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Alternatives to Iron Tablets?

(24 Posts)
CarpeJugulum Thu 15-Nov-12 17:39:29

Had low level lurgy for a while, few blood tests and I apparently have very low iron stores.

The GP has prescribed ferrous sulphate tablets, and I've been taking them, but I feel ridiculously bloated and they're starting to cause, ahem, restrictions.

Im supposed to take them for about 3 months minimum, but I have a checkup next week for something else, and I'd like to discuss the iptions. So are there any other options available that may not be as nasty on my stomach?

RockinD Thu 15-Nov-12 17:47:13

It is very common not to be able to tolerate oral iron, but ferrous sulphate is one of the worst offenders for this. You might be better with ferrous fumarate, or ferrous bisglycinate, either of which your GP can prescribe if you go back and tell him what is happening.

If all else fails and your levels are still on the floor, there are injections or infusions to bring your levels up quickly.

StrawWars Thu 15-Nov-12 17:50:20

Have you looked at Spatone? Less in the way of side effects.

Delatron Thu 15-Nov-12 17:53:49

Was just about to recommend spatone. Had very low levels after giving birth, was given iron tablets which made me horribly blocked up and caused all sorts of resulting problems! Spatone got my levels up brilliantly with no side effects. I would never take iron tablets again.

tabbycat15 Fri 16-Nov-12 16:34:32

I was told that spa tone isn't good enough to rebuild stores. I had iron injections to boost my levels. Iron tablets gave me an upset stomach. I know in the UK it's hard to get the injections done. I am in Australia & our health care is really good.

lubeybooby Fri 16-Nov-12 16:39:18

My DD has the spatone water sachets in a drink. They have worked brilliantly.

stleger Fri 16-Nov-12 16:44:59

I use ferrum tablets which are not sulphate...I can't remember which iron salt they are. They are chewy and vanilla flavour though grin, and I can 'tolerate' two a day.

gobbin Fri 16-Nov-12 20:44:02

Ask if you can try ferrous fumarate, they're a little kinder on the system. I have Crohns and can't tolerate either ferrous sulphate or fumarate so I have iron infusions - get hooked up to a bag for half an hour, easy as pie. First course was three bags over a fortnight.

mercibucket Fri 16-Nov-12 21:50:56

Spatone got mine up from around 13 to 90 in a month, I took double sachet once a day in orange juice
There's also a liquid plant based iron supplement but I can't remember the name, floradix?

mercibucket Fri 16-Nov-12 21:50:56

Spatone got mine up from around 13 to 90 in a month, I took double sachet once a day in orange juice
There's also a liquid plant based iron supplement but I can't remember the name, floradix?

difficultpickle Fri 16-Nov-12 21:54:26

Another recommendation for Spatone. You don't even notice the taste in a glass of orange juice.

jetstar Fri 16-Nov-12 22:02:07

Yep Spatone or Floradix smile

nellyjelly Fri 16-Nov-12 22:04:37

Is spatone strong enough. I take ferrous sulphate 3 x a day but if spatone comparable may look at that. There is a liquod called Ferroglobin but don't know much about it.

HappyTurquoise Fri 16-Nov-12 22:04:57

Guinness?

nellyjelly Fri 16-Nov-12 22:27:45

Ha. Not nearly enough iron. It's a myth.

Jestrin Sun 25-Nov-12 13:20:19

I'm new to this thread but would thoroughly recommend spatone too.

RooneyMara Sun 25-Nov-12 14:34:33

I'm 34 weeks pregnant and I started taking ferrous whatsit (syrup - not tabs) about 4 weeks ago as iron was 8.7 (Hb) I don't know what reserves were like, think that's a bit different.
Anyway after a few days I started feeling quite sick on this stuff so I switched to spatone, which I'd already bought but didn't have much confidence in.

The side effects went away and I kept taking two sachets a day (I got the one mixed with apple juice, I just dilute it with water as it's very sweet otherwise).

I had bloods done last Weds and got the results on Thursday, it's gone up to 9.6 already. I know that wasn't the 3 or so days of syrup, as I had them done a coupel of days after stopping that for something else (suspected DVT) and it was only 8.8.

So it must be the Spatone. I'm so impressed. It means I can go ahead with a home birth - you have to be over 10 to keep the midwives happy, and if I keep taking it I'm sure it'll be well over 10. I feel SO much more alove as well, I felt dreadful when it was that low.

HTH x

RooneyMara Sun 25-Nov-12 14:34:43

alive! sorry

RooneyMara Sun 25-Nov-12 14:36:02

I think also only about 5-10% of the tabs is absorbed, thus the pooing problems etc.

Spatone is readily available so more like 40% according to the leaflet. I never expected it to work at all. But it really did.

lazydog Mon 26-Nov-12 05:17:05

Spatone didn't work for me at the advised "up to 2 sachets" dose. I was severely anaemic and while my haemoglobin level improved slightly over the few months between blood tests, my ferritin/stores didn't, so in my case it wasn't enough (at that dose) to replenish my depleted stores.

Ferrous fumarate 300mg tablets, twice a day, worked well to treat my anaemia. Each tablet has about 100mg elemental iron so I was taking in 200mg per day and even if I was only absorbing 10% of that (which I'm sure is less than I was told by the dr., but going by Spatone's figures) then I still got 10mg per day, which would equate to what they say you'll get from 5 Spatone sachets, so that would have been a bit too pricey an option for me! I'm lucky, though, that ferrous fumarate doesn't seem to disagree with my stomach and I'm now at the stage where I only have to take one tablet a day when I remember to maintain my levels. smile

lazydog Mon 26-Nov-12 05:19:08

I still got 10mg per day tablet - Doh! (20mg per day, so 10 sachets worth!)

RooneyMara Mon 26-Nov-12 07:32:43

Oh I'm glad something worked! that sounds quite scary, I felt bad enough at 8.7...I think it must depend on how badly anaemic you are, maybe.

Also I think MWs are only interested in Hb, not ferritin, as such so that you pass the guidelines andthat means they don't have to get you to sign a disclaimer before attending your home birth.

I'm wondering what my ferritin is now...oh dear!

lazydog Mon 26-Nov-12 18:54:06

RooneyMara - I can't remember the exact figure now, but I don't think I was much more anaemic than you - 8 rings a bell - but my stores were really low. It had gone undiagnosed for years, we worked out, based on how long I'd been feeling bad. I'd not gone to the doctor about it because my kids were poor sleepers and I'd just put everything down to the sleep deprivation!

redandyellowbits Mon 26-Nov-12 18:59:21

Another Spatone fan here, I have had low iron levels for years and tablets don't seem to have any effect.

I definitely notice the difference after taking Spatone - 2 sachets every morning.

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