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Iron Pill Side Effects

Iron Pill Side Effects

Iron pills form a part of the treatment plan for a common medical condition known as anemia. Like almost all medicines, iron pills may trigger certain unpleasant side effects. And what are these side effects? The following would help you with the answer.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Mar 14, 2018
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Iron pills are supplements, which are prescribed by health care professionals in case of iron deficiency (anemia) or certain other health conditions. Often these supplements are given orally; but can be given intravenously, when oral therapy fails. In case a person shows iron deficiency symptoms, the doctor may prescribe these supplements. Although iron is required for the body, there are side effects of iron pills, such as overdose which can cause iron toxicity.
Side Effects of Iron Pills

Overdose of iron pills can become a life-threatening condition. Hence, it is important to make sure that it is taken under the observation of a health care professional. Iron supplements may trigger:
Stomach Upset, Pain and Cramps

Iron pills are known to cause stomach upset. Hence, when you are starting of with iron pills, start with half of the recommended dose. This way, your body will get used to the supplement and then you can gradually increase the dose. This reduces the chances of side effects. Some patients may also suffer from stomach cramps and/or shooting pain in the stomach after they have started the pills. In most cases, the symptoms disappear on their own, however, if the symptoms persist, then it is best to consult a health care professional.

The most common side effect of iron pill is constipation. When you start with an iron pill, you will have to increase the consumption of water and water rich foods such as greens and fruits. If this does not help in alleviating your condition, you may opt for stool softeners. Your pharmacist will be in a better situation to choose the best stool softener for you.
Dark-Colored Stools

Some people may also experience passing of dark-colored stools, due to the iron supplements, however, it is a normal condition. To be more precise, the stools may be black and tarry. When you stop taking the pills, you will see that the color of the stools comes back to normal. If you have been taking the supplements for a longer duration, then it will take time for the stools to become normal.
Presence of Blood in Stools

Passing of blood in the stools is observed in some cases, after one starts taking iron supplements. There may either be streaks of blood or the stools may be mixed with blood. If this is observed, do not waste any time and have yourself examined by a health care professional.

Along with constipation, nausea is another common complaint of people, who have started iron pills. It is recommended, you talk to your health care professional, if you do suffer from nausea; it is possible that you may need a change in pill.
Rash, Hives and Swelling

Very often iron supplements can cause rash and hives. The rash or hives are often observed on the face, tongue and throat. Swelling is another common side effect of the iron supplements. Mouth, face, lips or tongue are often affected with this condition. If you notice any sort of skin rash or swelling, after you have started iron pills, contact your health care professional.
Bluish Colored Nails and Lips

Excessive use of iron pills does give rise to bluish colored nails and lips. You will have to adjust the dose accordingly to alleviate the condition, but do not be your own doctor. Let your health care professional adjust the dose for you.
Tingling Sensation in Hands or Feet

Some people experience tingling sensation in their hands and/or feet. There can also be a feeling of numbness. Do not let the symptoms just pass; talk to your health care professional, so that the required action is taken.
Double Vision and Weakness

Although iron pills are given to counter weakness, overdose of it can also cause weakness. Double vision is another symptom which can be caused by iron pills. Both of these are rare symptoms of side effects of iron pills.
Teeth Discoloration

This is a side effect, which is observed if liquid iron supplements are given. In other words, if you are taking iron pills, then you will not have to be worried about this condition. However, to avoid this side effect, taking the liquid supplement using a straw is recommended. Although the condition may be reversible, it is best to take the necessary precautionary measure.
Iron Toxicity

In this condition, very little iron is excreted from the body, due to which it becomes like a poison to the body and can be fatal. The excess iron in the body makes its ways to different body tissues or organs. Therefore, it is best not to neglect the condition at any cost.
If you experience seizures, shallow breathing, weak or fast heartbeat, pale or clammy skin, do not ignore the signs as these can be iron pill side effects. You will need medical attention immediately. Do not waste any time and speak to your health care professional, else it can lead to iron toxicity. To minimize the chances of side effects of the iron supplements, it is recommended that the supplements be taken after breakfast and drink sufficient quantities of water through the day. When you start taking iron pills to counter iron deficiency make sure, you do so under medical supervision only for there are side effects of these pills.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.