Iron Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route)Drug Information provided by: Micromedex
US Brand Names
Canadian Brand Names
Iron is a mineral that the body needs to produce red blood cells. When the body does not get enough iron, it cannot produce the number of normal red blood cells needed to keep you in good health. This condition is called iron deficiency (iron shortage) or iron deficiency anemia.
Although many people in the U.S. get enough iron from their diet, some must take additional amounts to meet their needs. For example, iron is sometimes lost with slow or small amounts of bleeding in the body that you would not be aware of and which can only be detected by your doctor. Your doctor can determine if you have an iron deficiency, what is causing the deficiency, and if an iron supplement is necessary.
Lack of iron may lead to unusual tiredness, shortness of breath, a decrease in physical performance, and learning problems in children and adults, and may increase your chance of getting an infection.
Some conditions may increase your need for iron. These include:
- Bleeding problems
- Intestinal diseases
- Stomach problems
- Stomach removal
- Use of medicines to increase your red blood cell count
In addition, infants, especially those receiving breast milk or low-iron formulas, may need additional iron.
Increased need for iron supplements should be determined by your health care professional.
Injectable iron is administered only by or under the supervision of your health care professional. Other forms of iron are available without a prescription; however, your health care professional may have special instructions on the proper use and dose for your condition.
For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.
Iron is found in the diet in two forms—heme iron, which is well absorbed, and nonheme iron, which is poorly absorbed. The best dietary source of absorbable (heme) iron is lean red meat. Chicken, turkey, and fish are also sources of iron, but they contain less than red meat. Cereals, beans, and some vegetables contain poorly absorbed (nonheme) iron. Foods rich in vitamin C (e.g., citrus fruits and fresh vegetables), eaten with small amounts of heme iron-containing foods, such as meat, may increase the amount of nonheme iron absorbed from cereals, beans, and other vegetables. Some foods (e.g., milk, eggs, spinach, fiber-containing, coffee, tea) may decrease the amount of nonheme iron absorbed from foods. Additional iron may be added to food from cooking in iron pots.
The daily amount of iron needed is defined in several different ways.
- For U.S.—
- Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
- Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
- For Canada—
- Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.
Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) for iron are generally defined as follows (Note that the RDA and RNI are expressed as an actual amount of iron, which is referred to as “elemental”' iron. The product form [e.g., ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate] has a different strength):
|Infants birth to 3 years of age||6–10||0.3–6|
|Children 4 to 6 years of age||10||8|
|Children 7 to 10 years of age||10||8–10|
|Adolescent and adult males||10||8–10|
|Adolescent and adult females||10–15||8–13|
This product is available in the following dosage forms:
- Tablet, Chewable
- Tablet, Enteric Coated
- Tablet, Extended Release
- Capsule, Extended Release
- Capsule, Liquid Filled