Ferrous sulphate tablets

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Information specific to: Ferrous sulphate tablets.

About Ferrous sulphate and how it works

This medicine is used to treat and prevent iron deficiency anaemia. It belongs to a group of medicines called iron supplements. This medicine contains the iron salt, ferrous sulphate which helps restore iron levels in the body when levels are low. One of the most important functions of iron in the body is in the formation of red blood cells. Iron is a component of haemoglobin which is the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells.

This medicine is available as tablets or capsules that are taken by mouth.

This medicine should only be taken on advice from a healthcare professional. The amount of iron in different iron supplements varies and it is important you take the correct dose.

Iron preparations are absorbed better on an empty stomach. However, you make take them after food to prevent gastro-intestinal effects.

Do not take this medicine for more than three months after your anaemia has been corrected.

Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within three months, or if they get worse during treatment with this medicine.

Before using Ferrous sulphate

This medicine may not be suitable for everyone and some people must never have it. Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to make sure that the medicine is suitable before having it.

Always get advice from a healthcare professional before taking this medicine if:

  • you are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction to any of the ingredients in the medicine
  • this medicine is for a child
  • you have other types of anaemia or haemoglobinopathies
  • you have vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiencies
  • you have conditions where there is too much iron in the body such as haemochromatosis or haemosiderosis
  • you have iron-storage or iron-absorption diseases
  • you have or have had gastrointestinal problems such as a stomach ulcer
  • you have repeated blood transfusions
  • you notice blood in your urine at night
  • you have ileus
  • you have inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis
  • you have or are suspected of having intestinal strictures or diverticular disease
  • you have had part or all of your stomach removed
  • you have galactose intolerance
  • you have fructose intolerance
  • you have the Lapp lactase deficiency
  • you have glucose-galactose malabsorption
  • you have sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency
  • you are receiving iron in the form of an injection

Medicines interactions

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. Before taking this medicine consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines including vitamins, supplements and herbal or complementary preparations.

The following medicines may interact with this medicine:

  • tetracyclines - this medicine should be taken either three hours before or two hours after taking tetracyclines
  • thyroxine - you should take thyroxine and this medicine at least two hours apart
  • penicillamine
  • ascorbic acid
  • bisphosphonates
  • ciprofloxacin
  • entacapone
  • levodopa
  • levofloxacin
  • moxifloxacin
  • mycophenolate
  • norfloxacin
  • ofloxacin
  • zinc preparations
  • chloramphenicol
  • calcium salts
  • magnesium trisilicate
  • trientine
  • cholestyramine
  • phosphorus
  • antacids
  • dimercaprol
  • methyldopa
  • bicarbonates
  • carbonates
  • oxalates
  • phosphates

Possible side effects of Ferrous sulphate

Most medicines can cause some side-effects but not everyone taking the same medicine will get the same side-effects.

The following side-effects have been associated with people taking this medicine:

  • hypersensitivity reactions such as rashes or anaphylaxis
  • gastro-intestinal irritation such as nausea, anorexia, vomiting or stomach discomfort
  • dark coloured stools
  • altered bowel habits such as diarrhoea or constipation - constipation may lead to faecal impaction

If you experience other side effects or have any other worrying symptoms while you are taking this medicine, seek medical advice.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

This medicine is not known to cause any problems during pregnancy or while breast-feeding. However, as with all medicines, you should seek medical advice from your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant or are breast-feeding.

Other important information

Make sure that you read the leaflet that comes with your medicine to check what dose you should take. Seek immediate medical advice if you take more than the recommended dose. If you are in any doubt about whether this medicine is suitable for you, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

This medicine contains iron. It is important to keep it out of the reach and sight of children because an overdose may be fatal.

Some foods such as vitamin C or meat increase the absorption of iron. However, some foods such as tea, coffee, eggs, milk or milk products, wholegrain breads, fibre and cereals may decrease the absorption of iron and should not be taken at the same time as iron supplements. You should take this medicine either an hour before or two hours after having these types of foods.

Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.

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