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Mayo Clinic lists and approves several options for effective oral iron supplements including Auryxia, Bifera and Elite Iron. The complete list of proper iron supplements is available on Mayo Clinic's "Drug Supplements" webpage.


Iron supplements typically take effect after two months of consistent doses. Supplements should be taken for six to 12 months to rebuild the body's iron reserves following a deficiency, according to MedlinePlus.


Iron supplements can take between one week and one month before the benefits take effect. Results depend largely on the severity of the iron deficiency and the dosage levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic.


The most common side effects of taking an iron supplement are constipation, dark stools, heartburn and upset stomach, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The less common side effects include fatigue, weight loss, arthritis and heart failure, which happens to those who take too much of this supplement


While iron supplements are generally considered safe when taken as directed, certain individuals may experience side effects such as stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea, explains WebMD. Severe side effects of excess iron consumption include low blood pressure, liver failure and death.


Some side effects of taking iron supplements can include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea and stomach upset, according to WebMD. Iron supplements in liquid form can blacken the teeth. Taking iron supplements in high doses is unsafe and is the leading cause of poisoning death in children.


A normal range for serum iron in women is 50 to 150 micrograms per deciliter, according to WebMD. Total iron-binding capacity for women should fall between 250 and 450 micrograms per deciliter, while the transferrin saturation for women should range from 15 to 50 percent.


For the side effects of iron supplements to be reduced, take the supplement in divided doses, use a stool softener and take the supplement with food. Starting out with a smaller dose and increasing to the recommended dose can also help reduce the side effects by giving the body time to adjust to the


For women, normal serum iron levels are between 75 and 150 micrograms per deciliter of blood, according the Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. Physicians often check iron levels with ferritin levels. The normal range for serum ferritin levels falls between 30 and 300 nanograms per millilite


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