Drug information of carbonyl iron

carbonyl iron

Drug group:

Carbonyl iron is an iron replacement product.

Mechanism of effect

Replacement of iron stores found in hemoglobin, myoglobin, and enzymes; works to transport oxygen via hemoglobin


Not available


Onset: 3-10 days (reticulocytosis); 2-4 weeks (hemoglobin values increase)

Absorption: 5-13% (20-30% during deficiency)

Excretion: Sweat, urine, menses, sloughing of intestinal mucosa

Drug indications

Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA)



Dietary Iron Supplement

Doses expressed as elemental iron unless otherwise noted

19-50 years old:

Male: 8 mg PO qDay

Female: 18 mg PO qDay

Pregnant female: 27 mg PO qDay

Lactating female 9 mg PO qDay

>50 years old: 8 mg PO qDay

Iron Deficiency Anemia

300 mg PO q12hr; may increase to 300 mg q6hr or 250 mg ER PO q12hr

Note: Dose expressed as ferrous sulfate

Prophylaxis of Iron Deficiency

300 mg PO qDay

Note: Dose expressed as ferrous sulfate


Dietary Iron Supplement

Doses expressed elemental iron unless otherwise noted

0-6 months old: 0.27 mg PO qDay (adequate intake)

7-12 months old: 11 mg PO qDay

1-3 years old: 7 mg PO qDay

3-8 years old: 10 mg PO qDay

8-12 years old: 8 mg PO qDay

>12 years old: Same as adult

Severe Iron Deficiency Anemia

4-6 mg/kg PO divided q8hr 

Mild to Moderate Iron Deficiency Anemia

3 mg/kg PO qDay or divided q12hr 


1-2 mg/kg PO; 15 mg PO maximum

Drug contraindications

peptic ulcer , ulcerative colitis , Hypersensitivity

regional enteritis

Side effects

Diarrhea , nausea , vomiting


Do not take within 2 hr of oral tetracycline antibiotics

Not for use in patients receiving frequent blood transfusions

Avoid in premature infants until their deficient vitamin E stores at birth are replenished

Avoid administering iron for >6 months except in patients with continuous bleeding or menorrhagia

May cause increased red cell hemolysis & hemolytic anemia in infants with low serum vitamin E concentrations

Black Box Warnings

Severe iron toxicity may occur in overdose, especially when ingested by children.  

Nonintentional iron overdose is the leading cause of fatal poisoning in children younger than 6 years. Keep out of reach of children

Points of recommendation

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Carbonyl iron may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup.

If you need a blood transfusion, tell your caregivers that you are using carbonyl iron.

Do not take carbonyl iron for longer than 6 months without your doctor's advice.

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep this medicine out of the reach of children. An accidental overdose of iron can be fatal to a child.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time to take next dose, skip the dose you missed and take the next regularly scheduled dose as directed. Do not take a double dose.

Avoid taking carbonyl iron within 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take other medicines. Carbonyl iron can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines.

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