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Old 02-26-2009, 07:47 AM   #1
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susieq14 HB User
Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

Hello all!
I was wondering about taking Vitamin C supplements with my iron supplements.

My hematologist originally prescribed Niferex 150 (2 times a day). It is a poly iron with Vitamin C. She preferred this because it would be gentler on my digestive system since I have GERD and IBS. Anyway I only took them for 30 days because I had to pay for them in full ($115) since my insurance would not cover them because they are considered an OTC drug even though the pharmacist had to order them. I filed an appeal but it was rejected.

The doctor then prescribed Ferrex 150 also a poly iron which also includes Folic Acid and B12. It is covered by my insurance - got a 90 day supply for $30. go figure...

No one (i.e the hematologist or the pharmacist - you know the experts!) recommended adding a Vitamin C supplement but after reading here I'm finidng out from the real experts that it might be a good idea to add the Vitamin C supplement. I went back to the pharmacy and asked the pharmacist and she said yeah that might be helpful and pointed out one to buy.

So my new Vitamin C supplement contains 250 mg of Vit C which is 475% of your RDA and the instructions say to take one daily preferably with a meal.

so I'm confused and until I can get back to the pharmacy I thought I would ask my questions here:
1)Do I take the C with my iron - which I don't take with a meal?
2) Do I only take a C with one of my iron pills since the recommended amount is only 1 tablet? Or should I find a C that is less mg so I can take 2 a day?

thanks in advance for any suggestions!

It certainly is tough being your own MD (or pharamcist) without going to med school!
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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Re: Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

Hi Susie,

Funny, I went through the same thing. NOT ONE of the Dr's of the 4 mentioned taking Vitamin C or OJ with my Iron Pill! Go figure!

Definately take it! Dont drink milk or milk products either within an hour or two of taking iron.

I take 500 mg's of Vit C with BOTH my doses of Iron. One in the morning & one at night, right after another.

Pop the Iron, then the Vit C. I think its fine to take it at both times especially that yours are only 250 mg's. When I questioned my Dr about the Vitamin C, she said take 500 mg's but never mentioned how many times. You are definately good to double-up.

Flowergrl mentioned, if Im correct, she takes 500 Mg's with both her doses too.
Im sure she'll pop up & advice as well but you're definately good!

Why the Pharmacists dont mention these things, either is beyond me!
GL
Rachel

Last edited by BriansMom444; 02-26-2009 at 08:03 AM.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

Susie--Are the B's added only for rebuilding RBC's per your hematologist OR is it because of a B-12 deficiency?

Rachel is right, I took 3X ferris sulfate with 500 mgs each dose. This is what is typically recommended. My hematologist actually DID recommend adding Vit-C but, it was already included in my iron. Vit-C can also be added to a heme iron meal to mega increase the absorption something like 6X's to help in repleteing the ferritin stores. I am not sure if adding Vit-C was a culprit in my 3 months of enteritis. I don't know if it was an irritant to my intestines or not, I know the FS was indeed! I would try it with each dose and if you can tolerate it then you are good to go. Just be sure that you never lay down after iron supplements. I think that it was up to 3 hours, I really don't recall. That is for everyone, not just (special) people with acid reflux.

Looking into the future, IF you are going to be on supplements ~long term~ I would chose an iron with the C already in it. One less pill perhaps, and you know it has a balanced dose of C. If you need everything, then they make script irons (probably the same price) with B-12 added. This way it is only one pill to take.

I take B-12 on and off to help with energy and to keep my B-12 levels up because those of us that may have malabsorption due to PPI's are at greater risk for B-12 deficiency. I don't want this number too high either. I try to keep a happy balance around 900-1000.

Just an idea. I know you don't want to change what is working for you. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

Never heard not to lie dwn after taking Iron...........Why?
I always take my last pill right before going to bed.

THX

 
Old 02-26-2009, 12:08 PM   #5
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Re: Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

My doctor recommended vit. C three times a day. I take iron twice a day.

I read on the information that came with my iron pills to not lie down for 30 minutes after taking.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

Rachel--Because there is a possibility that it can leak up into the esophagus causing an erosive esophagus over time. It's just a precaution for many and a must for some.

herekittykitty--My iron box doesn't give any instructions at all. I read this on the net and paid close attention because of my GI problems. I think when taken with food it would even be a much longer time period due to the digestion process. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:51 PM   #7
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Re: Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

Speaking of taking iron with food, have any of you taken it on an empty stomach? does it cause you problems? My daughter and I were getting the house ready for our annual mother-daughter Valentine's Tea Party and in my rushing around I hadn't eaten but took my iron and BAM! I was on the couch with a towel on my head, vomit pail next to me. I was that way for awhile until I forced myself to eat an apple and felt better within minutes. Sure taught me a lesson!!!!

 
Old 02-27-2009, 06:53 AM   #8
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Re: Iron Supplements and Vitamin C

Hello All!

Both of my iron supplements (Niferx and Ferrex which are poly iron) were prescribed by my hematologist and I picked them up at the pharmacy counter not OTC so they both came with the normal instruction sheet that you get with a prescription medicine. Both advise that the iron pills are best taken on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. If stomach upset occurs, you may take this medication with food. Take with 8 ounces of water. Avoid taking antacids, dairy products, tea or coffee within 2 hours before or after this medication because they will decrease its effectiveness. Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking this medication

lotsawalls: I have never had any problems like you and I always take it either 2 hours after eating or 1 hour before. Sorry that happened to you.

FLFLOWERGIRL: I didn't know the reason for not lying down for 30 minutes - I assumed it had something to do with damaging the esophaghus but never could find it written anywhere so thanks for that update. Must be like the meds for osteoporous i.e Fosamax etc.

As for the answer to your question "Are the B's added only for rebuilding RBC's per your hematologist OR is it because of a B-12 deficiency? My B12 levels are okay. Ironically when the insurance didn't cover the Niferex which had the Vitamin C, my pharmacist recommended that I ask my doctor to prescribe the Ferrex. I called the office and spoke to the nurse about my problem and asked if the doctor could prescribe the Ferrex 150 Forte. She later called me back and said a new script was called in. After I picked it up I discovered that it did not have the C but instead had B12 and folic acid. The next time I saw the doctor, I forgot to ask until the very end of the appointment about the new med and why she picked that one etc and the fact that it didn't have any C and she said that was what the nurse asked her to write. Duh??? didn't she do any research herself? I have since checked it out and have found that there is a Ferrex 150 Forte Plus that has C, B12 and Folic Acid covered by insurance so when I se eher on april 7 I will ask if she will presribe that instead. I also want her to check my B12 level again. It was 857 in July and 897 in November but she didn't check it in January. Also my Folic Acid was only checked in July. I don't want to worry about causing higher levels of B12 and folic acid!!!! I know B12 can be depleted sue to the PPI's but there has to be a happy medium, right???

What a good discussion we're having! and look how we are educating each other!

Have a great day!
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