Generic Name: ferrous fumarate (FER us FUE ma rate)
Brand Name: Ferretts Iron, Ferrocite, Ferro-Sequels, Hemocyte, Ircon, Femiron, Fumasorb, Nephro-Fer, Feostat, Ferrimin 150
What is ferrous fumarate?
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).
Ferrous fumarate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about ferrous fumarate?
You should not use ferrous fumarate if you have iron overload syndrome, or other red blood cell disorders.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ferrous fumarate?
You should not use ferrous fumarate if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
iron overload syndrome;
anemia (a lack of red blood cells); or
thalassemia (a genetic disorder of red blood cells).
To make sure ferrous fumarate is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);
if you are an alcoholic; or
if you receive regular blood transfusions.
It is not known whether ferrous fumarate will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy.
It is not known whether 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 ferrous fumarate to a child without the advice of a doctor.
How should I take ferrous fumarate?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take 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 ferrous fumarate.
Take this medication with a full glass of water.
Do not crush, chew, or break a ferrous fumarate tablet. Swallow it whole.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Ferrous fumarate 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 from both your diet and your medication.
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 if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if a child has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of ferrous fumarate can be fatal to a child.
Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, severe nausea or stomach pain, vomiting, shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, cold or clammy skin, blue lips, and loss of consciousness.
What should I avoid while taking ferrous fumarate?
Do not take any vitamin or mineral supplements that your doctor has not prescribed or recommended.
Ask your doctor before using an antacid, and use only the type your doctor recommends. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb ferrous fumarate.
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.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
bright red blood in your stools; or
pain in your chest or throat when swallowing a ferrous fumarate tablet.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, heartburn;
loss of appetite; 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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Ferrous fumarate dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Iron Deficiency Anemia:
Initial: 325 mg orally once a day.
Maintenance: 325 mg orally 3 times a day. Resolution of iron deficiency anemia may require ferrous fumarate supplementation for several weeks or months, depending on the duration and severity of the anemia.
Usual Adult Dose for Anemia Associated with Chronic Renal Failure:
Initial: 325 mg orally once a day.
Maintenance: 325 mg orally 3 times a day.
In patients with chronic renal failure, iron status should be evaluated if epoetin alfa therapy is initiated.
A transferrin saturation of less than 20%, or a serum ferritin level of less than 100 mcg/L suggests inadequate iron stores and a need for iron replacement therapy.
Continued iron replacement therapy is needed in most patients receiving epoetin alfa treatment.
Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation:
325 mg orally once a day.
The CDC has defined anemia during pregnancy as a hemoglobin concentration less than 100 g/L during the first and third trimesters and less than 105 g/L during the second trimester or a hematocrit value of less than 32%.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of elemental iron is 30 mg orally during pregnancy and 15 mg orally during lactation.
Usual Adult Dose for Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation:
325 mg orally once a day.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of elemental iron is 10 mg for adult males, 15 mg for adult, premenopausal women, and 10 mg for postmenopausal women.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Iron Deficiency Anemia:
2 to 4 mg elemental iron/kg/day divided every 12 to 24 hours (maximum daily dose = 15 mg).
Infants and children <12 years:
Prophylaxis: 1 to 2 mg elemental iron/kg/day (maximum 15 mg) in 1 to 2 divided doses.
Mild to moderate iron deficiency anemia:
3 mg elemental iron/kg/day in 1 to 2 divided doses.
Severe iron deficiency anemia:
4 to 6 mg elemental iron/kg/day in 3 divided doses.
What other drugs will affect ferrous fumarate?
Other drugs may interact with 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 ferrous fumarate
- Ferrous fumarate
- Ferrous fumarate chewable tablets
- Ferrous fumarate controlled-release tablets
- Ferrous fumarate suspension
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about ferrous fumarate.
- 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: 2.05.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: December 29, 2013