Thyroid UK
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Ferrous gluconate

Hello so I've been prescribed the above iron as I hadn't managed too lift my ferritin very far with spatone it went from 5 to 8 so I've been prescribed the above 90 tablets 130mg according too packet one three times a day but the doctor told me too take one every other day? Doctor only works Monday so cant query it what should I do take it according too packet or what doctor actually told me I get a very poorly tummy on iron advice please

7 Replies

Hi nettiboo1982. I would go by the label and take 1 x 3 a day. I'm currently taking 325mg Ferrous gluconate per day so that dosage looks about right. As a tip, take the tablets with a glass of fresh orange juice or a good quality Vitamin C supplement as this helps with the uptake of iron into the body.

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Hunny thanks for reply do you take it on an empty stomach?


I usually take them on an empty stomach - as humanbean says below. Sometimes my stomach feels a little iffy and I have to have some food but I take it on a day by day basis.


Ferrous Gluconate has the chemical formula C12H22FeO14 which means that one molecule of it is made up of 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 1 atom of iron and 14 atoms of oxygen.

So as you can see, it is mostly made up of things which aren't iron.

According to this link (and many others)

ferrous gluconate is approximately 12% iron.

So each of your 130mg tablets contain 15.6mg of elemental iron.

If you took one tablet every other day you would be getting 1/2 of that which is 7.8mg of iron.

If you look at the British National Formulary (BNF), the book that your doctor uses to decide what treatments and dosages of different medications he can prescribe,

There is a sentence on that page I've linked :

"The oral dose of elemental iron for iron-deficiency anaemia should be 100 to 200 mg daily. "

So, as you can see, 7.8mg of iron (i.e. 1 of your tablets every other day) will give you a tiny fraction of what you need to have any impact on your anaemia.

This is a very long-winded way of saying - Yes, take what it says on the bottle, not what your doctor said on the prescription. Ferrous gluconate can be bought at pharmacies and online without prescription, if you run out.

If you react badly to iron, try taking 1 a day for 3 days, then increase to 2 a day for 3 days, then take the full 3 tablets from then on. This is just to give your body a chance to get used to it. If you can cope with it, take the iron tablets on an empty stomach because you will get better absorption. Only take them with food if it is the only way you can cope with them. Swallow each pill with a vitamin C supplement and water, or a glass of orange juice. The vitamin C will help absorption.


One other point - taking iron pills with a glass of orange juice three times a day is probably not going to be good for your teeth or your figure because of the sugar content of OJ. So, get some vitamin C supplements anyway, and take your iron pills with OJ a maximum of once a day.


Um if its only 15.6mg actual iron surely then I could take any iron supplement such as gentle iron by solgar oh I hate taking prescription anything so was hoping for a way too avoid them


Hi Nettiboo

May I follow you please?

I too have low ferritin and am wondering what to do, mine is not as bad as yours, 15 sounds comparatively good!

Also, as you probably know, low ferritin is DIFFERENT FROM LOW IRON, low ferritin can occur when we have too much iron and the ferritin is used up in correcting the over-high iron.

Hope this is helpful


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