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docusate and ferrous fumarate

Generic name: docusate and ferrous fumarate [ DOK-ue-sate-and-FER-us-FUE-ma-rate ]
Brand names: Ferocyl, Ferro-Sequels (obsolete), Ferro DSS, Ferrous DS, Ferro-Caps, Ferro Basic, Fe-Stool
Drug class: Iron products

What is docusate and ferrous fumarate?

Docusate is a stool softener. It makes stools softer and easier to pass.

Ferrous fumarate 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.

Ferrous fumarate is used to treat iron deficiency anemia (a lack of red blood cells caused by having too little iron in the body). The docusate contained in this medication is to help prevent constipation that the iron content may cause.

Docusate and ferrous fumarate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about docusate and ferrous fumarate?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking docusate and ferrous fumarate?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to docusate or ferrous fumarate.

To make sure docusate and ferrous fumarate is safe for you, tell your doctor 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);

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • pancreatitis;

  • stomach ulcer or a digestive disorder;

  • Crohn's disease or other intestinal problem;

  • a history of bowel obstruction; or

  • if you receive regular blood transfusions.

It is not known whether docusate and ferrous fumarate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether docusate and ferrous fumarate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take docusate and ferrous fumarate?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take docusate and ferrous fumarate 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 docusate and ferrous fumarate .

Take this medication with a full glass of water.

Do not crush, chew, open, or break a docusate and ferrous fumarate tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

While using docusate and ferrous fumarate, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked.

Docusate and ferrous fumarate is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. Follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. Get familiar with the list of foods you should eat to make sure you get enough iron from both your diet and your medication.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the liquid medicine from freezing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222, especially if a child has accidentally swallowed the medication. An overdose of docusate and ferrous fumarate can be fatal to a child.

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

What should I avoid while taking docusate and ferrous fumarate?

Do not take any vitamin, mineral supplement, antacid, laxative, or other stool softener that your doctor has not prescribed or recommended.

You may be taking certain other medicines that should not be taken at the same time. Avoid taking the following medicines within 2 hours before or after you take docusate and ferrous fumarate. Docusate and ferrous fumarate can make these other medicines much less effective when taken at the same time:

  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin); or

  • demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn), tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Sumycin).

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

Docusate and ferrous fumarate 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 docusate and ferrous fumarate and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • bright red blood in your stools;

  • severe stomach pain and vomiting;

  • a sudden change in your bowel movements; or

  • pain in your chest or throat when swallowing a docusate and ferrous fumarate tablet.

Common side effects may include:

  • unpleasant taste in your mouth;

  • constipation, diarrhea;

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or upset; or

  • black or dark-colored stools or urine.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect docusate and ferrous fumarate?

Other drugs may interact with docusate and ferrous fumarate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

More about docusate / ferrous fumarate

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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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.