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Iron, or ferrous sulfate (Feosol®, Slow FE®) is a mineral that your body needs to produce red blood cells. When the body does not get enough iron, it cannot produce enough red blood cells to keep itself healthy. This is called iron-deficiency anemia. Lack of iron can cause tiredness, shortness of breath, and decreased physical performance. It also can increase the chance of a liver transplant patient getting infections.
Ferrous sulfate uses include treating or preventing low levels of iron in the blood; it treats or prevents iron-deficiency anemia.
Foods rich in iron include lean red meat, beans, nuts, asparagus, oatmeal, and dried peaches. Vitamin C can increase the absorption of iron, which can be found in citrus fruits and fresh vegetables. Ferrous sulfate might be prescribed if your child is not able to maintain a healthy level of iron through diet alone after a liver transplant.
Ferrous sulfate medication is taken by mouth. It is available in liquid form, as caplets, and as 300- and 324-mg tablets.
Ferrous sulfate should be taken on an empty stomach and with water or fruit juice. However, if the medication upsets your child’s stomach, he or she can take ferrous sulfate with food.
If your child misses a dose of ferrous sulfate, take it as soon as you or your child remembers. If you remember within two hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and resume your child’s usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Some people do experience stomach discomfort that ranges from heartburn to nausea and vomiting, but taking ferrous sulfate with food instead may help avoid or lessen it. Constipation or stools that are black or green also occur. (The unusual coloring is because of absorbed iron, and is not harmful.)
In rare cases, ferrous sulfate side effects include:
If your child has trouble with any of these side effects, inform your doctor or transplant coordinator.
Tell your transplant coordinator about all the medication your child uses, whether over-the-counter or prescription, so you can be warned of undesirable interactions and prevent them.
Take ferrous sulfate as prescribed. Eggs, milk, dairy products, coffee, tea, spinach, fiber, and antacids can decrease iron absorption. Your child should take iron tablets one to two hours after eating these foods or taking other medication.
Most pharmacies stock ferrous sulfate.
Drug information changes periodically. For the most updated information on drugs, visit www.drugs.com.
Learn more about other Liver Transplant Drugs.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.