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Ferrous Sulphate side effects

(23 Posts)
Peachy Sat 09-Feb-08 13:20:03

Ok, after a brief trip to hospital with anaemia last week, I was put on ferrous suplahte 200mg X 3 doses a day. the trouble is I am reacting abdly to it- severe stomach pains (rollinga round screeching level), and thats only on one dose- haven't dared to take all three yet. If I don't get my levels up MW's say no home birth but existing with this pain is not an option for 7 weeks. Anyone know any ways of limiting the side effects? tried to talk to MW but she keeps saying 'well you have to'- all very well but results are like having boiling water poured over my intestines.

Twiglett Sat 09-Feb-08 13:21:55

iron tablets are phenomenally tough on your stomach

there are more gentler ways

Spatone from Boots is one

I've used another form from a healthfood store but the name escapes (am prone to anaemia) and it works

lullabyloo Sat 09-Feb-08 13:22:35

I am having to take this too & have permanent cramps & the runs.I so sympathise & will be interested to see what everyone says.

mears Sat 09-Feb-08 13:23:54

spatone is good

make sure you drink fresh orange with your meals to help absorb iron - tea and coffee at mealtimes reduces uptake of iron from diet

plently og green

what is your Hb?

MW cannot prevent you having homebirth BTW

Twiglett Sat 09-Feb-08 13:24:59

if you don't like orange juice cranberry juice also high in vit c

Twiglett Sat 09-Feb-08 13:25:48

<waves to mears delightedly>

long time no bump posts

mears Sat 09-Feb-08 13:29:14

hiya Twig - haven't been around much lately smile

Snaf Sat 09-Feb-08 13:29:52

I really hate ferrous sulphate - it's such a harsh way deal with what is often a fairly minor issue.

What's your Hb currently, Peachy? Have you had any problems with bleeding in past pregnancies/births? Is there any particular reason to think that a low Hb is going to be a genuine problem for you?

Spatone and Floradix are both good and much gentler, although they're not particularly cheap. You probably know all of this already, but make sure you have lots of dark leafy veg (spinach etc), dark choc, dried apricots, etc. Cut down tea and coffee as they stop iron being absorbed, drink mucho fresh orange juice.

The mw can't stop you having a homebirth - although I agree they can make it bloody difficult and unnecessarily hassle-y...

doup76 Sat 09-Feb-08 13:30:46

If you don't get spatone get FLORIDAX liquid iron supplement from your pharmacist. Be sure to tell them what dose you were prescribed and they will tell you how much to take. The absorption is sooooo much better than the tablets and I had no side effects. I felt much better within 4 days... best £7.99 I've spent! Good luck!

Peachy Sat 09-Feb-08 13:33:04

HB is 9.5- has been in every pregnancy at this stage.

MW desperately wants me to have homebirth but Obs was against it for the start, she said theya re looking for reasons to prevent it.

i've been eating lots of high vit c things- but even with the diet / meds I am still having the sizzy spells / fainting / spots before my eys lark (BP fine)

Peachy Sat 09-Feb-08 13:34:49

Oh and have ahd no iron related issues with any birth- ds1 was eclamptic / IUGR (why Obsta bit paranoid) but other 2 perfect births in every way. Was refused homebirth with ds3 for this reason actually, albeit different health authority.

Snaf Sat 09-Feb-08 13:35:35

They should also be looking at your MCV and haematocrit (I think!), not just the Hb. Hb naturally falls in pg anyway - it's normal.

I was talking to a mw the other day who said that in her (vast) experience, women with a low Hb bleed less... The ARM site says the same, iirc. Something for your community mws to think about smile

Snaf Sat 09-Feb-08 13:45:34

Good that your mw is supportive of your homebirth but she should still be offering you something other than 'well you have to' - ferrous sulphate disagrees with loads of women so it's not as if you are being unreasonable in not wanting to take them.

beeper Sat 09-Feb-08 15:35:30

I also recommend spatone, have been taking it since 12 weeks and have had no side effects. Sometimes you can get it on 3 for 2 at boots.

merryberry Sat 09-Feb-08 16:19:49

i'm prone to anaemia, can NEVER tolerate ferrous sulphate. was started on ferrous gluconate at start of this week, also could not tolerate the full three doses, tried for 3 days, had bowel cramps, diarrheoa etc, no nausea.

got spa tone on thursday lunch, they recommend 2x sachets in PG. First two days had slight nausea after drinking so have now learnt to follow it up with lunch to settle stomach. No bowel symptoms at all, hurray! much better to take, still breathless but then I'm 37 wks pg...

gomez Sat 09-Feb-08 16:23:56

Ask for Ferrous Fumerate as opposed to sulphate. I (well my stomach) found it easier to cope with.

Floradix do a tablet as well as a liquid (the liquid made me gag).

PaulaYatesbiggestFan Sat 09-Feb-08 16:25:58

poor you peachy - you must feel grim

my hb is only 10.6 and i feel like proper rubbish cant understand why i can barely breath and its still above 10!?

have started swigging sytron which i think is ferrous gluconate but have felt putrid for last 24 hours and threw up at lunchtime after a dose..

am willing to try spa tone or folridex (sp) but a obsessed by the bowel side of things.... sytron gives me diarrhoea which is fine but would love to know if spatone or floridex bung up...

i am only 19 weeks so am in for the long haul...

anyone got preferences smile

Peachy Sat 09-Feb-08 20:31:21

Thanks all- I've been in contact with AIMs before and I will look at their advice on bleeding; also will gets ome spatone. Advice most aprpeciated and glad some others found it useful too!

mumzyof2 Sat 09-Feb-08 23:04:30

I had the same trouble - somebody told me that those tablets cost about 1p to produce 300 of them! shock Theyre just cheap rubbish.
Iv been using Spatone, but still feel pretty lousy sometimes.
My iron level was 9.3, and I think its meant to be around the 13 mark.
My midwife wants to check iron levels again next week, so see if i need slow releasing tablets, which are easier on the stomach. Maybe something to ask your midwife about?

mumzyof2 Sat 09-Feb-08 23:07:43

Also, Kiwi's have more iron in than oranges, so maybe eat a kiwi with each iron tablet/sachet.Good luck, i know I feel crap with a 9.x hb, so you must too.

welshdeb Sat 09-Feb-08 23:08:11

I had ferrous folate as ferrous sulphate gave me major stomach pain and the runs.

Try upping your vitamin c to incease your iron uptake.

binx199 Sun 16-Mar-14 07:18:25

Hey everyone I'm using ferrous sulphate and I'm pregnant but all this pain is killing me.I don't know if its the pills but to what I read is must be.I got them monday and theusday my back and stomach is always cramping and I can't sleep at night.

ClutchingMyPearls Sun 16-Mar-14 17:45:13

I had to get my iron levels up a few weeks ago ready for home birth. I was told to get the ferrous sulphate but I had them with my first DD and had horrid side effects.

I have got mine up to a great level by taking 1-2 Spatone per day with a Sainburys own brand iron + vit c tablet and a bowel of fortified cereal for breakfast. Far more pleasant ! I ask avoided caffeine in the few hours of taking iron to aid absorption

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