Vitamins

The next time you are at your favorite pharmacy or grocery store, take a stroll down the vitamin aisle. You will be amazed at the variety of vitamins that are available. Gummi multivitamins are a popular choice for children. These vitamins taste so good and look like candy that children often help themselves to more than their daily dose, and that is when you need to call the Indiana Poison Center nursing staff for advice.

For an acute multivitamin ingestion the first concern is if the product contains iron. Check the label for the term elemental iron, ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate. Iron can be very toxic; so when you call the Indiana Poison Center for an exposure you will be asked the amount of iron in each vitamin. Fortunately many gummi products usually do not contain iron.

Niacin is a water soluble B vitamin which is found in many multivitamins. In an acute ingestion the main concern with niacin is the side effect of flushing. This is not a poisonous situation but can be very concerning if a child or adult suddenly has red flushed skin and looks sunburned. This symptom may last for 2-3 hours, and then it will disappear. The fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be toxic if large amounts are ingested on a chronic day after day basis.

For professional advice if a vitamin ingestion occurs in your household call the professionally trained staff at the Indiana Poison Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, at 1-800-222-1222.

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