Know about iron supplements

Know about iron supplements

Iron is one of the most important minerals that the body uses to build itself. Iron used mainly in the formation of red blood cells, which responsible for transport oxygen and nutrients to all body tissues. Also, iron exchanges carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lung. So iron deficiency results in anemia that affects your health. As a treatment, you may have to take iron supplements and increase your iron-containing diet like meat, fish, tofu, beans, spinach, cereal, and other foods.

Iron supplements:


Iron supplements are used for the treatment of anemia which is a result of iron deficiency or heavy bleeding as in menstrual period and other bleeding conditions.

Side Effects:

- For most people and when is taken by mouth; iron is safe. But there are some side effects like stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
   To lower these side effects; Take iron supplements with food, but note that; food especially dairy products may affect iron absorption. Also, tacking iron supplements as enteric-coated or in controlled release form may reduce nausea side effect but, it will reduce iron absorption.
- Another side effect for iron when taken in liquid form is teeth blacking.
- Iv rote is safe for most people.


  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding:

When there is no iron deficiency and when taken at a dose of less than 45 mg per day; iron is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
But also don't exceed 45 mg per day for two reasons:
  1. Higher doses mean vigorous side effects such as stomach, nausea, and vomiting.
  2. Higher doses lead to high blood hemoglobin level which at delivery time will cause serious problems.

  • Children:

Iron is unsafe for children in high doses, 60 mg/kg may cause death to children by iron poisoning.
Symptoms of iron poisoning :

  • Stomach
  • Liver failure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Finally death.

If your children take an iron supplement and you see anything up normal call your doctor immediately or go to any poison control center.

  • Diabetes:
Some research papers thought that iron may lead to heart disease in women with type 2 diabetes, but there is no proof. So tell your doctor if you're a diabetic patient before taking iron supplements.
Premature infants:
Something there is a deficiency in vitamin E level in premature infants, and in this condition; taking iron is very dangerous. So you should treat low vitamin E levels before giving iron supplements.
Stomach or intestinal ulcers:
As we said  Iron causes stomach and intestinal problems as a side effect. So taking iron in stomach or intestinal ulcers should be with care as it may worsen these conditions.

Drugs Interactions:

Iron decreases the absorption of many drugs so affect their effectiveness and you may need larger doses to achieve the usual effects. These drugs like :

  • Antibiotics that contain any substance from the Quinolone or tetracycline families. ( you can know the type of the antibiotic you take by asking the pharmacist) So don't take iron and these antibiotics at the same time, you can take iron two hours before or after taking Qiunolone or tetracycline antibiotics.

  • Bisphosphonates:
Take iron before bisphosphonates by at least two hours.

  • Levodopa, Levothyroxine, Methyldopa, and Penicillamine:

Take iron at least two hours before taking these drugs to avoid the interaction with each other.