iron (as ferrous gluconate) (generic name)
an iron product - treats Therapy for anemia after orthopedic surgery, ACE inhibitor-associated cough, Iron deficiency anemia, Anemia of chronic...
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SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Iron is a trace mineral and hypersensitivity is unlikely. Avoid if known allergy/hypersensitivity to products containing iron.
Side Effects and Warnings
In general, people with a history of kidney disease, intestinal disease, peptic ulcer disease, enteritis, colitis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, who consume excessive alcohol, plan to become pregnant, or are over age 55 and have a family history of heart disease should consult a doctor and pharmacist before taking iron.
Liquid oral iron preparations can possibly blacken teeth.
Acute overdosage or iron accumulation symptoms may include arthritis, signs of gonadal failure (amenorrhea, early menopause, loss of libido, impotence), and shortness of breath/dyspnea. High doses may cause vomiting and diarrhea followed by cardiovascular or metabolic toxicity and death. It is unclear whether high levels are associated with cancer, coronary heart disease, or myocardial infarction (MI or heart attack).
Gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and dark stools, has been reported. Gastrointestinal side effects are relatively common and corrective bowel regimens such as increasing dietary fiber or over the counter medication might be recommended to balance these side effects. Supervision by a qualified healthcare provider is recommended.
Individuals with blood disorders who require frequent blood transfusions are also at risk of iron overload and should not take iron supplements without direction by a qualified healthcare provider. Long-term use of high doses of iron can cause hemosiderosis that clinically resembles hemochromatosis. Iron overload is associated with several genetic diseases including hemochromatosis (a defect in iron metabolism with build up of iron in the body). The most commonly associated early hemochromatosis symptoms include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, abdominal pain, and arthralgia (joint pain). Iron overload is possible in very low birth weight infants after multiple blood transfusions due to increase liver iron concentration. Prenatal iron-overload might contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease, but further studies are needed to confirm the assumption. Accumulation of excess iron is being investigated as a potential contributor to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
HCV infection and iron loading may aggravate oxidative stress in dialysis patients.
A case of hypersiderosis (uncontrollable sweating) has been reported with long-term iron supplementation in uremic patients treated with periodic dialysis.
One study indicates that higher consumption of total red meat, especially various processed meats, may increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should seek guidance from a qualified healthcare provider before taking dietary supplements. Iron status of the pregnant woman should be measured early (before the 15th week of gestation) and iron supplements should be given as selective prophylaxis based on the serum ferritin level.
FDA Pregnancy Category B: Usually safe but benefits must outweigh the risks.
FDA Pregnancy Category C: Safety for use during pregnancy has not been established for replenishing depleted iron stores in the bone marrow where it is incorporated into hemoglobin.