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Generic Name: ferrous gluconate (FER-us GLOO-koe-nate)
Brand Name: Examples include FE-40 and Fergon
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.
FE-40 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.
FE-40 is an essential body mineral. It works by providing iron to the body.
Do NOT use FE-40 if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in FE-40
- you have certain iron metabolism problems (eg, hemosiderosis, hemochromatosis) or high levels of iron in your blood
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using FE-40:
Some medical conditions may interact with FE-40. 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 FE-40. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Doxycycline, mycophenolate, penicillamine, or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by FE-40
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if FE-40 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 FE-40:
Use FE-40 as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- FE-40 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 FE-40 with food if it upsets your stomach.
- 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 FE-40.
- Take FE-40 with a full glass of water (8 oz [240 mL]). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking FE-40.
- FE-40 must be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- If you miss a dose of FE-40, 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 FE-40.
Important safety information:
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Do not take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or megavitamin therapy) while you use FE-40 unless your doctor tells you to.
- FE-40 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.
- FE-40 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.
- FE-40 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 FE-40.
- Lab tests, including hematocrit, hemoglobin levels, and blood iron levels, may be performed while you use FE-40. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- FE-40 should not be used in CHILDREN without first 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 FE-40 while you are pregnant. FE-40 is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use FE-40, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of FE-40:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; darkened or green stools; diarrhea; loss of appetite; nausea; stomach cramps, pain, or upset; vomiting.
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 FE-40:
Store FE-40 at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep FE-40 out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about FE-40, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- FE-40 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 FE-40 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 FE-40. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to FE-40. 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 FE-40.