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Iron Supplement (Oral route, Parenteral route)

Iron is a mineral that the body needs to produce red blood cells. When the body does not get enough iron, it cannot produce the number of normal red blood cells needed to keep you in good health. This condition is called iron deficiency (iron shortage) or iron deficiency anemia.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Although many people in the U.S. get enough iron from their diet, some must take additional amounts to meet their needs… Read more
Brand names include
Beef,Iron & Wine, Bifera, Elite Iron, Femiron, Feosol, Fer-In-Sol, Fergon, Ferrex 150, Hemocyte, Palafer, Pms-Ferrous Sulfate

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Dietary Supplements in Adults Taking Cardiovascular Drugs [Internet]

A substantial proportion of patients with cardiovascular diseases use dietary supplements in anticipation of benefit. This also poses risks of adverse events from supplement-drug interactions and nonadherence associated with polypharmacy.

Dietary supplements for preventing postnatal depression

Postnatal depression is a common condition that affects women and may impact on their babies. Common symptoms of postnatal depression include fluctuations in mood, mood changes, suicidal ideation and preoccupation with infant well‐being ranging from over‐concern to frank delusions. There is currently not much evidence regarding interventions that might prevent or treat postnatal depression. A diet lacking in certain vitamins, minerals or other nutrients may cause postnatal depression in some women. Correcting this deficiency with dietary supplements might therefore prevent postnatal depression. Examples of possible dietary supplements aimed at preventing postnatal depression include omega‐3 fatty acids, iron, folate, s‐adenosyl‐L‐methionine, vitamin B12 (cobalamin), B6 (pyridoxine), B2 (riboflavin), vitamin D and calcium.

Effect of iron supplementation on mental and motor development in children: systematic review of randomised controlled trials

This review concluded that iron supplementation has a modest effect on mental development, in particular for intelligence quotient scores in children 7 years or older, and in those who are initially anaemic or iron-deficient anaemic. Limitations in the review process, along with wide variation amongst the studies, mean that the reliability of the authors' conclusions is unclear.

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Summaries for consumers

Fact sheet: Dietary supplements

“Vitamins strengthen your immune system” or “Omega-3 is good for your heart” – advertisements for dietary supplements often make a number of claims about health benefits, and they are available practically everywhere: at the pharmacy, the supermarket, the drugstore or on the internet. But do we really need all of these tablets, powders and capsules? How is medicine different to dietary supplements, and can they also harm you?

Dietary supplements for preventing postnatal depression

Postnatal depression is a common condition that affects women and may impact on their babies. Common symptoms of postnatal depression include fluctuations in mood, mood changes, suicidal ideation and preoccupation with infant well‐being ranging from over‐concern to frank delusions. There is currently not much evidence regarding interventions that might prevent or treat postnatal depression. A diet lacking in certain vitamins, minerals or other nutrients may cause postnatal depression in some women. Correcting this deficiency with dietary supplements might therefore prevent postnatal depression. Examples of possible dietary supplements aimed at preventing postnatal depression include omega‐3 fatty acids, iron, folate, s‐adenosyl‐L‐methionine, vitamin B12 (cobalamin), B6 (pyridoxine), B2 (riboflavin), vitamin D and calcium.

Pregnancy: Does every pregnant woman need daily iron supplements, and what are the possible adverse effects?

It is important for pregnant women with iron deficiency problems to take iron supplements. Women who get enough iron in their diets probably do not need them. Iron supplements can prevent anaemia in some healthy pregnant women, but this has not been shown to reduce complications or sickness in mothers or babies.

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