1 What is Alpha-E?

Brand: Alpha-E, Aqua Gem-E, Aquasol E, D-Alpha Gems, E-400, E-600, E-Gems, Formula E 400, Gamma E-Gems, Gamma E Plus, Key-E, Natural Vitamin Blend E-400IU, Nutr-E-Sol

Generic: Vitamin E

Vitamins are compounds that you must have for growth and maintenance of health. They are needed in only small amounts and are available in the foods that you eat.

Alpha-E (Vitamin E) is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in foods such as wheat germ, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils (e.g., corn, cottonseed, soybean, and safflower), whole-grain cereals, and green leafy vegetables.

It prevents a chemical reaction called oxidation, which can sometimes result in harmful effects in your body. It is also important for the proper function of nerves and muscles. The daily requirement of vitamin E is estimated at 10 mg and the requirement is increased by high intake of polyunsaturated fats. 

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for many processes in the body. It is generally used to treat or prevent vitamin E deficiency.

For its antioxidant property, vitamin E has been promoted for recurrent abortion, sterility, menopausal syndrome, toxemia of pregnancy, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, cancer prevention, several skin diseases, prevention of neurodegenerative disorders, scleroderma, and many other conditions, but without convincing evidence of benefit.

Lack of vitamin E is extremely rare, except in people who have a disease in which it is not absorbed into the body. People with certain diseases may need extra vitamin E.

Some conditions may increase your need for vitamin E. These include:

  • Intestine disease
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreas disease
  • Surgical removal of stomach

Vitamin E is available without a prescription but the increased need for vitamin E should be determined by your health care professional.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule
  • Capsule, Liquid Filled
  • Liquid
  • Powder for Solution
  • Solution
  • Tablet
  • Tablet, Chewable

2 What To Know Before Using

Before using Alpha-E, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. The suitable drug therapy is usually chosen by a doctor with the active participation of the patient.

There are some important factors such as drug interactions, the presence of any metabolic impairment, history of hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. which may alter the desired therapeutic effects of a medicine.

Sometimes the presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious toxic effects. If you have had any allergic reactions to any medicine then you must tell your doctor about that. The use of vitamin E is contraindicated in those who are hypersensitive to this drug or any of the ingredients of the formulation.

Make sure you inform your doctor if you have any other medical problems, 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)
  • A history of cancer
  • A history of stroke or blood clot
  • If you need surgery, or have recently had surgery

Because of drug-drug interactions, certain medicines including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products should not be used along with this medicine.

It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medications or even any over-the-counter medicine for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted toxic effects.

The following drugs should not be used concurrently:

  • Cholestyramine
  • Dicumarol
  • Mineral oil
  • Orlistat (Alli, Xenical)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • Other drugs not listed in this medication guide may interact with vitamin E

Adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women have not shown an increased risk of fetal abnormalities. Thus, this drug should be used during pregnancy.

Besides, caution should be exercised when used in lactating women because there are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding.

3 Proper Usage

To use Alpha-E properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The dosage schedule and the duration of drug therapy should be individualized and determined based on the physician’s advice.

The therapeutic dose may also vary with the patient’s condition or requirement and the strength of the medicine as well. This medicine comes with patient information.

You should read and follow the instructions carefully before using this medicine; however, the dosages (1 unit vitamin E = 1 mg dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate) for different indications are listed below:

  • 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 Anemia450 units orally per day.
  • Usual Adult Dose for Alzheimer's Disease1000 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 Fibrosis100 to 400 units/day orally.
  • Usual Pediatric Dose for Dietary Supplement:
    • 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

You should use this medicine following the directions were given by your doctor. If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. But, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Do not use this drug in larger amounts, more often, or for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Further, it is advised to store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. However, outdated medicines should be disposed of in an appropriate way.

4 Precautions To Take

Before using Alpha-E, there are some precautions you must take. Firstly, regular visits to your doctor are recommended to check that this medicine is working properly or not.

Additionally, you should not use any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement without checking with your doctor.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Alpha-E to avoid unwanted potential side effects. Along with the beneficial effects, this medicine may cause some unwanted effects (nausea, tiredness, headache, mild rash, etc.) which may not need any medical attention.

These side effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side effects.

Although vitamin E is usually well tolerated, sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor if you notice any of the following toxic effects:

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • Blurred vision
  • Easy bruising or bleeding (e.g., nosebleeds, bleeding gums)
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loose motions
  • Severe headache
  • Unusual weakness

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