Serum Folate Levels in Patients with Chronic Hemolytic Anemia on Regular Folic Acid Supplementation Before and After Dose Modification
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In light of the recommendation of folic acid supplementation in chronic hemolytic anemia, with possible supratherapeutic dosing and associated side effects, we performed this study to investigate serum folate levels in children with chronic hemolytic anemia.
Phase 1 was a cross-sectional study of 134 patients in the Pediatric Hematology service, documenting daily dosage and performing serum folate levels. In phase 2, we reduced the dose to 1 mg for 148 patients and repeated the testing after six months.
We found very high serum folate levels with Phase 1, with 93.2% above the upper level of normal. In Phase 2, values remained high with 42.5% above the acceptable upper limit.
Doses of folic acid given to sickle cell and thalassemia patients exceed their actual needs. This should be re-evaluated to strike a balance between benefit and harm, with close monitoring of serum folate levels.
KeywordsHarm Sickle cell anemia Supplementation Thalassemia
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Funding: None; Competing Interest: None stated.