When are folate supplements indicated in the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Although folate deficiency is not common in persons with IBD, several concerns have been raised regarding this vitamin. Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) is a folate reductase inhibitor and may inhibit normal uptake of folate; thus, many practitioners commonly administer folate supplements in patients taking sulfasalazine. Folate supplements are indicated in all women who are pregnant to help prevent neural tube defects; this is particularly true for patients with IBD, and supplementation with 2 mg/day or more (rather than the usual 1 mg/day) should be considered in those on sulfasalazine.


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