The Difference Between Prescription Prenatal Vitamins And Over The Counter

Prescription Strength Versus Over The Counter Strength

It is true with many things that there are similar products available both over the counter and from prescription.  The general difference between the two is that products available only by prescription are stronger and more powerful than those available over the counter.  This is also the primary difference between prescription prenatal vitamins and over the counter prenatal vitamins.

What Is In Prescription Prenatal Vitamins

The basic ingredients of prescription prenatal vitamins and of over the counter prenatal vitamins are essentially the same.  There are three basic elements which prenatal vitamins focus on, as they are very important during pregnancy for the health of the mother and the proper development of the child: folic acid, iron and calcium. 

Prescription prenatal vitamins generally have 1 mg of folic acid.  Folic acid is vital for the spinal development of the growing fetus.  However, this amount of folic acid is available only through prescription: over the counter prenatal vitamins will not contain this much folic acid.

The reason is that folic acid can cause complications depending upon the health of the mother.  Mothers to be who have certain forms of anemia could find that the folic acid masks this condition, keeping the doctors from discovering this very important (although rare) disease.  The prescriptions are required for these vitamins, so that the doctor can be sure of the health of the mother.

Other Differences of Prescription Prenatal Vitamins

Differing prescription prenatal vitamins will also have other ingredients, depending upon the specific needs of the mother to be.  These can be stool softeners, for example, to fight against constipation from taking the prenatal vitamin.  They can also be derived in different manners in order to make it easier for the mother to digest the prescription prenatal vitamins. 

Proper digestion is one of the most common problems with prenatal vitamins, especially during the first trimester when prenatal vitamins are most needed.  Nausea and vomiting can occur, and prescription prenatal vitamins work to try to lessen this impact as much as possible.

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