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Carbonyl iron Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 6, 2023.

Carbonyl iron is also known as: Elemental Iron, Feosol Natural Release, Ferra-Cap, Icar, Iron Chews, Iron Chews Pediatric, Wee Care

Carbonyl iron Pregnancy Warnings

Carbonyl iron has not been formally assigned to a pregnancy category by the FDA. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Human case reports have not revealed evidence of teratogenicity. Carbonyl iron should only be given during pregnancy when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Generally, iron is considered safe for use during pregnancy and is regularly prescribed as a component of prenatal vitamin/mineral supplements. However, controversy exists as to whether or not routine iron supplementation is needed in the non-anemic pregnant patient. Although the FDA has not assigned iron to a pregnancy category, the European Community Committee on Proprietary Medicinal Products has rated iron preparations a category "A", defined as a medicinal product assessed in pregnant women with no known harmful effects with respect to the course of pregnancy and the health of the unborn and the neonate.

Anemia may be a risk factor for preterm delivery and low birth weight and should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, either before pregnancy or in the first trimester. Because supplementation with iron may reduce the dietary absorption of zinc, it may be important to assess zinc status as well. Most prenatal vitamins also contain adequate amounts of zinc. Absorption of iron and zinc may be reduced if calcium is also a component of the prenatal multivitamin.

See references

Carbonyl iron Breastfeeding Warnings

One study demonstrated that a moderate iron supplementation of non-anemic nursing mothers (40 mg elemental iron daily over 3 months starting 2 days after delivery) resulted in increased maternal iron reserves, no significant alterations in milk iron concentration or lactoferrin, and no harmful effect on the infant.

Another study evaluated oral iron supplementation in 19 anemic women receiving 100 mg elemental iron per day starting 2 days after delivery and continuing for 30 days. Ten non-anemic women had received iron supplementation during pregnancy. Iron and lactoferrin concentrations in milk obtained at 2 and 30 days after delivery did not differ between groups at either stage of lactation.

Several reports suggest that iron supplementation during lactation does not significantly affect the total concentration of iron in human milk. Carbonyl iron administration during lactation is generally considered safe for the infant by most clinicians.

See references

References for pregnancy information

  1. Harju E. Clinical pharmacokinetics of iron preparations. Clin Pharmacokinet. 1989;17:69-89.
  2. Guldholt IS, Trolle BG, Hvidman LE. Iron supplementation during pregnancy. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1991;70:9-12.
  3. Scholl TO, Hediger ML. Anemia and iron-deficiency anemia: compilation of data on pregnancy outcome. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59:s492-500dicuion500-5.
  4. Routine iron supplementation during pregnancy. Review article: US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 1993;270:2848-54.
  5. Routine iron supplementation during pregnancy. Policy statement: US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 1993;270:2846-8.
  6. Peters PW, Garbis-Berkvens HM, Bannigan JG. Drugs of choice in pregnancy: primary prevention of birth defects. Reprod Toxicol. 1993;7:399-404.

References for breastfeeding information

  1. Harju E. Clinical pharmacokinetics of iron preparations. Clin Pharmacokinet. 1989;17:69-89.
  2. Zapata CV, Donangelo CM, Trugo NMF. Effect of iron supplementation during lactation on human milk composition. J Nutr Biochem. 1994;5:331-7.
  3. Zavaleta N, Nombera J, Rojas R, Hambraeus L, Gislason J, Lonnerdal B. Iron and lactoferrin in milk of anemic mothers given iron supplements. Nutr Res. 1995;15:681-90.

Further information

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