Written by Cecilia Snyder, MS, RD on January 5, 2021 — median reviewed by provide Tinsley, PhD, Nutrition

The iron complement ferrous sulfate is an iron salt through the chemistry formula FeSO4.

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Iron salts space one kind of the mineral iron. People often usage them as a supplement to treat steel deficiency.

Ferrous sulfate is likewise called stole sulfate, environment-friendly vitriol, and also iron vitriol.

This post is an introduction of ferrous sulfate, that benefits and side effects, and how you deserve to use it to treat and also prevent iron deficiency.

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Ferrous sulfate is just one of countless forms of the metal element iron.

In its natural state, the heavy mineral resembles little crystals. The crystals are frequently a shade of yellow, brown, or bluish-green — thus why ferrous sulfate is sometimes dubbed green vitriol (1).

Supplement makers use multiple varieties of iron in dietary supplements. As well as ferrous sulfate, the most typical are ferrous gluconate, ferric citrate, and ferric sulfate.

Most types of iron in supplements are in among two develops — ferric or ferrous. This counts on the chemistry state the the iron atoms.

The human body absorbs ferrous develops of iron much better than ferric forms. Thus, medical care providers often think about ferrous forms, consisting of ferrous sulfate, to be the best selection for stole supplements (2, 3, 4, 5).


Dietary steel supplements frequently use ferrous sulfate, a solid crystalline form of the mineral iron.


The primary benefit of taking ferrous sulfate additionally is to keep normal iron level in the body.

Doing so might prevent you from experiencing iron deficiency, and the range of mild to major side impacts that frequently accompany it.

Here’s a closer look at the services of taking ferrous sulfate supplements.

Helps keep normal blood steel levels

Iron is among the many common aspects on earth, and it’s critical mineral. That method people must consume that in your diet for optimal health.

The body mostly uses stole as component of the red blood cabinet proteins myoglobin and also hemoglobin, i m sorry are crucial for transporting and storing oxygen (6).

Iron also plays crucial role in the formation of hormones, the health and advance of the concerned system, and basic cell work (6).

Although many world consume iron together a diet supplement, girlfriend can likewise find it normally in many foods, consisting of beans, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, and specifically meat and also seafood, including oysters, sardines, poultry, and also beef (6).

Some foods, together as strengthened breakfast cereals, room not naturally high in iron, yet manufacturers add iron to make them a an excellent source of this mineral (6).

Many that the greatest sources of steel are animal products. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, and also people who perform not consume countless iron-rich foods as a component of their common diet may benefit from acquisition ferrous sulfate iron supplements to aid maintain their iron shop (7).

May stop symptoms of steel deficiency

Taking ferrous sulfate supplements is a simple method to treat, prevent, or turning back low blood stole levels.

Preventing iron deficiency not only ensures the your human body has sufficient of the essential nutrient to proceed functioning appropriately but additionally can assist you avoid numerous of the uncomfortable side effects of short iron levels.

Some the the most notable side results of low iron levels include (6, 8, 9, 10):

fatigueheadachesfeeling weaklow power levelsdifficulty concentratingdifficulty reasoning clearlyhair lossbrittle nailsupset stomachpoor immunityheart palpitationsshortness that breaththe i can not qualify to control body temperaturepica, an urge to eat nonfood items, such as paint or soap

This is a general overview — not a considerable list — of all the symptom of short iron levels.

Symptoms might worsen together an steel deficiency progresses native mild come severe.

Used come treat steel deficiency anemia

Anemia is a problem that occurs once your blood has actually low quantities of red blood cell or hemoglobin (11).

Because iron is a an important part that the red blood cell responsible for carrying oxygen transparent the body, having actually iron deficiency is one of the many common causes of anemia (9, 12, 13).

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a severe form of steel deficiency that has significant effects ~ above the human body and also may cause some that the much more serious symptoms connected with steel deficiency.

One the the many common and also effective therapies for IDA is taking an dental iron supplement, such together ferrous sulfate (14, 15).

Might improve surgical outcomes

Multiple research studies have actually cited having actually iron deficiency together a risk variable for raised rates of complications and also mortality following surgery.

One examine looked in ~ the outcomes for 730 civilization who underwent heart surgery, consisting of those through ferritin levels below 100 mcg per liter — a sign of stole deficiency (16).

The stole deficient participants were much more likely come experience significant adverse events during surgery, including death. They also required a longer stay in the hospital, on average, after surgical procedure (16).

Iron deficiency shows up to have comparable effects in other types of surgery. One study analyzed much more than 227,000 surgical procedures and also determined that even mild IDA prior to surgery boosted the risk of health complications and mortality adhering to the procedure (17).

Because ferrous sulfate supplements deserve to treat and prevent stole deficiency, taking them former to having surgery could improve the outcome and reduce the risk of complications (18).

However, it might take time to rise iron level via supplementation.

Though dental iron supplements like ferrous sulfate room an effective means to rise iron shop in the body, a human may need to take additionally every day because that 2–5 month to lug their iron shop up to regular levels (18, 19).

Thus, world with stole deficiency who perform not have actually multiple months to try and boost iron stores prior to surgery might not advantage from ferrous sulfate supplements and also require another type of stole therapy rather (20, 21).

Furthermore, research studies on iron treatment for world who have actually anemia before surgery are minimal in size and also scope. Researchers still have to conduct more high quality studies to inspection the ideal ways for civilization to increase their stole levels prior to surgery (21).


People generally use ferrous sulfate additionally to avoid iron deficiencies, treat steel deficiency anemia, and also maintain regular iron levels. The supplements may prevent the adverse side effects of iron deficiency.

At certain stages that life, some groups of human being have an raised need for iron. Together such, they’re at a higher risk of low iron levels and iron deficiency. Others have lifestyles and diets that may cause low iron levels.

People at the biggest risk of having actually low iron levels incorporate (6, 15):

infants childrenfemale adolescentspregnant peoplepremenopausal peoplepeople with some chronic diseasespeople who donate blood oftenvegetarians and vegans

These teams may benefit most indigenous ferrous sulfate supplements.


People in details stages of life have actually increased steel needs and also are more susceptible to iron deficiency. Children, female adolescents, pregnant people, and also those through a chronic an illness are several of the teams that may advantage most native ferrous sulfate.

Ferrous sulfate supplements commonly come in the type of oral tablets. You can also take them together a fluid drop.

The tablet computers are often red, green, or white.

The supplements might be provided under a range of names, including:

ferrous sulfateiron (Fe)Slow FeIronormFeratabFerosulFeosolFeospanFerrogradFer-In-Sol

If you desire to take ferrous sulfate, it’s vital to look carefully at the label for the native “ferrous sulfate” quite than choosing any kind of iron supplement.

This is since iron supplements deserve to contain different varieties of iron.

Most additionally will clearly state the kind of stole on the front label.

Many everyday multivitamins also contain iron. However, yes sir no guarantee that the iron castle contain is ferrous sulfate uneven it says so top top the label.

Suggested dosage

In some cases, discovering the quantity of ferrous sulfate come take deserve to be tricky. Always talk to your medical care provider to identify the ideal dosage because that you.

There’s no main recommendation about the lot of ferrous sulfate you have to take each day. The amount will certainly vary depending on factors prefer your age, sex, health and wellness status, and the factor why you’re acquisition the supplements.

Many of the multivitamins comprise iron provide around 18 mg or 100% the the day-to-day Value (DV) because that iron. However, one ferrous sulfate tablet typically offers closer to 65 mg of iron, or 360% the the DV (6).

The general recommendation for dealing with iron deficiency or anemia is to take it one to 3 65-mg tablets daily.

That said, the full amount you should take every day might vary.

Some preliminary research says that taking iron supplements every various other day — rather than everyday — may be just as effective, if not much more effective, 보다 taking the supplements day-to-day (22, 23).

Your medical care provider will certainly be able to provide a an ext specific and also personalized recommendation concerning how lot ferrous sulfate come take and how often, depending on your blood iron levels and an individual circumstances.

When to take it

Certain foods and nutrients, such as calcium, zinc, or magnesium, could interfere through iron absorption and vice versa. Therefore, some people try to take ferrous sulfate supplements on an empty stomach because that the best absorption (14, 24, 25).

However, acquisition ferrous sulfate supplements — or any other iron complement — ~ above an north stomach may reason stomach pain and also distress.

As such, medical care providers generally recommended taking ferrous sulfate supplements through a meal.

Try acquisition ferrous sulfate supplements v meals that room low in calcium and do not incorporate beverages that are high in phytates, such together coffee and also tea (14, 26).

On the various other hand, vitamin C may boost the quantity of iron took in from ferrous sulfate supplements. Taking ferrous sulfate in addition to vitamin-C-rich juice or food might assist your human body absorb an ext iron (14, 27, 28).


There are many different forms of ferrous sulfate additional on the market. Many are oral tablets, though fluid drops are additionally available. Always check with your medical care provider prior to deciding just how much ferrous sulfate to take.

Side effects from ferrous sulfate supplements are reasonably common (10).

The next effects world report most regularly are various species of gastrointestinal distress, consisting of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, ab pain, constipation, and also dark or discolored stools (14, 29).

Some civilization have additionally reported enduring heartburn after acquisition the supplements (29).

Furthermore, ferrous sulfate additional may communicate with particular medications.

Before starting ferrous sulfate supplements, be certain to allow your healthcare provider recognize if you’re taking any type of of the adhering to medications (6, 14):

antacids, to treat indigestionproton pump inhibitors, to treat ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux condition (GERD)laxatives, come treat constipationlevodopa, come treat Parkinson’s diseaselevothyroxine, to treat goiters, thyroid disease, and also cancerSummary

People taking ferrous sulfate frequently report side effects like nausea, heartburn, and ab pain. Furthermore, iron supplements may connect with particular medications, consisting of antacids and also proton pump inhibitors.

Ferrous sulfate is safe if you take it together a qualified medical care provider has actually prescribed. However, this link — and also any various other iron complement — have the right to be toxicity in huge amounts, especially in youngsters (6, 30).

Some symptoms that may an outcome from acquisition too lot ferrous sulfate room coma, convulsions, organ failure, and also even death (6).

Therefore, that extremely vital to never ever take an ext ferrous sulfate than the quantity your medical care provider recommends.


Ferrous sulfate supplements might be toxic and even deadly in huge amounts. Never take more than the dosage encourage by your medical care provider, and always keep the supplements out of reach of children.

Ferrous sulfate is an stole salt that the human body absorbs well. Civilization commonly usage it together an iron complement to preserve normal blood iron levels or treat stole deficiency, consisting of anemia.

Certain groups of people, including women, constant blood donors, and people with a chronic disease, are at a greater risk of stole deficiency. They may benefit most native ferrous sulfate supplements.

The lot of ferrous sulfate you should take can vary considerably by individual.

Furthermore, the supplements room toxic in large amounts, and also they may have actually side effects and interact with various other medications.

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For all these reasons, always check through your healthcare provider prior to taking ferrous sulfate or any type of iron supplement.