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Anaemic but very sick on iron tablets

(30 Posts)
butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 12:27:03

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone please had some advice?

I'm 34&4 & anaemic, but the iron tablets I've been prescribed make me very sick. I'm meant to have 3 a day, but after 1 I'm repeatedly sick all day & can't keep anything down. I've been taking them as my midwife suggested - with orange juice then eating something after, avoiding dairy. I've been to my surgery today to see if I can take something like Spatone instead or maybe be prescribed different tablets, but I've been told no, & if I don't take them it might be quite serious for me & baby.

Of course I know I need to get my iron levels up, but don't see how repeatedly being sick all day in late pregnancy (when I should be taking in extra calories anyway) & not keeping any food down is good for me. Sorry I'm just quite teary about it & don't know what to do.

Thank you if anyone is able to help.

lavendersun Fri 13-May-16 12:29:42

Can you try floradix.

Long term anaemic here and I can't take the bog standard prescription iron tablets but Floradix works for me.

lavendersun Fri 13-May-16 12:34:37

I would try to see someone else at your surgery too OP, if you can't manage on your current prescription someone needs to change it/give you advice on what else to do rather than me, some random person on the internet.

butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 12:39:17

I have spoken to a midwife, doctor & nurse about this & they all say the same, so unfortunately don't feel I have anywhere else to turn. I mentioned things like floradix but have been told it won't do enough.

Thank you for your replies.

NoSpamPam Fri 13-May-16 12:42:01


butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 12:42:02

& it is a shame because floradix looks really good!

butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 12:43:25

Unfortunately I've been told things like Spatone & floradix won't be enough sad I guess I have no choice but to take them but throw up literally everything I eat.

Hawkmoth Fri 13-May-16 12:44:10

Ferrous fumarate is available in tablet, capsule and liquid forms. Ask for a prescription for that. It's MUCH easier on the stomach, especially the capsules. The liquid is RANK though and you need to have something like grapefruit or pineapple juice after to take the taste away!

Hawkmoth Fri 13-May-16 12:45:44

The capsules are the best option. I have a very sensitive stomach and they are what I take. You can actually buy them OTC but the pharmacist might not be comfortable doing that if you are pregnant.

RedKites Fri 13-May-16 12:45:48

As I understand (not a medical professional, and have only ever been anaemic when not pregnant!) floradix is much lower in iron compared to the tablets so that is why it's not necessarily the solution - especially when they presumably want to get your iron levels up quickly. However, I can't imagine the tablets will be very successful either if you're repeatedly sick. There are different kinds of iron tablets - could you try a different kind? Also, in the leaflet with mine, it says that side effects are lower if you take them after food - but you will also absorb less iron then. Could you ask them if this is worth a try?

butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 12:46:57

Thank you Hawkmoth, I did wonder about this as I've seen people recommend it online but when I asked the nurse if there were any alternatives to what I'm on she said no. I may see how I am at the weekend, if still no better ask for these. I just feel like I'm constantly bothering my surgery!

butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 12:51:46

That's what I was thinking, if I'm sick after taking them I wonder how much iron my body is actually absorbing. I may try taking them after food to see if that helps more, as if it stops me being sick surely I'll be absorbing more iron this way.

Also thank you for your advice everyone smile I have recently moved a few weeks ago for Dh's job & have no friends or family here or anyone to talk to, so it's nice having some advice from you all.

lavendersun Fri 13-May-16 12:55:36

I wasn't allowed ferrous fumerate when pregnant Hawkmoth, it was my normal prescription for a while but still caused problems for my stomach. I had to have infusions.

MrsCrankypants Fri 13-May-16 12:56:56

Have you tried Ferrograd C tablets? They are Ferrous Sulphate rather than Ferrous Fumerate. They are the only iron tablets I can tolerate and they don't upset my stomach at all unlike Galfer

butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 13:01:12

Silly me - I just checked & it's actually 210mg ferrous fumarate I'm on! Maybe the sulfate ones would be better? I don't know. But have been told at my GP the ones I'm on are the only option, when I know there are alternatives out there.

karmakameleon Fri 13-May-16 13:05:53

I'm similar, the iron tablets just don't agree with me. My obstetrician said that she couldn't give me anything else on the NHS but that if I went to a pharmacist they could give me an alternative OTC. She said that the pharmacist would calculate the required amount of the alternative so that I could be sure that the dosage was right. I'm now on a liquid form that seems to be going down much better.

Hawkmoth Fri 13-May-16 13:06:06

Are they tablets or capsules? The capsules are an exciting red and green!

Why weren't you allowed them when pg lavender? I dread to think what state Id have been in without them.

SpongeCakeBigPants Fri 13-May-16 13:06:23

Spatone in orange juice. The vitamin c helps the iron to absorb. Take on the days you can't face the pills so at least you're getting some iron.

Try and have lots of steaks and green veg too.

lavendersun Fri 13-May-16 13:10:42

Not sure exactly Hawkmoth. I was not in this country and was switched to infusions before ending up in hospital for months/quite poorly (not iron related).

I just presumed that they weren't for pregnancy - obviously that was wrong!

butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 13:14:50

It's the tablets I'm on, but at my surgery I literally won't be given anything else but these which is a shame. Perhaps I could find a liquid form of what I'm on, that's a good idea. I've been told Spatone isn't enough, but as you said if maybe I just took them on days I can't face the pills it would help. I also serve a ton of kale, spinach & broccoli right now to try & help, poor Dh is probably fed up haha!

I just feel so unsure of everything right now, as I can't bear taking these tablets which I don't think are even helping as I just throw them up, but my baby girl is my top priority & I love her so much so just want to do what's best.

Thank you for your suggestions everyone smile I now feel like I have some more knowledge & different options to try.

MrsCrankypants Fri 13-May-16 13:21:53

You could just buy the Ferrograd over the counter, they're not prescription only. Insist on a second opinion if they keep saying they're the only option.

butterflylove16 Fri 13-May-16 13:56:34

Thank you, I will as I know there are more options.

Pedestriana Fri 13-May-16 14:01:01

I lost a fair bit of blood after an EMCS and ended up having a row with one of the midwives because she wanted to put me in iron tablets.
I can't digest them. They upset my stomach give me the shits which I told her several times. She just kept saying "You're refusing medication? You HAVE to take it". In the end I asked her how I was supposed to cope with running to the toilet at ten minute intervals after major abdominal surgery and with a catheter in. The penny finally dropped and I was prescribed some vile liquid which I was able to manage.
I now take spatone daily. You can take two sachets rather than one and top up with something else if need be.

windowsneedaclean Fri 13-May-16 14:14:43

I am now 40+4 (meh!) and was prescribed 3 X 200mg ferrous sulfate per day after iron levels dropped to 92 at 27 weeks. Came back up to 115 at 35 weeks. Can't see why they won't try you with sulfate one's. Definitely work asking if there's a chance they will work for you xx

Julieb85 Fri 13-May-16 14:28:51

I have the very same problem. I've been on 2 spatone a day and have now opted to take one of the prescribed tablets before bed - which helps reduce the sickness. This has so far been enough to lift my levels but I was sitting at 104 which isn't frightening low...

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