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Ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate, and ferrous sulfate belong to a group of medications known as oral iron supplements. Iron is important for the production of red blood cells. It helps red blood cells to carry oxygen to the various parts of the body. When the body does not get enough oxygen due to lack of iron, symptoms such as tiredness, shortness of breath, and learning problems may occur. This is a type of anemia called iron deficiency anemia.
Iron supplements are used to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed or recommended it.
There are different types of iron preparations that contain different amounts of elemental (pure) iron. For example, 300 mg of ferrous fumarate contains 100 mg of elemental iron (33%), 300 mg of ferrous gluconate contains 35 mg of elemental iron (11.6%), while 300 mg of ferrous sulfate contains 60 mg of elemental iron (20%).
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for help when choosing the recommended amount of iron for your circumstances. To prevent deficiency, dietary intake is preferred over taking iron supplements. Good food sources of iron include red meat, poultry, organ meats, spinach, dried fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, and clams.
To prevent deficiency the recommended daily intake of iron (including dietary and supplement sources) for adults is 8 mg to 13 mg daily. An additional 5 mg daily is recommended in the second trimester of pregnancy, and an additional 10 mg per day is recommended in the third trimester. For adults who are deficient in iron, 50 mg to 100 mg elemental iron 3 times daily is the recommended intake.
Premature infants who are not receiving iron-fortified formula should receive 2 mg to 4 mg of elemental iron per kilogram of body weight given as a single daily dose or in 2 divided doses. Iron supplementation should begin at the age of 8 weeks and continue until the age of 1 year. The maximum dose is 15 mg daily.
For infants and children with severe iron-deficiency anemia, 4 mg to 6 mg of elemental iron per kilogram of body weight per day is given in 3 divided doses. Infants and children with mild to moderate iron-deficiency anemia should receive 3 mg of elemental iron per kilogram of body weight daily given as a single daily dose or in 2 divided doses. Infants and children who require iron-deficiency anemia prevention should receive 0.5 mg to 2 mg of elemental iron per kilogram of body weight daily. The maximum dose is 15 mg daily.
Iron is best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach with water or fruit juice (adults: full glass or 8 ounces; children: half glass or 4 ounces), about one hour before or 2 hours after meals. However, if stomach upset occurs, lower doses may be given to start with, and the iron can be taken after food.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without talking to your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed or recommended by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of reach of children, as severe reactions including death have resulted from childhood ingestions.
This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under "What form(s) does this medication come in?"
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Fer-In-Sol is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under oral iron (ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate). This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
Do not take this medication if you:
Do not give this medication to premature infants with vitamin E deficiency.
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