Iron Tablets | How To Take Iron Tablets | How To Reduce Iron Supplement Side Effects (2018)

How To Take Iron Tablet Properly | How To Reduce Iron Tablet Side Effects | Iron Supplements For Best Absorption | Iron Vitamin C | Ferrous Sulphate

Hey guys! This weeks video is about how to take an iron supplement so you can get the most out of it and how to reduce the side effects associated with them.

Iron supplements are prescribed or recommended when when your anaemic or at risk of developing anaemia because the iron stores in your body are low.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia can include:

• Tiredness and lack of energy
• Shortness of breath
• Noticeable heartbeats (heart palpitations)
• Pale skin

To help get the best absorption of your iron supplement you should take it on an empty stomach (preferably one hour before a meal or two hours after) with a drink containing vitamin C, such as a glass of orange juice or another juice drink with added vitamin C.

Absorption of iron from the gut is reduced by food, tea and milk, so these should be avoided for one hour before and after taking the iron supplement.

The precise instructions for when to take your supplements will be discussed with you by the healthcare professional who prescribes them.

The only factor that improves the absorption of iron is vitamin C. This is why we recommend that you take your iron supplement with a drink containing vitamin C.

Iron is needed for the production of haemoglobin, which is an essential ingredient in red blood cells.

Haemoglobin is very important as it carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

If you don’t have enough iron, you can develop anaemia, which means that you aren’t making enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around your body. You may become breathless, tired and have a lack of energy, your skin may become pale and you may have palpitations (noticeable heartbeats).

The following side effects are common,
• Stomach upset
• Nausea (feeling sick)
• Stomach ache
• Diarrhoea
• Constipation

These usually improve as your body gets used to the iron supplements. If the side effects continue to be a problem for you, contact the healthcare professional who prescribed the iron supplements and discuss the possible options I have recommended in the video with them.

Iron supplements can also make your stools look darker in colour. This is completely harmless.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking an iron supplement it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

• If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
• If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

Link to iron supplement interactions, this link is for ferrous sulphate a commonly prescribed iron supplement. If you are taking a different iron supplement, on the same page you can search the name of it and click interactions –

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Want to see more videos about everything health and pharmacy? Let me know in the comments below. Subscribe for new videos ▶


Prescribing Media Pharmacist | Bringing Science Through New Film Every Monday | Extreme Optimist

I’m a British – Persian – Iranian prescribing media pharmacist who loves science, making videos and helping people. I work in both GP surgeries and community pharmacy.

This video is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Abraham The Pharmacist has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Always consult a doctor or other healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.


  1. I already know this trick cause i'm always anemic since teens btw thanks for sharing, this is helpful

  2. I never knew to take the plll before eating r after ward I always take on empty stomach
    No wonder my tummy hurts and cramp

  3. Wow I never knew I can take it oj and I always take it right after I ate. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Am having to take 20mg of Pepcid because of a huge hiatal hernia. Was given iron because of anemia what can do cannot leave off the pepcid

  5. I’ve been breathless for almost a week and my stool is almost black I’ve been feeling fatigue and tiredness a lot (is that normal)

  6. omg.. i never thought that drinking coffee keeps the iron supply or feso4 makes it lesser to be absorbed by my body.. no wonder why i take 2doses of feso4 a day my hemoglobin increased by 4 last month when i had my cbc checked its 103 now its 107.. lol thank you for the tips

  7. I eat lots of okra for several days. When I went to doctor he said I'm anemic and need to take ferrous sulfate…

  8. Hi, thank's for the video. I have a question: can we combine iron with magnesium? (is there any absorption issue? )

  9. I taked an iron supplement on a EMPTY EMPTY stomach thinking it wouldn’t give nausea since I didn’t have anything in my belly in the first place to cause it! big mistake … well I got nausea that lasted for 6 HOURS 😵

  10. I have gout and I have low iron and ferritin levels. I have been prescribed iron supplements. Would it affect my gout?

  11. I had a cup of coffee 6:30 am and then took a vitamin C wafer the ones you chew up. waited 20 min and took my iron supplement with water.

  12. I have to take 3x 325 mg of iron a day I finally got my iron levels to 13.3 is it ok now I just take 100 mg once a day now? The side effects are horrible when I take 3 xs a day of iron sulfate

  13. I kinda of fainted a week ago they said I was low on iron and more problems but I didn't know drinking tea after meals is bad for you I have been doing that since forever

  14. Thank you . May I ask the reason behind why the" Folic acid should never be given without supplemental iron." within pregnant women who have a Folic Acid Anemia . I've just read it on the PowerPoint and I can't find any reason why.

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