Pregnancy Home > DuetDHA

DuetDHA is a prescription prenatal vitamin that contains a blend of omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is an important nutrient for eye and brain development. The vitamins come in a package that contains both softgels and tablets (one of each is taken each day). Although most people tolerate the vitamins well, possible side effects may include constipation, nausea, and vomiting.

What Is DuetDHA?

Duet®DHA and DuetDHAec are prenatal vitamins that are only available by prescription. In addition to the usual vitamins and minerals found in most prenatal vitamins, these supplements contain a blend of omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an important nutrient for eye and brain development (and may also provide other health benefits).
Both DuetDHA and DuetDHAec come packaged with both softgel capsules and tablets (one of each is taken once a day). The tablets contain the vitamins and minerals, and the capsules contain the DHA. DuetDHAec contains the same ingredients as DuetDHA, except that the DuetDHAec capsules have a special coating that may help prevent stomach upset.
(Click DuetDHA Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes DuetDHA?

DuetDHA products are made by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does DuetDHA Work?

DuetDHA prenatal vitamins contain a blend of different vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. These nutrients are important for a healthy pregnancy, and many pregnant women may not get enough of these nutrients, for various reasons. Probably most importantly, these products contain folic acid, which is important to prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida. DuetDHA products also contain iron, calcium, and a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
Unlike older prenatal vitamins, DuetDHA and DuetDHAec both contain omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA. DHA provides a wide variety of health benefits. There is some evidence that it may decrease the risk of preterm birth (having a baby prematurely), improve brain function, and improve vision.
Fish are the main source of DHA, and the typical American diet is usually deficient in DHA. Additionally, because many pregnant women are instructed to limit their intake of certain fish (due to the potential risks of mercury toxicity), it is likely that many pregnant women are not getting enough DHA.
DuetDHAec capsules have a special coating (called an "enteric coating") that prevents the capsules from dissolving in the stomach. Only once the capsules reach the small intestine will they begin to dissolve. This may help to prevent stomach upset.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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