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Doctor won't prescribe anymore Iron Tablets!

I took the last Iron tablet i had this morning and had put in a prescription request on Monday for some more. I also had a blood test on Monday to check my Ferritin, B12, Folate & Vit D Levels.

My Iron levels have been up and down all year and in June they were normal but only just in range so i started taking them even though my doctor said i didn't need it. I have now run out and feel i still need them but there insisting my levels are normal and i don't need to take any now and won't issue me a prescription. Is there anything I can do? I still have problems with sleeping, Fatigue and tiredness with a believe is Adrenal Insufficiency but they won't test for that either and i'm still running on fumes. The tablets made me feel better the first couple of days after i started taking them but now i'm back to "normal"

Any advice needed!

Also, how long after an Iron tablet can you drink alcohol? I'm going out after work tonight and i was planning on just having a fizzy drink but seen as i don't have any tablets now, i wanted to know when it was ok to drink alchohol again? it will be roughly 14 hours from when i took my last one to when i get there if that helps



13 Replies

You can get iron tablets off prescription. However if your ferritin level is high you don't need them.

Can post your test results so posters can confirm whether you need them or not?

There is no reported interaction between iron and alcohol. The issue is iron supplements cause bowel problems so the generic advice is to take them 4 hours away from thyroid meds and 2 hours away from other food, drink and other supplements to minimise the risk of this.


Hi bluebug,

I'll be getting my results on Monday afternoon when I go to see my GP about them so I'll post them up after that.

I've taken supplements for all 4 that I mentioned for over a month now so hopefully they'll be in range of at least close to it.

I've have the fatigue and general tiredness for months, long before I started supplementing. I took them in the hope that one or all of them would help with it but it's gone back to how it was after a couple of days :(


Not to burst your bubble being in range is not the same as optimal.

WHO guidelines recommend a ferritin level of 15. There as some NHS ranges start at 7. If your ferritin level is 25 you are within range but will still feel dreadful as your level isn't optimal.


That's why I didn't want to be taken off it...I know I'm not optimal level, my level was really low at the start and I've only been taking the Ferrous Sulphate a month so I know it's not worked that much. I'll just have to supplement myself but I'm sure I read on here the dangers of taking it for too log or too much. If my doctor thinks I'm not taking any there not gonna test me and I can't afford private testing so I'm not gonna know if I've taken too much!


Doctors don't always retest you anyway when you need it. There have been posters on here who have symptoms of iron overload and have had an endo test them because their GP has refused to.

In regards to taking it too long etc when you post your next thread with your results you may be asked for historic results with other parameters such as your haemoglobin level. So make sure you have your last full blood count test results.


Thanks Bluebug, that was retested on the Monday too so that will be up to date.


nikki2975 If your GP wont prescribe, and it's understandable if you're within range, then you'll have to buy your own. There are so many cutbacks happening within the NHS now that iron tablets are a drop in the ocean compared to people not being able to have hip replacements, cataract operations, etc. Wait until you see the result of your ferritin test as you shouldn't go over half way through range. If you're under that figure then if you were prescribed ferrous fumerate you can buy that from Amazon, and there are plenty of other iron supplements available. Many people buy their own iron supplements to keep their ferritin at the optimal level.

I don't think the NHS believes in adrenal insufficiency. You either have Cushings or Addisons but nothing in between. If you think there is a problem with your adrenals then you can get a 24 hour saliva adrenal stress test from Genova (details on ThyroidUK's main website) and take it from there. You would have to supplement yourself as unless you have Cushings or Addisons the NHS will do nothing.

When you have the results of your Ferritin, B12, Folate & Vit D tests, make a new thread and members can comment on the levels and suggest supplementing where necessary.

I'm sorry I can't answer your question about alcohol and iron tablets, I don't drink so don't know what alcohol interacts with.


I didn't know you could by them yourself without a prescription...I've been taking 200mg Ferrous Sulphate twice a day.

From what I read online, Adrenal insuffiency is just another name for Addisons but I did mention it to my new doctor last week and will be on Monday and any other chance I get as I can't keep going on like this I'm gonna end up losing my job if it continues.


Ferrous Sulphate amazon.co.uk/Ferrous-Sulpha...

Have you done a 24 hour saliva adrenal test? END01 on page 5 thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin... costs £77 and has to be done through ThyroidUK thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Even if your GP wont accept the Genova test, if you have some kind of proof that there is a problem with low cortisol that might develop into full blown Addisons, then showing him the results could push him to get you tested on the NHS. Maybe show him good evidence that an adrenal crisis is a medical emergency and left untreated it can be fatal nhs.uk/Conditions/Addisons-...


No I haven't done any tests for it as I can't afford to go private.

I do have a lot of the symptoms and when I mentioned it to my doctor who recently left she said it was to do with my Vitamin D and if I was still having problems then, then they would look into it. At the time she had advised me to take 1 20,000iu VitD per week but after feedback on here I was near the end of 2 weeks straight of 40,000iu a day and it's made no difference so it's definitely not the Vit D that's the problem...I've seen on here too that your more likely to get other auto immune diseases when you have one so hopefully they look into it or just give me something that's gonna give me more energy and motivation. I'm sick of my body being slow and feel like I'm climbing Mount Everest to do even the simplest jobs :(


Ive bought ferrous fumerate from Boots chemist without prescription as my tablets ran out & I couldnt get an appointment at the doctors


I should have added to my post I've had issues with my haemoglobin and/or ferritin levels being low for years, so instead of bothering the doctor I now mostly treat myself.

The NHS only cares about keeping you in range and in my area the NHS lab ranges are lower than WHO guidelines. This is because loads of females are iron deficient and it costs money to test and treat properly.

Also if you are fatigued any one of the other vitamins you mentioned could be the culprit.


I buy ferrous fumarate 210mg from either Lloyds or Tesco Pharmacies. If one pharmacy refuses to sell it to me without a prescription I'll just go to another one. It is up to the pharmacist whether or not they demand a prescription for ferrous fumarate, it isn't a legal requirement.

Ask for "ferrous fumarate 210mg in a box of 84", which is enough for three a day for 28 days. When I last bought them the box cost between £4 and £5 (but admittedly that was quite a while ago).

I had very low iron/ferritin. I got my first prescription from my doctor, but when I couldn't get any more I bought my own and paid for my own blood tests. It took me nearly two years to get my ferritin levels up to optimal.

I have to keep supplementing to keep my levels optimal. I'm having a hard time getting the dose right though - I either overshoot my target or my levels drop like a stone. *Sigh*


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