Ferrous sulfate elixir

Pronunciation

Generic Name: ferrous sulfate (FER-us SUL-fate)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Accidental overdose of products that contain iron is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children younger than 6 years old. Keep this product out of the reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.


Ferrous sulfate elixir is used for:

Supplementing iron in the diet and preventing or treating low levels of iron in the blood. It also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Ferrous sulfate elixir is an essential body mineral. It works by providing iron to the body.

Do NOT use ferrous sulfate elixir if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in ferrous sulfate elixir
  • you have certain iron metabolism problems (eg, hemosiderosis, hemochromatosis) or high levels of iron in your blood
  • you are taking certain cephalosporins (eg, cefotetan) or disulfiram

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using ferrous sulfate elixir:

Some medical conditions may interact with ferrous sulfate elixir. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have stomach or bowel problems (eg, colitis, Crohn disease, diverticulitis, ulcers)
  • if you have hemolytic anemia, pernicious anemia, or other types of anemia, or if you have a condition that may cause anemia (eg, sickle cell disease, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase [G6PD] deficiency)
  • if you have blood problems (eg, porphyria, thalassemia) or you have had multiple blood transfusions

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ferrous sulfate elixir. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Certain cephalosporins (eg, cefotetan), disulfiram, furazolidone, or metronidazole because the risk of side effects, such as flushing, headache, fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, or vomiting, may be increased
  • Doxycycline, mycophenolate, penicillamine, or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by ferrous sulfate elixir

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ferrous sulfate elixir may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use ferrous sulfate elixir:

Use ferrous sulfate elixir as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Ferrous sulfate elixir is absorbed better on an empty stomach but may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach. Some foods (eg, eggs, whole grain breads, cereal, dairy products, coffee, tea) may decrease the amount of iron absorbed by your body. Talk with your doctor about the best way to take ferrous sulfate elixir with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Take ferrous sulfate elixir with a full glass of water (8 oz [240 mL]). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking ferrous sulfate elixir.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • If you take an antacid, a bisphosphonate (eg, alendronate), cefdinir, eltrombopag, methyldopa, penicillamine, a quinolone antibiotic (eg, ciprofloxacin), or a tetracycline antibiotic (eg, minocycline), ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with ferrous sulfate elixir.
  • If you miss a dose of ferrous sulfate elixir, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ferrous sulfate elixir.

Important safety information:

  • Do not take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or megavitamin therapy) while you use ferrous sulfate elixir unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Ferrous sulfate elixir has iron in it. Before you start any new medicine, check the label to see if it has iron in it too. If it does or if you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Ferrous sulfate elixir may cause darkened or green stools. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • Some of these products contain tartrazine dye (FD&C Yellow No. 5). This may cause an allergic reaction in some patients. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to tartrazine, ask your pharmacist if your product has tartrazine in it.
  • Ferrous sulfate elixir may temporarily stain the teeth. Mixing ferrous sulfate elixir with water or fruit juice or drinking it through a straw may help to decrease this effect. Do not mix with milk or wine-based liquids.
  • Ferrous sulfate elixir may interfere with certain lab tests, including tests used to check for blood in the stool. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking ferrous sulfate elixir.
  • Lab tests, including hematocrit, hemoglobin levels, and blood iron levels, may be performed while you use ferrous sulfate elixir. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Ferrous sulfate elixir should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old without checking with the child's doctor; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using ferrous sulfate elixir while you are pregnant. Ferrous sulfate elixir is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use ferrous sulfate elixir, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of ferrous sulfate elixir:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; darkened or green stools; diarrhea; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach cramps, pain, or upset; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; blood or streaks of blood in the stool; fever; severe or persistent nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting; vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include black, tarry stools; blood or streaks of blood in the stool; bluish skin or nails; changes in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; coma; dizziness; dry mouth or eyes; fainting; fast or difficult breathing; fast or irregular heartbeat; flushing; increased thirst or hunger; seizures; severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain; severe or unusual tiredness or drowsiness; shortness of breath; sluggishness; unusually pale skin; vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds.

Proper storage of ferrous sulfate elixir:

Store ferrous sulfate elixir at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Protect from freezing. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep ferrous sulfate elixir out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about ferrous sulfate elixir, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ferrous sulfate elixir is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ferrous sulfate elixir or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ferrous sulfate elixir. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ferrous sulfate elixir. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ferrous sulfate elixir.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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