There is no best time to take iron, but doctors recommend patients take supplements on an empty stomach either an hour before a meal or two hours after a meal, according to Mayo Clinic. Adults should take each dose with a full glass of fruit juice or water.
Patients must follow instructions for the correct dosing of iron supplements, explains Mayo Clinic. Patients should only take supplements for one to two months, and then check with a doctor to see if continuation of the supplements is necessary. Individuals should take each dose with water, tomato juice or fruit juice. If taking a liquid supplement, patients should take the dose through a straw to keep the liquid from getting on the teeth or via a dropper. If the iron stains the teeth, remove the stains by brushing with baking soda or medicinal peroxide.
There are side effects for some patients when taking iron supplements, including back ache, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, flushing and trouble breathing, states Mayo Clinic. Other common side effects of iron supplements include a metallic taste, skin rashes, swelling of the throat or mouth and chills. Less common side effects include double vision, weakness, chest pain and blood in the stool. Signs of an iron overdose are fever, nausea, stomach pain and vomiting.