What is the dosage regimen of iron supplements for the treatment of anemia?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Although the traditional dosage of ferrous sulfate is 325 mg (65 mg of elemental iron) orally three times a day, lower doses (eg, 15-20 mg of elemental iron daily) may be as effective and cause fewer side effects. To promote absorption, patients should avoid tea and coffee and may take vitamin C (500 units) with the iron pill once daily. If ferrous sulfate has unacceptable side effects, ferrous gluconate, 325 mg daily (35 mg of elemental iron) is a possible alternative for patients who cannot tolerate ferrous sulfate. [14]

A study in Iran demonstrated that once-weekly, low-dose iron supplementation can be effective in improving iron status and in treating iron deficiency anemia. [15] Mozaffari-Khosravi et al randomly selected and assigned 193 adolescent girls aged 14-16 years to receive either 150 mg ferrous sulfate once weekly for 16 weeks or no iron supplementation. Before and after intervention, the percentage of anemia, iron deficiency anemia, and iron deficiency were measured in both groups of girls.

Although the parameters measured before the intervention were not significantly different, at the end of 16 weeks, the group that received the ferrous sulfate had significant improvement in the same parameters. [15] In addition, all cases of iron deficiency anemia were resolved in the group receiving the low-dose iron supplementation.


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