Iron Supplements - PBM

Iron supplements should only be taken on the advice of a health care professional (too much iron taken on a long term basis might be harmful).

Which iron supplement should I take?

Many types of iron supplements are available. The blood management team will recommend iron supplements that are best for each individual patient.

Will iron interact with my other medications?

Tell the blood management team about all your prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and/or herbal medications you are taking. Generally iron does not interact with other medications; however it is important to tell the blood conservation team if you take thyroid or calcium medication.

How do I take the iron?

Iron is best taken with a full glass of water on an empty stomach; at bedtime is recommended or 1 hour before or two hours after meals. Iron might lead to an upset stomach. If so, take it with food (soda cracker).

What are the side effects of iron pills?

Minor side effects are common, especially in the first few days as your body adjusts to the iron. Iron pills will cause stools to turn black. This is due to unabsorbed iron and is not harmful. If the side effects continue, talk to the blood management team about the iron you are taking. The minor side effects could include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

How long should I take the iron?

The blood management team will recommend the time frame for taking iron supplements that is best for each individual patient. the iron supplement has been suggested because you are having an operation, usually it is taken for a short time before and after your operation to build your body’s iron stores. A healthy diet, with lots of iron foods will also help to build iron stores.