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Side Effects of Ferrous Sulfate

Side Effects of Ferrous Sulfate

Ferrous sulfate is a dietary supplement for a person with an iron deficiency. Read this HealthHearty article to know more about its usage and side effects.
Aastha Dogra
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
Did You Know?
Ferrous sulfate is also known as iron sulfate.

The human body requires iron for producing red blood cells. Iron deficiency can be observed in several people, caused if their diet lacks the necessary nutrients, especially iron. At the same time, an iron deficiency can also be caused due to excessive bleeding or some other health problem. Ferrous sulfate provides the body with sufficient iron to help treat or prevent diseases and medical conditions, which are caused due to a deficiency of iron in the body, such as anemia.
What It Is
Our body obtains iron from the food that we consume daily, which adds to our myoglobin and hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen to the organs and tissues of the body through blood, while myoglobin aids the muscle cells in storing oxygen.
Sometimes, there might be a deficiency of iron in the body, which is when ferrous sulfate is recommended by doctors to compensate for the lack of it. This supplement ensures that the body's cells, tissues, and organs have enough oxygen.
How to Take Ferrous Sulfate
Ferrous sulfate can be taken either in the form of a pill/capsule or as a syrup, whatever is prescribed by the doctor.
Normally, the pill is taken two hours after meals, or about one hour prior to a meal, with a glass of plain water. Antibiotics and antacids can cause a reaction if taken with ferrous sulfate, so they should be avoided. Also, the tablet/capsule should be swallowed directly, and should not be crushed, chewed, or broken open.
If taken in liquid form, the syrup should be shaken properly first, following which it should be taken in the correct dosage as prescribed by the doctor, using a measuring spoon.
Ferrous sulfate alone cannot meet the iron requirements of the body. It has to be accompanied by the consumption of foods rich in iron such as green leafy vegetables, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, liver, chicken, and seafood.
Side Effects
Ferrous sulfate may not be suitable to some people and thus, may have certain side effects on them. Here is a list of its side effects.

Ferrous sulfate can cause an allergic reaction in some people, resulting in a skin rash or itching. There might also be associated swelling on the face, inside the mouth, and the lips.
Changing Colors

Another side effect of this supplement is a change in the color of the nails, lips, and the palms. They tend to get a bluish appearance.
Dark Stools

Consumption of this drug can cause the stools of a person to become very dark, or even black in color. This in most cases is due to the presence of iron in them.
Throat Problems

It can make swallowing food or water difficult, and can also cause a mild to severe pain in the throat upon swallowing.
Fatigue and Breathlessness

The person might feel tired all the time, and even drowsy in some cases. It may also cause difficulty in breathing, or a feeling of breathlessness.
Stomach Problems

Some other side effects are indigestion, severe stomach pain, and vomiting. One may also experience blood in stools and diarrhea in case of overdose.
Other Problems

Dangerous and risky side effects of this drug are seizures and irregularity in the heartbeat. It may also have an effect on the skin, making it paler than usual.
In order to avoid these problems, it is very important to consult a doctor before beginning the intake of this medicine. Also, informing the doctor about your previous health conditions especially if you have iron overload syndrome, porphyria, hemolytic anemia, thalassemia or if you are taking blood transfusions or are an alcoholic, is very essential.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.