• Treat iron deficiency anemia with approximately 60 to 120 mg of ferrous iron daily At a different time of day, give supplemental zinc and copper as part of a vitamin/mineral supplement. (See Tab 9 for details.)

Side Effects from Iron Supplements
  • Side effects are dose related and are most common at doses of 120 mg of elemental iron or more.

  • Nausea, cramps, constipation, or diarrhea, if they occur, often persist no longer than 3 to 5 days after the woman begins to take iron supplements. If they do persist, lower the dose temporarily or substitute a slow-release preparation at mealtime.

Suggest, as appropriate:

  • Let me give you the name of a liquid or chewable preparation if you have difficulty swallowing tablets.

  • Taking iron to treat iron deficiency anemia helps to reduce fatigue , headache, dizziness, and shortness of breath and increases your ability to adapt to blood loss at the time of delivery.

  • You may notice a darkening in the color of your stools. High doses of iron sometimes cause constipation or (less often)diarrhea.

  • Use safety caps and keep supplements out of the reach of children.

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