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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Iron Supplements : Side Effects

Iron Supplements (Systemic)

Iron Supplements | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

Side Effects of This Dietary Supplement

Along with its needed effects, a dietary supplement may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects occur:

    More common - with injection only

      Backache , groin, side, or muscle pain; chest pain; chills; dizziness; fainting; fast heartbeat; fever with increased sweating; flushing; headache; metallic taste; nausea or vomiting; numbness, pain, or tingling of hands or feet; pain or redness at injection site; redness of skin; skin rash or hives; swelling of mouth or throat; troubled breathing

    More common - when taken by mouth only

      Abdominal or stomach pain; cramping (continuing) or soreness

    Less common or rare - with injection only

      Double vision; general unwell feeling; weakness without feeling dizzy or faint

    Less common or rare - when taken by mouth only

      Chest or throat pain, especially when swallowing; stools with signs of blood (red or black color)

    Early symptoms of iron overdose

      Diarrhea (may contain blood); fever; nausea; stomach pain or cramping (sharp); vomiting, severe (may contain blood)


      Symptoms of iron overdose may not occur for up to 60 minutes or more after the overdose was taken. By this time you should have had emergency room treatment. Do not delay going to emergency room while waiting for signs to appear.

    Late symptoms of iron overdose

      Bluish-colored lips, fingernails, and palms of hands; convulsions (seizures); drowsiness; pale, clammy skin; shallow and rapid breathing; unusual tiredness or weakness; weak and fast heartbeat

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the dietary supplement. However, check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

    More common

      Constipation; diarrhea; leg cramps; nausea; vomiting

    Less common

      Darkened urine; heartburn; stained teeth

Stools commonly become dark green or black when iron preparations are taken by mouth. This is caused by unabsorbed iron and is harmless. However, in rare cases, black stools of a sticky consistency may occur along with other side effects such as red streaks in the stool, cramping, soreness, or sharp pains in the stomach or abdominal area. Check with your health care professional immediately if these side effects appear.

If you have been receiving injections of iron, you may notice a brown discoloration of your skin. This color usually fades within several weeks or months.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some individuals. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care professional.

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Iron Supplements: Precautions


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