What Factors Affect a Sufficient Ferrous Sulfate Dose?

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  • Written By: S. Berger
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 02 February 2020
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Ferrous sulfate, sometimes known as iron sulfate, is used in the medical community to treat anemia, and may also be used as a dietary supplement. The condition that an individual is treating usually determines the ferrous sulfate dose used. Other factors that can influence an individual's dose include their age, their weight, and whether or not they have renal, or kidney, damage.

For adults taking this compound to treat anemia, the starting ferrous sulfate dose is often 300 milligrams (mg) to 325 mg once a day, every day. After a week or two, this may shift to a maintenance dose of 325 mg, three times a day, or 300 mg, four times a day. There are also extended release ferrous sulfate supplements available, which can be taken at doses of 160 mg once or twice a day during the maintenance period. Individuals with kidney damage can use the same ferrous sulfate dose, but if iron levels in the bloodstream drop below 100 micrograms (mcg) per liter (L), or 100 mcg per 1.05 quarts (qt), they may need specialized therapy to replace iron stores.


Adult women taking this compound as a supplement during pregnancy or lactation can use a ferrous sulfate dose of 325 mg each day. The same dose can be used by adults seeking to supplement their normal iron intake. These groups are usually advised to strive to meet the United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recommended daily allowance of the elemental form of this metal. For pregnant women, the FDA recommended ferrous sulfate dose is 30 mg per day, 15 mg per day for lactating women or premenopause adult women, and 10 mg every day for adult men, as well as women in menopause.

Children also require proper levels of iron, with infants receiving 2 to 4 mg per kilogram (kg) body weight, or 2 to 4 mg per 2.2 pounds (lb) body weight of elemental iron. Young children may take these doses one or two times a day, but should not go above 15 mg of iron a day. Youth under 12 years old may take 1 to 2 mg per kg body weight, or 1 to 2 mg per 2.2 lb body weight, which may be split into two separate doses. Severe cases of anemia in children can require the administration of 4 to 6 mg per kg, or per 2.2 lb body weight, split into three doses during the day.


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