What is Ferrous Sulfate?
Ferrous Sulfate is classified as an iron preparation indicated for the prevention and treatment of iron-deficiency anemia, a condition wherein there are too few red blood cells inside one’s body. This condition may be due to poor diet, pregnancy, excess bleeding, or other medical problems. Ferrous sulfate is also used as a dietary supplement in the form of iron.
Ferrous Sulfate is available in different forms: coated long-acting tablets, regular extended-release capsules, and oral liquid (drops, syrup and elixir). This medication should be taken exactly as directed to prevent over dosage and untoward reactions to the body. Tablets and capsules should be swallowed whole, not chewed, crushed nor opened. Ferrous sulfate should be taken preferably 1 hour before meals or 2 hours thereafter.
Common side effects in taking ferrous sulfate include dark stools, discoloration of urine, staining of teeth from the liquid form of this drug, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. If severe forms of these side effects occur, consultation with the doctor should immediately be done.
Before taking this medication, patients should first inform their doctor if he/she is allergic to ferrous sulfate or any of its ingredients. A list of these ingredients may be requested from your local pharmacist. The doctor should also be informed if the patient is taking other medications or supplements for control of the dosage and for monitoring of unwanted drug interactions. Breast-feeding mothers, pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant should consult first their doctor before taking this medication. And those with colitis, intestinal disease or ulcers must also see their doctors before commencing treatment with this drug.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia usually subsides within a few days of taking ferrous sulfate, but for severe cases it will take about 6 months of medication to see improved results depending on the condition of the patient. Regular appointments with the doctor and laboratory exams are usually required to monitor the patient’s response to the medication.