What is the most important information I should know about ferrous gluconate?
You should not use this medicine if you have hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis, or hemolytic anemia.
What is ferrous gluconate?
Ferrous gluconate is a type of iron. You normally get iron from the foods you eat. In your body, iron becomes a part of your hemoglobin (HEEM o glo bin) and myoglobin (MY o glo bin). Hemoglobin carries oxygen through your blood to tissues and organs. Myoglobin helps your muscle cells store oxygen.
Ferrous gluconate is used to treat or prevent iron deficiency anemia (a lack of red blood cells caused by having too little iron in the body).
Ferrous gluconate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ferrous gluconate?
You should not use ferrous gluconate if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- iron overload disorder (hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis); or
- hemolytic anemia (caused by the breakdown of red blood cells).
To make sure ferrous gluconate is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- ulcerative colitis;
- stomach ulcers or similar stomach problems;
- thalassemia (a genetic disorder of red blood cells); or
- if you receive regular blood transfusions.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.
Ferrous gluconate is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take ferrous gluconate?
Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take ferrous gluconate on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Ferrous gluconate may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water or juice.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole.
Ferrous gluconate can stain your teeth, but this effect is temporary. To prevent tooth staining, mix the liquid form of ferrous gluconate with water or fruit juice (not with milk) and drink the mixture through a straw. You may also clean your teeth with baking soda once per week to treat any tooth staining.
Ferrous gluconate may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes a special diet. Follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. Get familiar with the list of foods you should eat to make sure you get enough iron in your diet.
Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if a child has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of ferrous gluconate can be fatal to a child.
Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, severe nausea or stomach pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, cold or clammy skin, blue lips, and seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking ferrous gluconate?
Ask your doctor before using any vitamin or mineral supplement, or an antacid. Use only the type of antacid or supplements that your doctor recommends. Some minerals or antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb ferrous gluconate.
Avoid taking antacids or antibiotics within 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking ferrous gluconate. This is especially important if you take:
- ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin; or
- demeclocycline, doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline.
Certain foods can also make it harder for your body to absorb ferrous gluconate. Avoid taking this medicine within 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating fish, meat, liver, and whole grain or "fortified" breads or cereals.
What are the possible side effects of ferrous gluconate?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, blistering or peeling skin; fever; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- bright red blood in your stools;
- black or tarry stools;
- a fever;
- stomach pain;
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or
- pain in your chest or throat when swallowing a ferrous gluconate tablet.
Common side effects may include:
- constipation, diarrhea;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- loss of appetite;
- green-colored stools; or
- temporary staining of the teeth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect ferrous gluconate?
Other drugs may interact with ferrous gluconate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about ferrous gluconate.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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