I`ve started taking folic acid as I´m hoping to conceive over the next few months. Here in Brazil, the recommended dosage of folic acid is 5mg and in fact they don´t sell the UK guideline dosage of 400mcg. I read that in the UK, only women at higher risk are given 5mg and it has to be prescribed by a doctor. I´m trying to figure out whether it is better to take this higher dosage or not to take any at all! I´ll be back in the UK in December so I can get my hands on the lower dosage then, but I had wanted to start taking it asap in preparation.
I'd take 5mg for now - it won't make any harm as apparently the excess just gets removed from your body with urine. It's much better than not taking any at all, as folic acid is very important in the first trimester. Then you can switch to 400mcg once in the UK if you like. Good luck with your pregnancy.
I take the higher dose due to other meds I take. Dr said they didn't know if it was necessary to keep it up when TTC & pregnant as I can't take my meds then but she said it was better to be safe (and make sure I had no lingering effects) and any excess would be excreted by my body anyway. I had DS like this and now am pregnant again and doing the same thing. So it shouldn't be a problem.
@notsoold, do you know where I can get the lower dosage of folic acid in Brazil - is it prescription only? I went into Panvel and another pharmacy Droga Raia and they only have 5mg - they said that is what they generally give for pregnancy.
In the mean time, I´ll keep on taking the folic acid.
I also took the higher dose due to meds I take. My consultant strongly recommended I take it as soon as we started TTC; neither he, my specialist nurses nor my pharmacist were concerned that I was taking the higher dose while not actually pregnant. I'd just take the higher dose if I were you.
I took the higher dose as I'm diabetic therefore at greater risk of baby having neural tube defects. I was told by both my GP and consultant that you can't take too much folic acid as what you don't need the body just gets rid of. So definitely take the 5mg rather than nothing, and if it's all you can get hold of there's no problem taking it all the way up to 12 weeks (when you stop needing it).