Children take iron supplements when their bodies do not have enough iron. The body uses iron to make hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is part of red blood cells. It carries oxygen through the body. Without enough oxygen, your child may feel weak, dizzy, and short of breath. He or she may tire easily. Your child also may be fussy, have a short attention span, and grow more slowly than normal.
Most children begin to feel normal after a few weeks of taking iron pills. But your child needs to take the pills for several months to build up the iron supply in his or her body. This can take up to 6 months.
You can buy iron supplements without a prescription. Your doctor will have instructions on how much to take and for how long. Your doctor will also tell you whether your child needs any testing for iron levels.
Common side effects may include:
Your child may have other side effects or reactions not listed here. Check the information that comes with the medicine.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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