ferrous sulfate and folic acid

Generic Name: ferrous sulfate and folic acid (FER us SUL fate and FOE lik AS id)
Brand Name: Slow Fe with Folic Acid

What is ferrous sulfate and folic acid?

Ferrous sulfate 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.

Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer.

Ferrous sulfate and folic acid is used to treat iron deficiency anemia (a lack of red blood cells caused by having too little iron in the body).

Ferrous sulfate and folic acid may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about ferrous sulfate and folic acid?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have iron overload syndrome, hemolytic anemia (a lack of red blood cells), porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system), thalassemia (a genetic disorder of red blood cells), if you are an alcoholic, or if you receive regular blood transfusions.

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if anyone has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of iron can be fatal, especially in a young child.

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Overdose symptoms may include nausea, severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, pale skin, blue lips, and seizure (convulsions).

Do not give ferrous sulfate to a child without the advice of a doctor.

Take ferrous sulfate and folic acid on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Avoid taking antacids or antibiotics within 2 hours before or after taking ferrous sulfate and folic acid.

Ferrous sulfate and folic acid is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you should eat to make sure you get enough iron and folic acid from both your diet and your medication.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking ferrous sulfate and folic acid?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • iron overload syndrome;

  • hemolytic anemia (a lack of red blood cells);

  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);

  • thalassemia (a genetic disorder of red blood cells);

  • if you are an alcoholic; or

  • if you receive regular blood transfusions.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take ferrous sulfate and folic acid.

It is not known whether this medication could be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether ferrous sulfate and folic acid passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take ferrous sulfate and folic acid?

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 this medication on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Avoid taking antacids or antibiotics within 2 hours before or after taking ferrous sulfate .

Take this medication with a full glass of water.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open the extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Ferrous sulfate can stain your teeth, but this effect is temporary. To prevent tooth staining, mix the liquid form of ferrous sulfate 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 sulfate and folic acid is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you should eat to make sure you get enough iron and folic acid from both your diet and your medication.

Store this medicine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if anyone has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of iron can be fatal, especially in a young child.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, pale skin, blue lips, and seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking ferrous sulfate and folic acid?

Do not take any vitamin or mineral supplements that your doctor has not prescribed or recommended.

Avoid taking an antibiotic medicine within 2 hours before or after you take ferrous sulfate and folic acid. This is especially important if you are taking an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), gatifloxacin (Tequin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or sparfloxacin (Zagam).

Certain foods can also make it harder for your body to absorb this medication. Avoid taking this medication within 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating fish, meat, liver, and whole grain or "fortified" breads or cereals.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends. Antacids contain different medicines and some types can make it harder for your body to absorb ferrous sulfate.

Ferrous sulfate and folic acid side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sore throat, trouble swallowing;

  • severe stomach pain; or

  • blood in your stools.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;

  • constipation;

  • nausea, vomiting, heartburn;

  • leg pain; or

  • darkened skin or urine color.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect ferrous sulfate and folic acid?

Before using ferrous sulfate and folic acid, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • acetohydroxamic acid (Lithostat);

  • chloramphenicol;

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);

  • etidronate (Didronel);

  • dimercaprol (an injection used to treat poisoning by arsenic, lead, or mercury);

  • levodopa (Larodopa, Dopar, Sinemet);

  • methyldopa (Aldomet); or

  • penicillamine (Cuprimine).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with ferrous sulfate and folic acid. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about ferrous sulfate and folic acid.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision Date: 2010-12-15, 5:01:39 PM.

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