Site Map

Hypervitaminosis A

Vitamin A toxicity

Hypervitaminosis A is a disorder in which there is too much vitamin A in the body.


Vitamin A source

I Would Like to Learn About:


Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. Many foods contain vitamin A, including:

Some dietary supplements also contain vitamin A.

Taking too many supplements is the most common cause of vitamin A toxicity. It tends not to occur just from eating vitamin A-rich foods.

Too much vitamin A can make you sick. Taking large doses during pregnancy can cause birth defects.


Symptoms may include:

Exams and Tests

These tests may be done if a high vitamin A level is suspected:


Treatment involves simply stopping supplements (or in rare cases, foods) that contain vitamin A.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most people fully recover.

Possible Complications

Complications can include:

Taking too much vitamin A during pregnancy may cause birth defects. Talk to your health care provider about eating a proper diet while you are pregnant.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

You should contact your provider:


How much vitamin A you need depends on your age and sex. Other factors, such as pregnancy and your overall health, are also important. Ask your provider what amount is best for you.

To avoid hypervitaminosis A, don't take more than the recommended daily allowance of this vitamin. Check the ingredients of all your medicines to be sure you are not taking vitamin A from more than one source.

Some people take vitamin A and beta carotene supplements in the belief it will help prevent cancer. This may lead to chronic hypervitaminosis A if people take more than is recommended.

Related Information

Vitamin A
Brain tumor - children
Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
Vision problems
Nausea and vomiting – adults
Bone pain or tenderness
Appetite - decreased
Weight gain – unintentional
Seborrheic dermatitis
Increased intracranial pressure
Failure to thrive


Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2001. PMID: 25057538

James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM. Nutritional diseases. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 22.

Mason JB, Booth SL. Vitamins, trace minerals, and other micronutrients. In: Goldman L, Cooney KA, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 27th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2024:chap 199.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website. Dietary reference intakes. Updated January 18, 2023. Accessed March 22, 2024.

Ross AC. Vitamin A deficiencies and excess. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 61.

Sodi R. Vitamins and trace elements. In: Rifai N, Chiu RWK, Young I, Burnham Carey-Ann D, Wittwer CT, eds. Tietz Textbook of Laboratory Medicine. 7th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2023:chap 39.


Review Date: 2/28/2024  

Reviewed By: Sandeep K. Dhaliwal, MD, board-certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, Springfield, VA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo
Health Content Provider

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complied with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information from 1995 to 2022, after which HON (Health On the Net, a not-for-profit organization that promoted transparent and reliable health information online) was discontinued.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2024 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.