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After a poster asked me about Ferro-Grad C, which i'm taking and isn't causing me constipation or bad tummy effects, i looked it up on the net and they were nice enough to provide a list of things which affect the absorption of iron supplements for those of us who are having difficulty raising our ferretin levels. Some of them i knew of already, but a few had me surprised. Not sure whether i like knowing now as it makes mixing and matching foods to medications even more difficult :(

Just thought i'd list some of them here. Iron should not be taken within one hour before or within two hours after taking: antacids, calcium supplements, caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee, eggs, milk or other dairy products like cheese and yogurt etc, cereals, whole grain breads including dietary fibre, medicines which contain bicarbonates, carbonates and phosphates.

Using the following medecines alongside your iron might possibly reduce the absorption of these medicines and so you should take these med's 3hrs after or 2hrs before your iron supplements: tetracycline, magnesium trisilicate, trientine, zinc salts, penicillamine, quinolone antibiotics e.g. ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin and ofloxacin Chloramphenicol antibiotic may delay the response to iron therapy in people with iron deficiency anaemia. There may also be a serious, life-threatening bone marrow depression with chloramphenicol when it is given with iron preparations. Care must be taken when these medicines are given together and where possible an alternate antibiotic should be used in place of chloramphenicol.

I've never heard of some of those medecines, but thought i'd add it in just incase.

Who would have thought eating an egg close to taking your iron supplement would cause issues!!!!! Still can't get over that one!!!!

I did know of the dairy issue and my doctor said high amounts of dairy close to your iron supplements can reduce your iron by 60%. That must be like having a coffee with your iron :D

For tea lovers, there are some companies who do a decaffeinated black tea. I've found one which is only about 2% caffeinated and i've taken it through out my iron supplementing and my iron has gone up regardless. As my previous doctor used to say "you still have to live".
My iron (prescription) came with that list of foods and medicines. It seems like it needs to be taken on an empty stomach. At first, it really hurt my stomach but after a couple of months on it, it doesn't have that affect anymore. I try to just take it when i'm not anywhere close to eating or taking other meds.

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