Precautions

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

When iron is combined with certain foods it may lose much of its value. If you are taking iron, the following foods should be avoided, or only taken in very small amounts, for at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take iron:

  • Cheese and yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Spinach
  • Tea or coffee
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals and bran

Do not take iron supplements and antacids or calcium supplements at the same time. It is best to space doses of these 2 products 1 to 2 hours apart, to get the full benefit from each medicine or dietary supplement.

If you are taking iron supplements without a prescription:

  • Do not take iron supplements by mouth if you are receiving iron injections. To do so may result in iron poisoning.
  • Do not regularly take large amounts of iron for longer than 6 months without checking with your health care professional. People differ in their need for iron, and those with certain medical conditions can gradually become poisoned by taking too much iron over a period of time.

Iron pills can change the color of your stool to a greenish or grayish black. This is normal, but because internal bleeding can also cause dark stool, be sure to mention any color changes to your doctor.

If you think you or anyone else has taken an overdose of iron medicine:

  • Call your doctor, a poison control center, or the nearest hospital emergency room at once. Always keep these phone numbers readily available.
  • Go to the emergency room without delay
  • Take the container of iron with you.

Early signs of iron overdose may not appear for up to 60 minutes or more. Do not delay going to the emergency room while waiting for signs to appear.