Iron supplementation is essential for patients with anemia who lack iron in their diet and body, those on dialysis, and pregnant women. As a pharmacist, it is your responsibility to ensure that your patients are armed with all the information they need to know about the iron supplement they are taking.
Make sure that each patient you are helping with treatments is aware of the things they need to know about iron supplementation.
1. Iron interacts with certain medications
Much like any other supplements and rigs, iron has several drug interactions that patients need to know. Specifically, iron interacts with two antibiotic types: quinolone and tetracyclines. If a person takes iron supplements and antibiotics at the same time, antibiotic failure is bound to occur. Iron can cause the body to resist the effects of antibiotics in the body. Thus, it is very important to ask the patient if he is taking any antibiotics before letting him take iron supplements, as they can hamper the function of antibiotics.
2. Iron supplements lead to release of dark stools
Patients who are not informed about this iron supplementation fact might get the shock of their life upon seeing their toilet bowls with black stool. This scenario might stress them out and make them think they have other health problems they are not aware of. So make sure that before your patient starts taking iron supplements, you have warned him about the possible effect of taking iron supplements on the appearance of his stool.
3. Constipation is another side effect of taking iron supplements
This side effect is unavoidable and can be very discomforting and painful to patients, especially the elderly. The least you can do for them is to let them know about iron supplements causing constipation, so they know what to expect.
The key to reducing any health risk caused by iron supplements is to educate your patients before they begin the supplementation.