Iron Tablets – The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Anemia, tiredness, paleness – iron deficiency can manifest itself in very different ways. Iron tablets are usually prescribed for treatment. Here you can find out everything you should consider when taking it.

How do I take iron tablets correctly?

The body absorbs the iron best if you take the tablet on an empty stomach half an hour before breakfast with a glass of lukewarm water. In principle, however, your doctor will explain to you how often and for how long you should take the iron tablets.

What should I look out for when buying iron tablets?

When buying iron tablets in the pharmacy, make sure that they are so-called bivalent iron – the body can use it better than trivalent iron.

When do iron tablets become effective?

The first effects become visible after six to twelve months: More vitality and a healthy complexion are signs that iron deficiency patients are feeling better again.

Does tea inhibit the effect of iron tablets?

Medications for the iron deficiency from anemia are useless if taken with tea or coffee. The tannic acid in the drinks binds the iron ions in the stomach. In this way, the iron is excreted unused instead of entering the bloodstream via the intestinal wall.

Why shouldn’t magnesium preparations be taken together with iron tablets?

professor dr Joachim Schmidt, applied pharmacology and clinical pharmacotherapy, Dresden: “Magnesium can indeed, under certain circumstances, impede iron absorption. However, this only applies to the long-term use of magnesium in very high doses. It is advisable to use them at different times Dose at least two hours apart.”

Can iron tablets cause constipation?

Unfortunately, that can happen. Those who tend to be constipated should make sure they drink plenty of water, at least two liters of water a day. Do not stop taking the tablets without consulting your doctor. There are gentler iron supplements available, but they take much longer to correct iron deficiency.

Can iron tablets reduce menstruation?

Pale, tired, irritable, and listless during heavy menstrual days? This is normal but doesn’t have to be. Iron tablets help and make you fit again. Humans only have around six milligrams of iron in their bodies (mostly in the blood). He needs it to transport the inhaled oxygen to all body stations. Normally he consumes around one milligram a day. In the case of heavy menstrual bleeding, an additional 1.5 milligrams are lost. Consequence: Too little oxygen means that too few nutrients are pumped into the organs. Women feel drained. If iron tablets from the pharmacy do not help, the doctor must inject a prescription drug.

Patients with chronic intestinal inflammation such as Crohn’s disease often also suffer from deficiency symptoms. Can iron tablets help?

Iron tablets are not so beneficial for Crohn’s disease patients because they irritate the intestinal mucosa even more. It is better if the doctor injects the trace element affected as iron saccharate or administers it as an infusion. The body can use iron, which enters the blood directly, much better. The symptoms will then subside more quickly.

What alternative is there for iron deficiency if I cannot tolerate iron tablets?

If an iron deficiency is detected, it usually has to be treated with medication. But many women do not tolerate iron tablets well. Because they often cause stomach problems, nausea, and constipation. Iron juices can stain teeth unsightly. In addition, their application is tedious. Another option that a doctor may prescribe for severe cases is a single intravenous injection of ferric carboxymaltose. Here the body can be supplied with larger amounts of the trace element so that the stores are filled within a short time and the condition improves quickly. Since it is not absorbed through the intestines, good tolerability is guaranteed. If iron deficiency is diagnosed, the health insurance companies will pay for it.

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