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Iron Supplementation Tips and Need to Know

As promised - tips and info on giving Iron Supplements

Iron Supplements tips – compiled from doctors, nurses, online resources and personal experience
• It’s essential for your doctor to tell you how much iron to give. Too much can be deadly.

• Then when you buy iron make sure that you know how many pills it will take to get that much iron. There are many different iron formulations and some have a very small amount of actual iron compared to others.

• Be sure you know how much to give and how long to give it.

• Secure the iron from accidental ingestion by any children. Do NOT leave it on the counter OK? Post the number for Poison Control by your phone.:thumright:

• It usually takes about 2 months before blood counts will return to normal but supplementation often needs to continue for 6 months or longer. This is in relatively healthy people without serious GI bleeding. So your child may need long term iron supplementation.

• Iron interacts with lots of things including a number of antibiotics. The main one of concern to us is Cipro. Iron will reduce the absorption of Cipro. Your pharmacy should run an interaction checker with prescription drugs so be sure that they know your child is on iron supplementation too. Usually you still take the med you just need to wait at least 2 hours before taking it so the iron doesn’t interfere with absorption.

• If possible take iron on an empty stomach. Otherwise take with a small amount of food.

• Wait 2 hours after taking milk products and antacids to take iron. Do NOT take iron with milk

• Avoid eating the following foods at the same time as you take iron:
oHigh fiber foods
o Caffeinated foods/drinks
o Milk​
• Consider taking Vit. B complex and Vit. C at the same time as iron. Vit. C helps with absorption of iron and the B vitamins are also essential to improving anemia.

• We have had the best success treating anemia with a formula that combines all three into one pill. You have to take more pills because the amount of iron is fairly low but the absorption for my son seems to be much better than regular iron pills. And he got no side effects.

• Take a missed dose as soon as you remember it but if it is close to time for your next dose then skip the missed dose.

• If nausea and/or vomiting are a problem you can do two things. You can divide the doses up into smaller amounts spread over the day with the largest dose before bed. Or you can talk to your child’s doctor about doing an iron infusion. Personally I think iron infusions should be done more often but that’s just my opinion. Talk with the doctor about it.

• Don’t worry when you see black stools. This is normal. Tarry is not normal and you need to call the doc right away for that. But black is just the iron at work.

• Liquid forms of iron are available. They generally taste bad, or so I am told since I draw the line at going around tasting them just so I know how icky they taste. They will also stain your teeth. If you have to give it to a child try having them drink it with a straw. Brush with baking soda or peroxide to remove stains.

• Store in a cool place – not hot and damp like the bathroom.
Nope. It's yours - some of it was copied from other sources over the past several years in bits and pieces but I never kept a record so I can't offer attributions. Plus I usually re-wrote things so it made sense to me.
You might also want to mention that calcium and zinc are bad to ingest at the same time as iron - they will block it from being absorbed. :)