ferrous sulfate : The Iron Supplement

Ferrous Sulfate : Iron Supplement

Ferrous Sulfate is an important mineral for our body and used to treat iron deficiency known as anemia. Anemia is a lack of red blood cells caused due to iron deficiency. 

The ferrous sulfate is an iron supplement that cures anemia by maintaining the level of iron in the blood. The body need iron to produce red blood cells which are important for good health.


Iron is an essential mineral and ferrous sulfate is a type of iron that is widely used for the treatment of deficiency of iron.
We get most of the iron from the food. Iron constitute of your hemoglobin which carries oxygen to various part of the body.

Iron is also a part of myoglobins which helps cells to store oxygen. Poor Diet, Blood loss, pregnancy, other medical conditions, and requirements we need an iron supplement.


Ferrous Sulfate as an iron supplement comes as tablets and drops. It is available on prescription and as OTC which you can buy online or pharmacies near you.


It is highly recommended to take medical professions advice before using them as they have side effects, medical conditions, and medication which calls not to use these types of supplements.


How to take ferrous sulfate.

You should always follow the amount as per your doctor’s instructions or you can take as indicated on the label. Ferrous sulfate should never take more than what is recommended in any case.


You can take these one hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. The objective is to take this medicine on an empty stomach. Avoid any other medications before and after taking ferrous sulfate and during sufficient water for better absorption of the capsule or pill. You should avoid taking broken, crushed pills and do not chew it as may cause an excess of ferrous sulfate release. It should be absorbed slowly into the body.


If you are taking liquid ferrous sulfate, there are chances that you exceed the recommended doses. Always use the measuring caps to measure the exact quantity. Do not rely on assumptions as it may be risky.

You should also try to get the maximum amount of iron from your food. Ferrous sulfates are just supplemented and you should not depend on it completely.


In case you miss any doses wait till next doses routine. Do not try to compensate for the missed doses by taking extra pills or within short intervals. Overdoses may have side effects. 

Store ferrous sulfate at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.



ferrous sulfate Side Effects

There may be an allergic reaction in some cases causing difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. In such cases, you should medical emergency help immediately

Less serious ferrous sulfate side effects may include:

  • Constipation;
  • Upset stomach;
  • Black or dark-colored stools; or
  • Temporary staining of the teeth.

When do you need Ferrous Sulfate (Iron Supplement)?

Generally, you need ferrous sulfate when you have iron-deficiency anemia. It is caused due to lack of hemoglobin in red blood cells also known as RBC which carries oxygen in your body. Anemia caused due to iron deficiency is most common. This iron deficiency may be caused due to following reasons

  • Pregnancy – During pregnancy the amount of RBC required increases and if intake of iron-rich food is not adequate this will lead to anemia.
  • Infants and young children with low weight –Due to rapid growth and activities infant and young children need good nutrition.During their growth period if the iron intake from food is insufficient it will impact their RBC count.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding and blood loss –Menstrual bleeding or any other type of blood loss decreases the RBC required to provide oxygen to organs. Lack of a nutritious diet may cause anemia as this blood loss is not fully recovered from time to time.
  • Frequent blood donors – Frequent donors may run a risk of iron deficiency.
  • People with cancer – Patients with colon cancer have iron deficiency at diagnosis, probably due to chronic blood loss.
  • Poor Nutrition – One of the major causes of iron deficiency is poor diet. This may be due to various reasons which include lifestyle.

iron deficiency anemia Symptoms

The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can be mild at first, and you may not even notice them. According to the American Society of Hematology (ASH), most people don’t realize they have mild anemia until they have a routine blood test.

The symptoms of moderate to severe iron deficiency anemia include:

  • General fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Strange cravings to eat items that aren’t food, such as dirt, ice, or clay
  • Tingling or crawling feeling in the legs
  • Tongue swelling or soreness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Brittle nails
  • Headaches

Excess Iron side effect

Adults with normal intestinal function have very little risk of iron overload from dietary sources of iron. However, acute intakes of more than 20 mg/kg iron from supplements or medicines can lead to gastric upset, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and faintness, especially if food is not taken at the same time . Taking supplements containing 25 mg elemental iron or more can also reduce zinc absorption and plasma zinc concentrations. In severe cases overdoses of iron can lead to multi-system organ failure, coma, convulsions, and even death .

Natural source of Iron.

Foods high in iron include:

  • meat, such as lamb, pork, chicken, and beef
  • beans
  • pumpkin and squash seeds
  • leafy greens, such as spinach
  • raisins and other dried fruit
  • eggs
  • seafood, such as clams, sardines, shrimp, and oysters
  • iron-fortified dry and instant cereals