Polysaccharide-Iron Complex

Polysaccharide-Iron Complex oral elixir

What is polysaccharide-iron complex oral elixir?
POLYSACCHARIDE-IRON COMPLEX (Hytinic™, Niferex®, Nu-Iron® and others) is a liquid iron supplement. Iron is a mineral needed by your body to make new red blood cells. Iron also helps red blood cells function. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all of your body tissues. There are many different kinds of iron supplements. However, extra iron should only be taken under the advice of a health care professional. Adults or kids with anemia due to low iron levels or a low red blood cell count may be prescribed iron. Pregnant women in their last 3-6 months of pregnancy may need to take extra iron, but should only take iron if their doctor tells them to.

Do not treat yourself with iron if you are feeling tired or fatigued. Most healthy people get adequate iron in their diets, particularly if they regularly eat fortified cereals, meat, poultry, and fish. Generic polysaccharide iron complex elixirs are available.

What should my health care professional know before I take polysaccharide-iron complex?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • an alcohol problem
  • blood transfusions
  • bowel disease
  • hemolytic anemia
  • iron overload (hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis)
  • liver disease
  • stomach ulcers
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to iron, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?
Take the elixir by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a special dropper or spoon to measure your medicine. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not always accurate. Swallow solution with a glass of water or fruit juice. You may mix the iron elixir in the glass of water or fruit juice and drink the liquid through a straw to decrease contact of the fluid with the teeth. It is best to take iron on an empty stomach. Take at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food. If the iron causes your stomach to be upset, you may take it with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take iron more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Never give iron to a child or infant unless directed by a doctor to do so.

What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with polysaccharide-iron complex?
If you are taking this iron product, you should not take iron in any other medicine or dietary supplement.

Other medications that may interact with iron:

  • alendronate
  • antacids
  • ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • calcium carbonate
  • cefdinir
  • chloramphenicol
  • cholestyramine
  • deferoxamine
  • dimercaprol
  • etidronate
  • levodopa or Sinemet®
  • medicines for stomach ulcers or other stomach problems
  • methyldopa
  • pancreatic enzyme supplements
  • penicillamine
  • quinolone antibiotics (examples: Cipro®, Floxin®, Tequin® and others)
  • risedronate
  • tetracycline antibiotics (examples: doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline, and others)
  • tiludronate
  • thyroid hormones
  • vitamin E
  • zinc supplements

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking polysaccharide-iron complex?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • blue lips, nails, or palms
  • drowsiness
  • pale or clammy skin
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • stomach pain
  • unusual tiredness
  • vomiting
  • weak, fast, or irregular heartbeat

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • indigestion
  • nausea or stomach upset

What should I watch for while taking polysaccharide-iron complex?
You should only use iron supplements under the supervision of your health care professional. If you are told by your health care provider that you need iron supplements, you should visit your health care professional for regular blood checks. Do not use iron longer than prescribed, and do not take a higher dose than recommended. Long-term use may cause excess iron to build-up in the body. Once the cause of a low red blood cell count is treated by your prescriber, it usually takes 3-6 months of iron therapy to reverse the problem. Pregnant women should follow the dose and length of iron treatment as directed by their doctors.

Liquid iron preparations can cause temporary staining of the teeth. Mix in water and drink through a straw to prevent staining of the teeth. Stains can be reduced or removed by brushing the teeth with baking soda.

Do not take iron with dairy products or antacids. If you need to take an antacid, take it 2 hours after a dose of iron.

Alcohol can reduce the amount of iron taken in from your diet; avoid large amounts of alcohol.

Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open. Even small amounts of iron-containing products can be poisonous to a child or pet.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: June 11, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD

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