The most common side effects of iron include stomach irritation or pain, heartburn, constipation, dark stools, urine discoloration, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Taking iron with food is recommended to help reduce these side effects. Liquid iron can stain teeth black.
Iron may interfere with the following foods and medications:
- bisphosphonates (e.g., alendronate, etidronate, risedronate)
- dairy products
- H2 antagonists (e.g., ranitidine)
- mycophenolate mofetil
- proton pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole)
- quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin)
- tetracycline antibiotics (e.g., doxycycline, minocycline)
All iron products should be kept out of the reach of children because taking too much iron could seriously harm a child.
You should see your doctor before taking iron if you have a stomach or intestinal condition (e.g., ulcer, ulcerative colitis), history of kidney/liver diseases, or family history of heart disease or diabetes. You should also consult your health care professionals if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, as the daily required amount of iron can be significantly increased during these periods.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist or other health care provider. Tell your health care practitioner about any natural health products you may be taking.