Ferrous Sulfate (Iron)
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Accidental overdose of products containing iron is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under the age of 6. Keep this product out of the reach of children. In case of an accidental overdose, call your doctor or a poison control center immediately.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Ferrous sulfate provides the iron needed by the body to produce red blood cells. It is used to treat or prevent iron-deficiency anemia, a condition that occurs when the body has too few red blood cells because of pregnancy, poor diet, excess bleeding, or other medical problems.
How should this medicine be used?
Ferrous sulfate comes as regular, coated, and extended-release (long-acting) tablets; regular and extended-release capsules; and oral liquid (syrup, drops, and elixir) to take by mouth. Ferrous sulfate usually is taken three times a day between meals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ferrous sulfate exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Although symptoms of iron deficiency usually improve within a few days, you may have to take ferrous sulfate for 6 months if you have severe iron deficiency.
This medication should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
Ferrous sulfate drops come with a special dropper for measuring the dose. Ask your pharmacist to show you how to use it. The drops may be placed directly in the mouth or mixed with water or fruit juice (not with milk).
Do not crush or chew regular, coated, or extended-release tablets, and do not open regular or extended-release capsules; swallow them whole.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking ferrous sulfate,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ferrous sulfate, any other medications tartrazine (a yellow dye in some processed foods and medications) or any of the ingredients in ferrous sulfate tablets, capsules, or liquid. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: chloramphenicol, cimetidine (Tagamet), levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet), methyldopa (Aldomet), penicillamine. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you more carefully for side effects.
- If you also are taking cinoxacin (Cinobac), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), demeclocycline, doxycycline, enoxacin (Penetrex), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), methacycline, minocycline, nalidixic acid (NegGram), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), oxytetracycline, sparfloxacin (Zagam), or tetracycline, take it 3 hours after or 2 hours before taking ferrous sulfate. Do not take antacids at the same time as ferrous sulfate; take them as far apart as possible.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had ulcers, colitis, or intestinal disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking ferrous sulfate, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Fish, meat (especially liver), and fortified cereals and breads are good dietary sources of iron; emphasize them in a well-balanced diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Ferrous sulfate may cause side effects. Your stools will turn dark; this effect is harmless. Your teeth may stain from the liquid; mix each dose with water or fruit juice. You may clean your teeth once a week by rubbing them with a small amount of baking soda.
Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or does not go away:
- Stomach upset
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
This medication may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to ferrous sulfate.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
- Fer-in-Sol TR®