Women's Health Resources

Iron and Pregnancy

1. Take your iron pills with a glass of water or fruit juice at least 30 minutes before eating. Iron is absorbed better if taken between meals when your stomach is empty. Do not take your iron pill with milk or antacids. You may take iron pills with a small amount of food if the pill upsets your stomach. Taking your iron pills at bedtime may also upset your stomach.

2.Wait at least two hours after taking your iron before taking other medicines. This includes medicines that can be bought over-the-counter. This is because some medicines keep the iron from being absorbed by your body.

3.Caregivers may tell you to take Vitamin C (orange or grapefruit juice) with your iron medicine. Vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron.

4. Liquid iron medicine may stain your teeth. To prevent this, mix the medicine with water or fruit juice and drink the liquid through a straw. You can also use a medicine dropper, placing the medicine on the back of your tongue. Brush your teeth right after taking liquid iron medicine.

5. Iron pills can cause constipation. Do not try to push stools out if they are very hard. Eat foods high in fiber to make it easier to have a BM. Good examples are high fiber cereals, beans, raw vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grain breads. Prune juice may help make the BM softer. Drinking more water can also help. Walking and doing other exercise is a very good way to get your bowels moving. Miralax, Metamucil, or Citrucel may also be used.

6.Keep iron medicine away from children. Taking too much iron could poison a child. All medicine should be kept locked and in a place that a child cannot reach.

7. The best over-the-counter iron is Iron Sulfate Tablets, 325 mg, taken twice a day for the correction of anemia and once a day for the prevention of anemia.