Health Encyclopedia > Medications

ferrous fumarate

Pronunciation: FER us FUE ma rate

Brand: Feostat, Ferrets, Hemocyte, Ircon, Nephro-Fer

What is the most important information I should know about ferrous fumarate?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have iron overload syndrome, hemolytic anemia (a lack of red blood cells), porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system), thalassemia (a genetic disorder of red blood cells), kidney or liver disease, if you are an alcoholic, or if you receive regular blood transfusions.

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if anyone has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of iron can be fatal, especially in a young child.

Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, severe nausea or stomach pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, cold or clammy skin, blue lips, and seizure (convulsions).

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Take ferrous fumarate on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Avoid taking antacids or antibiotics within 2 hours before or after taking ferrous fumarate .

Ferrous fumarate is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you should eat to make sure you get enough iron from both your diet and your medication.

What is ferrous fumarate?

Ferrous fumarate is a type of iron. You normally get iron from the foods you eat. In your body, iron becomes a part of your hemoglobin (HEEM o glo bin) and myoglobin (MY o glo bin). Hemoglobin carries oxygen through your blood to tissues and organs. Myoglobin helps your muscle cells store oxygen.

Ferrous fumarate is used to treat iron deficiency anemia (a lack of red blood cells caused by having too little iron in the body).

Ferrous fumarate may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ferrous fumarate?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs or food dyes, or if you have:

  • iron overload syndrome;
  • hemolytic anemia (a lack of red blood cells);
  • porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system);
  • thalassemia (a genetic disorder of red blood cells);
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • if you are an alcoholic; or
  • if you receive regular blood transfusions.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use ferrous fumarate, or you may need a dose adjustment or special tests during treatment.

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It is not known whether this medication could be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

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It is not known whether this medicine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give ferrous fumarate to a child without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take ferrous fumarate?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.

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Take ferrous fumarate on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Avoid taking antacids or antibiotics within 2 hours before or after taking ferrous fumarate .

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Take this medication with a full glass of water.

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Do not crush, chew, or break a ferrous fumarate tablet. Swallow the pill whole.

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Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Ferrous fumarate can stain your teeth, but this effect is temporary. To prevent tooth staining, mix the liquid form of ferrous fumarate with water or fruit juice (not with milk) and drink the mixture through a straw. You may also clean your teeth with baking soda once per week to treat any tooth staining.

Ferrous fumarate is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you should eat to make sure you get enough iron from both your diet and your medication.

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Store ferrous fumarate at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the liquid medicine from freezing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if a child has accidentally swallowed it. An overdose of ferrous fumarate can be fatal to a child.

Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, severe nausea or stomach pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, shallow breathing, weak and rapid pulse, cold or clammy skin, blue lips, and seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking ferrous fumarate?

Do not take any vitamin or mineral supplements that your doctor has not prescribed or recommended.

Avoid taking an antibiotic medicine within 2 hours before or after you take ferrous fumarate. This is especially important if you are taking an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).

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Certain foods can also make it harder for your body to absorb ferrous fumarate. Avoid taking this medication within 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating fish, meat, liver, and whole grain or "fortified" breads or cereals.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends. Antacids contain different medicines and some types can make it harder for your body to absorb ferrous fumarate.

What are the possible side effects of ferrous fumarate?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Call your doctor if you have serious side effects such as:

  • bright red blood in your stools; or
  • pain in your chest or throat when swallowing a ferrous fumarate tablet.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • constipation, diarrhea;
  • nausea, vomiting, heartburn;
  • stomach pain, upset stomach;
  • black or dark-colored stools or urine; or
  • temporary staining of the teeth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect ferrous fumarate?

The following drugs can interact with ferrous fumarate. Tell your doctor if you use any of the following:

  • acetohydroxamic acid (Lithostat);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • deferoxamine (Desferal);
  • etidronate (Didronel);
  • dimercaprol (an injection used to treat poisoning by arsenic, lead, or mercury);
  • penicillamine (Cuprimine); or
  • pancrelipase (Cotazym, Creon, Ilozyme, Pancrease, Ultrase).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with ferrous fumarate. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about ferrous fumarate.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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