find any relevant trials to include in the review. They are therefore unable to draw any conclusions regarding the routine administration of vitamin A supplements and recommend that until further evidence is available, local guidelines are followed regarding this practice.

Vitamin A for preventing acute lower respiratory tract infections in children up to seven years of age

Acute lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), especially pneumonia and bronchiolitis, are leading causes of mortality in children up to five years of age. The Global Burden of Disease 2000 project estimated that the annual number of acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI)‐related deaths in children up to five years of age was 2.1 million (excluding deaths caused by measles, whooping cough and neonatal deaths). Others estimate worldwide child deaths from ARTIs at 1.9 million in 2000, 70% of them in Africa and Southeast Asia. Vitamin A deficiency is common in low‐income countries and weakens barriers to infection.

Vitamin A creams and lotions for nappy (diaper) rash

There is not enough evidence to support the use of vitamin A to treat nappy rash. Nappy or diaper rash is a term used to describe inflammation in babies' napkin area. Whilst nappy rash does not make babies very sick, it is very common and it causes varying levels of discomfort to infants and concern to parents. Ointments that contain vitamin A have been suggested as possible treatments for napkin rash. Our review found that there is not enough evidence to say whether vitamin A is effective for treating or preventing napkin rash; more research is needed. One small trial found that applying vitamin A in the first three months of life did not prevent napkin rash.

See all (49)

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