Generic Name: ferrous gluconate (FER us GLOO koe nate)
Brand Name: Ferate, Fergon, Ferralet, Simron
What is ferrous gluconate?
Ferrous gluconate 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 gluconate is used to treat iron deficiency anemia (a lack of red blood cells caused by having too little iron in the body).
Ferrous gluconate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about ferrous gluconate?
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 ferrous gluconate?
You should not use ferrous gluconate if you are allergic to it.
To make sure ferrous gluconate 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;
if you are an alcoholic; or
if you receive regular blood transfusions.
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 gluconate 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 medication to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
How should I take ferrous gluconate?
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 ferrous gluconate 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 gluconate .
Take this medication with a full glass of water.
Do not crush, chew, or break a ferrous gluconate tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole.
Measure the liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Ferrous gluconate can stain your teeth, but this effect is temporary. To prevent tooth staining, mix the liquid form of ferrous gluconate 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 gluconate 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.
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 if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if a child has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of ferrous gluconate 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 ferrous gluconate?
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 gluconate. This is especially important if you are taking an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).
Certain foods can also make it harder for your body to absorb ferrous gluconate. 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 gluconate.
Ferrous gluconate 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 gluconate tablet.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, heartburn;
stomach pain, upset stomach;
black or dark-colored stools or urine; or
temporary staining of the teeth.
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 gluconate 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 gluconate 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 gluconate?
Other drugs may interact with ferrous gluconate, 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 gluconate
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about ferrous gluconate.
- 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: 1.11.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: October 02, 2013