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Iron tablets

(23 Posts)

Mw has called and advised I need to go on iron tablets after my blood tests taken at 28 weeks. She has left a message with gp to create prescription. I've never been on iron tablets before, should I ask for a specific type or would I be better with something you can buy over the counter? Should I ask for something at same time to help with or prevent constipation? Things are already a little slow in that dept. Any tips much appreciated.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 04-Apr-13 19:53:05

Try liquid iron, it's expensive but tablets can make you bloated and sick and constipated.

milktraylady Thu 04-Apr-13 19:55:17

Hi there is a brand you can buy online or in tesco nutricentre that won't bung you up- http://www.cytoplan.co.uk/

The gp tablets are a bit brutal!

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 04-Apr-13 19:56:25

SpaTone is good, try it with orange juice to disguise the taste and the vitamin C helps it be absorbed.

birdofthenorth Thu 04-Apr-13 19:59:37

She surely should have told you how many mg a day you need? I have been mildly anaemic in which case SpaTone was indeed best as it avoids giving you constipation or black poos! But I have also been seriously anaemic in which case I would have had to drink over 20 SpaTone sachets a day in order to get the right dose!

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Thu 04-Apr-13 20:04:38

20 a day! Yuk! Did you have to have the injections instead?

Bird she said I'm very anaemic I'm already on a little iron in my multi vitamin (100% RDA) but that's no where near enough apparently and she said dr will prob prescribe me 3 a day but they will make me constipated. I've left a message for my gp to call me back regarding the prescription so I can find out exact dose but just wanted to know if I should specify a specific type or not. I'll let her know I want to avoid more constipation and really don't want any sickness as had hg this pregnancy. Mw also said the usual about diet etc upping my vit c etc but I already eat wheatabix daily plus orange juice, lots of broccoli, spinach etc in diet.

Thanks for suggestions I'll have a look. Really want to avoid iron injections or possibly prem baby

glossyflower Thu 04-Apr-13 23:50:53

I'm on ferrous sulphate I think it's 200mg three times a day. I expect this is what your GP will prescribe you.
I also had HG quite bad, and I was also very anaemic, my ferritin levels were only 7.
I found the ferrous sulphate difficult to take and so have been taking just one sometimes two a day and felt so much better after a week anyway.
I think my latest levels are 12 and feel fine with that.
After talking to my GP about the difficulties with side effects from the tablets he said you have to be careful how you take them.
Having them with foods, tea, milk etc affects the absorbency of the iron. Iron is not very absorbent at the best of times. Having them on an empty stomach is also a no no.
What worked for me was taking it between meals with a large glass of orange juice - apparently iron absorbs well with vitamin C.
I wouldn't bother trying expensive alternatives until you had given the tablets a go first for a week or two. I really noticed the difference quite quickly and wasnt even taking the full amount.
BTW I increased my iron in food intake such as spinach but found out the iron in foods are very minimal and you'd need to eat it all day long to get any decent amount of iron from it.
As I said ferrous sulphate 200mg three times a day 600mg total whereas a normal portion of spinach is something like 20mg.

Petcat Fri 05-Apr-13 00:24:08

I'm taking ferrous fumarate tablets for anaemia, 610mg a day. I haven't found they've made me constipated at all, although they have turned my poo black!

I tried to treat my low iron levels myself for a couple of months using spatone, floradix and an iron-rich diet. It did bugger all and I feel stupid for risking my baby's health by not taking the prescribed tablets. I just didn't realise how seriously anaemia can affect pregnancy outcomes.

It's definitely worth discussing constipation remedies w your GP but you may be lucky like me and not actually need them at all.

Fluffeh Fri 05-Apr-13 08:01:19

Not everyone gets constipated with them. I've been taking prescribed iron for a couple of years. It was recently increased due to falling levels in the 3rd trimester but I've never been constipated.
I admit I am careful to avoid simple carbs most of the time and eat lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and drink around 12-15 glasses of water a day. But honestly I've never had an issue with them. It's worth trying them before forking out a fortune for the over the counter ones smile.

doublecakeplease Fri 05-Apr-13 08:12:56

I only had them after DS' birth for a little while. They made me constipated so had lots of fruit etc. Nobody told me that they make your poo black - i thought i was dying!!

usernamegoeshere Fri 05-Apr-13 10:23:45

I would try to take them as prescribed first before looking for alternatives, as already mentioned not everyone gets constipated on them and anemia in itself isn't very nice either.

I generally take mine as often as I remember & I feel much better in myself for it.

Fab thanks everyone. I'll see what I get and how I am. Hopefully I'll feel better soon.

ClaireDeTamble Fri 05-Apr-13 10:53:10

If you are worried about constipation ask them to prescribe lactulose as well - shouldn't be a problem.

When I had iron tablets in my first pregnancy, they gave me a huge bottle of the stuff.

Dried apricots, Cashew nuts, almonds and wholemeal bread are a good sources of iron.

Spinach is full of iron but also something else which actually prvents iron absorption, so if you are eating spinach always have it with orange juice and avoid coffee a couple of hours before and after eating. Brocolli is a much better source of iron than spinach as it is more easily absorbed. Lentils and beans are also fab.

FoofFighter Fri 05-Apr-13 11:04:41

TaKe one a day for the first few days then increase slowly over a few more days or you could get horrid stomach ache.
I didn't get constipation but had a delightful dark green poo shade going on! And (TMI!) it seemed softer and to go everywhere and be harder to wipe so get a pack of wipes handy!

I found taking it without certain foodstuffs really tricky so disregarded that bit of advice tbh, I did have a glass of OJ though to increase absorption. it certainly still worked for me anyway and felt much better within a month or less.

bluer Fri 05-Apr-13 12:43:54

I've been taking 200 mg...started at one a day and built it up. I have had no problems, apart from black poo!

Charters92 Wed 05-Jun-13 22:14:17

I'm on ferrous sulphate 200mg twice a day and had no problems with them at all part from the black poo also best to take them with fresh orange juice.

chickenfactory Thu 06-Jun-13 00:23:31

I'm on the three tablets a day and take lactulose to ward off constipation. Make sure u drink plenty of water. They haven't made me feel ill.

Futterby Thu 06-Jun-13 01:14:50

I'm on three a day too, black poo is a sign that the iron is being absorbed into your body. It's a side effect, not a problem as such.

Futterby Thu 06-Jun-13 01:16:00

I meant to say it's a good sign.

MultipleMama Thu 06-Jun-13 07:40:14

I'm currently on 200mg of ferrous sulphate. I've been on them before 3/7 for 6mo, and now taking them 3/7 for 3mo.

All I suffered from was black poo, I'd rather stick to something prescribed than over the counter.

MultipleMama Thu 06-Jun-13 07:41:14

I meant 3 times a day. No idea were 3/7 came from! Baby brain.

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