IRON

Most of the iron in the body is found in the hemoglobin of red blood cells and in the myoglobin of muscle cells. Iron is needed for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide. It also has other important roles in the body.

People take iron supplements for preventing and treating low levels of iron (iron deficiency) and the resulting iron deficiency anemia. The red blood cells of a person with anemia can’t carry enough oxygen to the body resulting to their feeling of very tired.

Iron is also used for improving athletic performance and treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and canker sores. Some people also use iron for Crohn’s disease, depression, fatigue, and the inability to get pregnant.

Women sometimes take iron supplements to make up for iron lost in heavy menstrual periods. Iron-rich foods, such as pork, ham, chicken, fish, beans, and especially beef, liver, and lamb are also used.

Do NOT use iron if you are allergic to any ingredient in iron or if you have certain iron metabolism problems (eg, hemosiderosis, hemochromatosis) or high levels of iron in the blood.

When given high dosage, Iron can be harmful. In fact, it is the most common cause of poisoning deaths in children. Doses as low as 60 mg/kg can be fatal. Iron poisoning can cause many serious problems including stomach and intestinal distress, liver failure, dangerously low blood pressure, and death. If you suspect an adult or child has taken more than the recommended amount of iron, call your healthcare professional or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Some studies show that people with high intake of iron, especially from food sources such as red meat, are more likely to have heart disease. This may be especially true for people with type 2 diabetes but this is still debatable. Other studies do not show that iron increases the chance of heart disease. It is too early to assume that iron really increases the chance of heart disease.

Precautions

High doses of Iron is LIKELY UNSAFE. If you do not have iron deficiency, do not take more than 45 mg per day of elemental iron per day. Higher doses frequently cause stomach and intestinal side effects such as nausea and vomiting. High levels of hemoglobin at the time of delivery are associated with bad pregnancy outcomes. Hemoglobin is the molecule in red blood cells that contains iron.

 

Interactions

Be cautious with this combination:

Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics) interacts with IRON

Iron might decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking iron along with some antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics. To avoid this interaction take iron two hours before or two hours after taking antibiotics.

Some of these antibiotics that might interact with quercetin include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).

Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with IRON

Iron can attach to tetracycline antibiotics in the stomach and decrease how much tetracycline antibiotics the body can absorb. Taking iron along with tetracycline antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of tetracycline antibiotics. To avoid this interaction take iron two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines.

Some tetracycline antibiotics include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).

Bisphosphonates interacts with IRON

Iron can decrease how much bisphosphate the body absorbs. Taking iron along with bisphosphates can decrease the effectiveness of bisphosphates. To avoid this interaction take bisphosphonate at least two hours before iron or later in the day.

Some bisphosphonates include alendronate (Fosamax), etidronate (Didronel), risedronate (Actonel), tiludronate (Skelid), and others.

Levodopa interacts with IRON

Iron might decrease how much levodopa the body absorbs. Taking iron along with levodopa might decrease the effectiveness of levodopa. Do not take iron and levodopa at the same time.

Levothyroxine interacts with IRON

Levothyroxine is used for low thyroid function. Iron can decrease how much levothyroxine the body absorbs. Taking iron along with levothyroxine might decrease the effectiveness of levothyroxine. Some brands that contain levothyroxine include Armour Thyroid, Eltroxin, Estre, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid, and others.

Methyldopa (Aldomet) interacts with IRON

Iron can decrease how much methyldopa (Aldomet) the body absorbs. Taking iron along with methyldopa (Aldomet) might decrease the effectiveness of methyldopa (Aldomet). To prevent this interaction take iron at least two hours before or after taking methyldopa (Aldomet).

Mycophenolate Mofetil (CellCept) interacts with IRON

Iron might decrease how much mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) the body absorbs. Taking iron along with mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) might decrease the effectiveness of mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept). To avoid this interaction take iron at least two hours after mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept).

Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen) interacts with IRON

Penicillamine is used for Wilson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Iron might decrease how much penicillamine your body absorbs and decrease the effectiveness of penicillamine. To avoid this interaction take iron two hours before or two hours after taking penicillamine.

The adequate intake (AI) of iron for infants 6 months of age and less is 0.27 mg/day. For older infants and children, the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for iron are: Infants 7 to 12 months, 11 mg/day; children 1 to 3 years, 7 mg/day; 4 to 8 years, 10 mg/day; 9 to 13 years, 8 mg/day; boys 14 to 18 years, 11 mg/day; girls 14 to 18 years, 15 mg/day. For adults, the RDA for iron is 8 mg/day for men ages 19 and older, and women ages 51 and older. For women 19 to 50 years, the RDA is 18 mg/day. For pregnant women, the RDA is 27 mg/day. For breast-feeding women, the RDA is 10 mg/day for ages 14 to 18 years, and 9 mg/day for ages 19 to 50.

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL), the highest intake at which no unwanted side effects are expected, for iron are: infants and children birth to age 13, 40 mg/day; people age 14 and older (including pregnancy and breastfeeding), 45 mg/day. UL recommendations do not apply to people under medical supervision for iron deficiency.

There are many forms of iron supplements which contain different amounts of elemental iron: 1 gram of ferrous gluconate = 120 mg elemental iron (12% iron); 1 gram of ferrous sulfate = 200 mg elemental iron (20% iron); 1 gram of ferrous fumarate = 330 mg elemental iron (33% iron). The effectiveness and side effects are similar for these different forms when used in equal doses of elemental iron.

 

Available brands:

  • Appebon with Iron capsule
  • Appevit (Wyeth Nutrition)
  • Cherifer Premium
  • Sangobion
  • TLC Vita

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