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Selenium Supplements (Systemic)
Selenium supplements are used to prevent or treat selenium deficiency.
The body needs selenium for normal growth and health. Selenium is needed for certain enzymes that help with normal body functions.
Lack of selenium may lead to changes in fingernails, muscle weakness, and heart problems.
Selenium deficiency in the United States is rare. Patients receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for long periods of time may need selenium. Selenium deficiency is a problem in areas of the world where the soil contains little selenium.
Although selenium is being used to prevent certain types of cancer, there is not enough information to show that this is effective.
Injectable selenium is given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Other forms of selenium are available without a prescription.
Selenium supplements are available as part of a multivitamin/mineral complex or alone in the following dosage forms:
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.Selenium is found in seafood, liver, lean red meat, and grains grown in soil that is rich in selenium.
The daily amount of selenium needed is defined in several different ways.
Normal daily recommended intakes for selenium are generally defined as follows:
Before Using This Medicine
If you are taking this dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For selenium supplements, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your health care professional if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to selenious acid or selenium. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- It is especially important that you are receiving enough vitamins and minerals when you become pregnant and that you continue to receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals throughout your pregnancy. The healthy growth and development of the fetus depend on a steady supply of nutrients from the mother. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement in pregnancy may be harmful to the mother and/or fetus and should be avoided.
Studies in animals have shown that selenium causes birth defects when given in large doses.
Breast-feeding- It is important that you receive the right amounts of vitamins and minerals so that your baby will also get the vitamins and minerals needed to grow properly. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement while breast-feeding may be harmful to the mother and/or baby and should be avoided.
Children- Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.
Older adults- Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.
Other medicines- Medicines or dietary supplements
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases medicines or dietary supplements 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. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other dietary supplement or any nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) or prescription medicine.
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of selenium supplements. Make sure you tell your health care professional if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
The amount of selenium needed to meet normal daily recommended intakes will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average amounts of selenium.
If you miss taking selenium supplements for one or more days there is no cause for concern, since it takes some time for your body to become seriously low in selenium. However, if your health care professional has recommended that you take selenium, try to remember to take it as directed every day.
To store this dietary supplement:
Side Effects of This Medicine
Side Effects of This Dietary Supplement
Along with its needed effects, a dietary supplement may cause some unwanted effects. Although selenium supplements have not been reported to cause any side effects, check with your health care professional immediately if any of the following side effects occur as a result of an overdose:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some individuals. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care professional.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT