Vitamin E

Jul 31, 2022

Generic name: vitamin E (VYE ta min E), tocopherol alpha
Brand names: Aqua-E,  Aquasol E , Aquavite-E, Aqueous Vitamin E,  E-400 Clear
Drug class:  Vitamins

What is vitamin E?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in foods such as nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin important for many processes in the body.

Vitamin E is used to treat or prevent vitamin E deficiency. People with certain diseases may need extra vitamin E.


Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use vitamin E if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • anemia (low red blood cells);
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • any allergies;
  • an eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa;
  • a vitamin K deficiency;
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
  • diabetes;
  • a history of cancer;
  • a history of stroke or blood clot; or
  • if you need surgery, or have recently had surgery.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether vitamin E will harm an unborn baby. Taking vitamin E in amounts that do not exceed the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is considered safe; however, supplementation is not generally recommended unless dietary vitamin E falls below the RDA. Do not use this medicine without a doctor’s advice if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether vitamin E passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor’s advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.

Vitamin e pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings  (more detail)

How should I take vitamin E?

Use vitamin E products exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Vitamin E works best if you take it with food.

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Artificially sweetened liquid medicine may contain phenylalanine. Check the medication label if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E increases with age. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. You may also consult the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database (formerly “Recommended Daily Allowances”) listings for more information.

If you need surgery or a medical procedure, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using vitamin E. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, tiredness, blurred vision, or tiredness.

What to avoid

Avoid taking other vitamins, mineral supplements, or nutritional products without your doctor’s advice.

If you also take orlistat (alli, Xenical), do not take it within 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take vitamin E.

Vitamin E side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to vitamin E: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking vitamin E and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • headache, dizziness, vision changes;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • unusual weakness or tired feeling;
  • diarrhea, stomach cramps; or
  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums).

Common vitamin E side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • tired feeling;
  • headache; or
  • mild rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Vitamin e side effects  (more detail)

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin E Deficiency:

Treatment: 60 to 75 units orally once daily.
Prevention: 30 units orally once daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Tardive Dyskinesia:

600 to 1600 units orally per day.

Usual Adult Dose for Sickle Cell Anemia:

450 units orally per day.

Usual Adult Dose for Alzheimer’s Disease:

1000 units orally twice daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Dietary Supplement:

Oral liquid formulation (AQUA-E): 200 units (10 mL) orally once daily.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Vitamin E Deficiency:

1 unit/kg/day orally of water-miscible vitamin E.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Retinopathy Prophylaxis:

Prevention of retinopathy of prematurity or Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) secondary to oxygen therapy: 15 to 30 units/kg/day to maintain plasma levels between 1.5 to 2 mcg/mL (may need as high as 100 units/kg/day). Note: AAP considers this use investigational and routine use is not recommended.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cystic Fibrosis:

100 to 400 units/day orally.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dietary Supplement:

Dosing: 1 unit vitamin E = 1 mg dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate.

Adequate Intake (AI):
1 to less than 6 months: 4 units daily
6 to less than 12 months: 5 units daily

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA):
1 to 3 years: 6 units daily
4 to 8 years: 7 units daily
9 to 13 years: 11 units daily
13 years and Older: 15 units daily

Detailed Vitamin e dosage information

What other drugs will affect vitamin E?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment, especially:

  • cholestyramine;
  • mineral oil;
  • orlistat (alli, Xenical); or
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with vitamin E, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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