HomeDrug ClassesIron Supplements

Iron Supplements: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

Iron supplements are medications used to treat or prevent iron deficiency anemia. They help replenish iron levels in the body and are commonly prescribed for individuals at risk of developing anemia. Common brands include Ferrous sulfate, Ferrous fumarate, and Ferrous gluconate. While generally safe, they can cause side effects like constipation and should be taken with food. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication and to store iron supplements out of reach of children.

Iron Supplements

Iron supplements are medications that are used to treat or prevent iron deficiency anemia. Iron is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in the production of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. When the body does not have enough iron, it cannot produce sufficient amounts of healthy red blood cells, leading to anemia.


Iron supplements are commonly prescribed to individuals who have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia or are at risk of developing it. This may include pregnant women, young children, individuals with poor dietary intake of iron, and those with certain medical conditions that hinder iron absorption. Iron supplements are also used by athletes and individuals recovering from surgery or blood loss.

Common Brands

There are several well-known brands of iron supplements available on the market, including:

  • Ferrous sulfate (Feosol®, Slow Fe®)

  • Ferrous fumarate (FemIron®, Ferretts®)

  • Ferrous gluconate (Fergon®, Ferate®, Ferro-Sequels®)

It is important to note that these brand names are used in the United States and may vary in other countries. These supplements are available in various forms, such as tablets, capsules, and liquid, and can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription.


While iron supplements are generally safe when taken as directed, it is crucial to follow the recommended dosage and speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication. Iron supplements can cause side effects such as constipation, nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. It is advisable to take the supplement with food to reduce the risk of these side effects. It is important to note that iron supplements can interact with certain medications, including antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and tetracycline antibiotics, reducing their effectiveness. To minimize interactions, it is recommended to take iron supplements at least two hours apart from these medications. Iron supplements should be stored out of reach of children, as accidental ingestion can lead to toxicity. In case of an overdose or severe side effects, immediate medical attention should be sought. In conclusion, iron supplements are an effective treatment option for iron deficiency anemia and can help restore iron levels in the body. It is essential to use them as directed and consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate dosage and monitoring.