Alpha-E

Name: Alpha-E

Alpha E Overview

Alpha E is a brand name medication included in a group of medications called OTHER PLAIN VITAMIN PREPARATIONS. For more information about Alpha E see its generic tocopherol (vit E)

Alpha E Drug Class

Alpha E is part of the drug class:

  • OTHER PLAIN VITAMIN PREPARATIONS

Importance of Diet

For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.

Vitamin E is found in various foods including vegetable oils (corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower), wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, and green leafy vegetables. Cooking and storage may destroy some of the vitamin E in foods.

Vitamin supplements alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body also needs other substances found in food such as protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. Vitamins themselves often cannot work without the presence of other foods. For example, small amounts of fat are needed so that vitamin E can be absorbed into the body.

The daily amount of vitamin E needed is defined in several different ways.

    For U.S.—
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
    For Canada—
  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Vitamin E is available in various forms, including d- or dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, d- or dl-alpha tocopherol, and d- or dl-alpha tocopheryl acid succinate. In the past, the RDA for vitamin E have been expressed in Units. This term has been replaced by alpha tocopherol equivalents (alpha-TE) or milligrams (mg) of d-alpha tocopherol. One Unit is equivalent to 1 mg of dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or 0.6 mg d-alpha tocopherol. Most products available in stores continue to be labeled in Units.

Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) of alpha tocopherol equivalents (mg alpha-TE) and Units for vitamin E are generally defined as follows:

                             
Persons U.S. Canada
mg
alpha-TE
Units mg
alpha-TE
Units
Infants and children
Birth to 3 years of
age
3–6 5–10 3–4 5–6.7
4 to 6 years of age 7 11.7 5 8.3
7 to 10 years of age 7 11.7 6–8 10–13
Adolescent and adult
males
10 16.7 6–10 10–16.7
Adolescent and adult
females
8 13 5–7 8.3–11.7
Pregnant females 10 16.7 8–9 13–15
Breast-feeding
females
11–12 18–20 9–10 15–16.7

Before Using Alpha-E

If you are taking this dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For this supplement, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts. You should check with your health care professional if you are giving your baby an unfortified formula. In that case, the baby must get the vitamins needed some other way. Some studies have shown that premature infants may have low levels of vitamin E. Your health care professional may recommend a vitamin E supplement.

Geriatric

Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters A Adequate studies in pregnant women have not shown an increased risk of fetal abnormalities.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this dietary supplement, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this dietary supplement with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Dicumarol

Using this dietary supplement with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Warfarin

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this dietary supplement. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bleeding problems—Vitamin E, when taken in doses greater than 800 Units a day for long periods of time, may make this condition worse

Proper Use of vitamin e

This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain vitamin e. It may not be specific to Alpha-E. Please read with care.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral solution dosage form:
    • To prevent the following deficiencies in infants:
      • Infants receiving a formula high in polyunsaturated fatty acids—15 to 25 Units per day or 7 Units per 32 ounces of formula.
      • Infants with certain colon problems—15 to 25 Units per kilogram (kg) (6.8 to 11 Units per pound) of body weight per day. The water-soluble form of vitamin E must be used.
      • Infants of normal birthweight—5 Units per 32 ounces of formula.
  • For oral dosage forms (capsules, tablets, oral solution):
    • To prevent deficiency for individuals (other than infants), the amount taken by mouth is based on normal daily recommended intakes:
        For the U.S.
      • Adult and teenage males—10 milligrams (mg) of alpha tocopherol equivalents (mg alpha-TE) or 16.7 Units per day.
      • Adult and teenage females—8 mg alpha-TE or 13 Units per day.
      • Pregnant females—10 mg alpha-TE or 16.7 Units per day.
      • Breast-feeding females—11 to 12 mg alpha-TE or 18 to 20 Units per day.
      • Children 4 to 10 years of age—7 mg alpha-TE or 11.7 Units per day.
      • Children birth to 3 years of age—3 to 6 mg alpha-TE or 5 to 10 Units per day.
        For Canada
      • Adult and teenage males—6 to 10 mg alpha-TE or 10 to 16.7 Units per day.
      • Adult and teenage females—5 to 7 mg alpha-TE or 8.3 to 11.7 Units per day.
      • Pregnant females—8 to 9 mg alpha-TE or 13 to 15 Units per day.
      • Breast-feeding females—9 to 10 mg alpha-TE or 15 to 16.7 Units per day.
      • Children 7 to 10 years of age—6 to 8 mg alpha-TE or 10 to 13 Units per day.
      • Children 4 to 6 years of age—5 mg alpha-TE or 8.3 Units per day.
      • Children birth to 3 years of age—3 to 4 mg alpha-TE or 5 to 6.7 Units per day.
    • To treat deficiency:
      • Adults, teenagers, and children—Treatment dose is determined by prescriber for each individual based on the severity of deficiency.

For individuals taking the oral liquid form of this dietary supplement:

  • This preparation should be taken by mouth even though it comes in a dropper bottle.
  • This dietary supplement may be dropped directly into the mouth or mixed with cereal, fruit juice, or other food.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the dietary supplement in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Alpha-E Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

With doses greater than 400 Units a day and long-term use
  • Blurred vision
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea or stomach cramps
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

For the Consumer

Applies to vitamin e: oral capsule, oral capsule liquid filled, oral liquid, oral powder for solution, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable

Along with its needed effects, vitamin e (the active ingredient contained in Alpha E) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking vitamin e:

With doses greater than 400 Units a day and long-term use
  • Blurred vision
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea or stomach cramps
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to vitamin e: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral liquid, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable, oral and topical oil

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included nausea, diarrhea, and intestinal cramps.[Ref]

Other

Other side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included fatigue, emotional disturbances, weakness, and headache.[Ref]

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included thrombophlebitis.[Ref]

Ocular

Ocular side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included blurred vision.[Ref]

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included rash.

Dermatologic side effects associated with topical application of vitamin E have included growth of white hair at site of alopecia and contact dermatitis.[Ref]

Genitourinary

Genitourinary side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included gonadal dysfunction and breast soreness.[Ref]

Endocrine

Endocrine side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included decrease in serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine.[Ref]

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects associated with oral doses greater than 300 units daily have rarely included creatinuria, increased serum creatinine kinase, increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides and increased urinary estrogens and androgens.[Ref]

Some side effects of Alpha E may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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