What Are the Common Side Effects of Iron Supplements?

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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.

Additional common side effects of iron supplements include leg cramps and constipation, according to Mayo Clinic. It is important for individuals to seek immediate medical assistance if they experience flushing, chills, headache and back pain when taking iron supplements. Additional side effects that require medical attention include numbness and tingling of the hands, inflamed skin, fever, heavy sweating and skin rashes.

Medical conditions that can cause interactions with iron supplements include food allergies, anemia and stomach problems such as ulcers or Crohn’s disease, notes Drugs.com. Medications that may interfere with iron include thyroid medications and antibiotics such as doxycycline. Certain herbal and dietary supplements may also interfere with iron. Individuals who are taking medications, pregnant or breast-feeding or with any type of medical condition should consult with a physician prior to taking iron. Iron tablets are best absorbed when taken without food. However, iron can be taken with certain foods to prevent stomach upset. Eggs, breads and certain dairy products may limit the amount of iron released into the body.