Skip to navigation bar Skip to breadcrumbs Skip to page content
clear place holder
Envelope icon E-mail Updates Teal square Text size:  a A A
Choose another version >>

Archived Clinical Summary

Folic Acid to Prevent Neural Tube Defects: Preventive Medication

Originally published on: January 15, 2014

This recommendation statement is currently archived and inactive. It should be used for historical purposes only. Click here for copyright and source information .

Disclaimer:Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Archived: Clinical Summary of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation

This document is a summary of the 2009 recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on counseling and interventions to prevent tobacco use and tobacco-caused disease in adults and pregnant women. This summary is intended for use by primary care clinicians.

Select for copyright and source information.

This summary was first published in Annals of Internal Medicine in May 2009 (Ann Intern Med 2009;150:629. http://www.annals.org).

 
Population Women planning a pregnancy or capable of becoming pregnant
Recommendation Take a daily vitamin supplement containing 0.4 to 0.8 mg (400 to 800 µg) of folic acid.
Grade: A
Risk Assessment Risk factors include:
  • A personal or family history of a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect
  • The use of certain antiseizure medications
  • Mutations in folate-related enzymes
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Maternal obesity

Note: This recommendation does not apply to women who have had a previous pregnancy affected by neural tube defects or women taking certain antiseizure medicines. These women may be advised to take higher doses of folic acid.

Timing of Medication Start supplementation at least 1 month before conception.

Continue through first 2 to 3 months of pregnancy.

Recommendations of Others ACOG, AAFP, and most other organizations recommend 4 mg/d for women with a history of a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect.

Note: AAFP = American Academy of Family Physicians; ACOG = American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making these recommendations, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

Disclaimer: Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Copyright and Source Information

This document is in the public domain within the United States.

Requests for linking or to incorporate content in electronic resources should be sent via the USPSTF contact form.

Current as of: May 2009

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Folic Acid to Prevent Neural Tube Defects: Preventive Medication. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. June 2016.
https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/ClinicalSummaryFinal/folic-acid-to-prevent-neural-tube-defects-preventive-medication

USPSTF Program Office   5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 06E53A, Rockville, MD 20857