A young child with measles and low reserves of vitamin A may develop clinical vitamin A deficiency and/or severe measles complications. Replacement doses of vitamin A are recommended for these patients.


Patient selection: measles and increased risk for depressed vitamin A stores


Exclusion: child with evidence of hypervitaminosis A


Risk for reduced vitamin A stores in a pediatric patient:

(1) child < 5 years in a developing country

(2) child < 2 years in a developed country AND hospitalized

(3) fat malabsorption


Prophylaxis: 1 dose daily for 2 days

Age of Patient

Oral Dose of Vitamin A

< 12 months

100,000 IU

>= 12 months

200,000 IU



• 1 IU vitamin A = 0.3 µg retinol equivalent (RE)


If the patient has malabsorption or diarrhea then vitamin A can be given parenterally, but the dose may be lower (check with a nutritionist).


NOTE: An older patient with measles and malnutrition, malabsorption or vitamin A deficiency may also benefit from prophylactic therapy with vitamin A.


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