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Would you take iron tablets for suspected anaemia before getting it confirmed by a blood test?

(12 Posts)

I'm pale, breathless, palpitations from time to time, tired, weak and terribly run down. I had very low iron levels in my first pregnancy and was prescribed ferrous sulphate. (I also have pernicious anaemia but that's ongoing)

I have my first pg blood test scheduled for wednesday IF she can get any blood out - they tried at my booking in appointment last week and my veins wouldn't co-operate at all. I don't know how soon I'll get the results back or when I'll be told that I need to take iron tablets.

I still have some ferrous sulphate tablets left, should I just go and start taking them, and start to feel better? I feel bloody awful and I can't breathe properly. My asthma inhaler is having no effect. What do you think?

Antiquarian Fri 23-Oct-09 10:38:45

Yes I would, in my last pregnancy I was always told that my iron levels were fine, but I felt exhausted. I decided to try Spatone without a prescription/diagnosis and felt better quite quickly. I don't think there's any reason not to, apart from constipation? And it can take a little while for them to take effect. Good luck!

EightiesChick Fri 23-Oct-09 10:51:25

I would as it will take a week or so for them to really make a difference. Maybe start on a low dose and you can up it when the anaemia is confirmed. I would also ring up and bother them for the results. My local hospital, who does the tests even when the blood is taken at the GPs, process everything within 24 hours. In fact, if you can, go to a proper blood unit to get it taken: then you'll get a proper phlebotomist who is likely to be more skilled and be able to get the blood.

Do you have a brown steroid inhaler you can use to help too? It's fine to use these during pregnancy; I checked. Plus what helps for me is just taking it easier while I wait for the iron to work - so if you can, go and get a few hours extra sleep at weekends or during the day, or just go to bed earlier if possible. Hope it improves soon.

ThisPhantomPlopsPumpkins Fri 23-Oct-09 10:51:38

Yes I would and do.

I'm always borderline anaemic though.

Spatone is better than the tablets and works much faster.

MrsHappy Fri 23-Oct-09 12:24:20

Yes, I would and have.
In my first pregnancy I took Pregaday - I realised I was anaemic when I got knackered and developed a ferocious ice craving, a full 10 days before my hospital blood tests results were sent to me! This time Pregaday buggered up my tum so I have 2 sachets of Spatone a day. I don't know if my levels are coming up but I certainly feel better and at the last count they were (just) high enough for me to be considered low risk and to have midwife-led care, so that's good enough for me.

Ok thanks all, I've taken a ferrous sulphate and a vitamin c tablet so hopefully I should be on the mend in a week or so. I've only got 12 tablets though so hopefully I'll be able to get some more, I don't think spatone was strong enough to help last time.

blondiep14 Fri 23-Oct-09 17:44:05

I just got prescribed Ferrous sulphate tabs as anaemic and it says not to take unless prescribed. I know they usually say that about pregnancy but I know too much of some vits and minerals can actually be toxic so I think I would check first, even if it was just a call to NHS Direct?

ohnelly Fri 23-Oct-09 18:22:01

Yes I would and I do! Im a vegetarian and take them in case im not getting enough. It cant do any harm and im definately less tired

EightiesChick Sat 24-Oct-09 00:31:47

NHS Direct won't advise pregnant women on the safety of medications. I rang them while pregnant about taking a particular cough medicine and when they called back they said it was policy they couldn't advise pregnant women on what to take and I would need to see my GP hmm. Why they didn't say so when I first rang I don't know. angry But anyway, don't waste your time. Get your blood tested asap but I would start taking at least some iron. A low dose will begin to help but won't cause problems. Like TPPP, I am borderline anaemic most of the time due to my medical history, and at times I have shown up technically OK on the test, but can tell from the way I'm feeling that I need iron.

cheeseandeyeballsarnie Sat 24-Oct-09 00:40:33

id start taking some but id also up the iron in my veggie and always used to rely on pills for iron but its so easy to include it in your diet.

differentnameforthis Sat 24-Oct-09 00:56:25

Taking iron tabs before a blood test to get anaemia confirmed will give you a false reading.

Bubbaloo2 Sat 24-Oct-09 09:21:28

2 sachets of Spatone, made me feel better very quickly.

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