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  • Iron poisoning


    Iron poisoning is an iron overload caused by a large excess of iron intake and usually refers to an acute overload rather than a gradual one. The term has been primarily associated with young children who consumed large quantities of iron supplement pills, which resemble sweets and are widely used, including by pregnant women; approximately 3 grams is lethal for a two-year-old. Targeted packaging restrictions in the US for supplement containers with over 250 mg elemental iron have existed since 1978, and recommendations for unit packaging have reduced the several iron poisoning fatalities per year to almost zero since 1998. No known cases of iron poisoning have been identified that are associated with iron mining.

  • Iron supplement


    Iron supplements, also known as iron salts and iron pills, are a number of iron formulations used to treat and prevent iron deficiency including iron deficiency anemia. For prevention they are only recommended in those with poor absorption, heavy menstrual periods, pregnancy, hemodialysis, or a diet low in iron. Prevention may also be used in low birth weight babies. They are taken by mouth, injection into a vein, or injection into a muscle. While benefits may be seen in days up to two months may be required until iron levels return to normal. Common side effects include constipation, abdominal pain, dark stools, and diarrhea. Other side effects, which may occur with excessive use, include iron overload and iron toxicity. Ferrous salts used as supplements by mouth include ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous succinate, and ferrous sulfate. Injectable forms include iron dextran and iron sucrose. They work by providing the iron needed for making red blood cells. Iron pills have been used medically since at least 1681, with an easy-to-use formulation being created in 1832. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Ferrous salts are available as a generic medication and over the counter. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about US$0.05–0.63 per month. In the United States a typical month of treatment costs less than $25. Slow release formulations, while available, are not recommended.

  • Iron(II) sulfate


    Iron(II) sulfate (British English: iron(II) sulphate) or ferrous sulfate denotes a range of salts with the formula FeSO4·xH2O. These compounds exist most commonly as the heptahydrate (x  = 7) but are known for several values of x. The hydrated form is used medically to treat iron deficiency, and also for industrial applications. Known since ancient times as copperas and as green vitriol (vitriol is an archaic name for sulfate), the blue-green heptahydrate (hydrate with 7 molecules of water) is the most common form of this material. All the iron(II) sulfates dissolve in water to give the same aquo complex Fe(H2O)62+, which has octahedral molecular geometry and is paramagnetic. The name copperas dates from times when the copper(II) sulfate was known as blue copperas, and perhaps in analogy, iron(II) and zinc sulfate were known respectively as green and white copperas. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

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