Ferrous Fumarate vs Ferrous Sulfate – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Ferrous Fumarate

It is the generic name of a type of iron. It can be found under the following brand names – Ferretts Iron, Ferro-Sequels, Ferrocite, Hemocyte, Nephro-Fer, Feostat, Fumasorb, or Ferrimin 150.


This product is used to treat iron deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia, a condition which occurs when the blood cells do not work correctly or your body does not make sufficient healthy red blood cells.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia may include: include:

  • dry nails;
  • lack of energy;
  • paler complexion;
  • lethargy;
  • shortness of breath;
  • tiredness.

Note –  iron deficiency in young children substantially increases the risk of behavioral disturbances and developmental delays.


The usual initial recommended dose is 360 mg per day ferrous fumarate for 3 months

Notes – avoid taking antacids or antibiotics within 2 hours before or after taking this product. Take the supplement on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Do not give this medicine to a child without the advice of your healthcare provider.

It is commonly available in blisters packs of 28, 56, 84 and 112 tablets or supplied in containers with childproof lids containing 100 or 1000 tablets.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dark-colored stools or urine
  • diarrhea;
  • loss of appetite;
  • heartburn;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • constipation.

Rare side effects may include:

  • pain in your chest or throat;
  • bright red blood in your stools.


Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • thalassemia (a genetic disorder of red blood cells).
  • ulcerative colitis;
  • iron overload syndrome;
  • any form of anemia, other than iron deficiency anaemia.


Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Mycophenolate, a medication that is used during change of organs;
  • Dimercaprol, a drug which is used for various metal poisonings;
  • Trientine, a medicine that is used for high copper levels in the blood;
  • medicines containing calcium, zinc, or magnesium salts;
  • medicines for bone diseases (bisphosphonates);
  • levothyroxine, a drug which is used for thyroid gland problems;
  • Cholestyramine, a medication that is used to reduce cholesterol and fats in the blood;
  • medicines used for a disease known as Parkinson’s disease;
  • Penicillamine, a medication that is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Methyldopa, a medicine that is used for hypertension.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known whether this iron supplement passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are breast-feeding a baby.

It is not known whether this iron supplement will harm a developing fetus. Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant since your dose needs may be different during pregnancy.

Ferrous Sulfate

It is a type of iron supplement which is used to treat or prevent low blood levels of iron. It can be found under the following brand names – FeroSul, Feratab, Ferro-Bob, Ferra-TD, Feosol, Fer-in-Sol, Fer-Gen-Sol, or Slow Fe.


Do not take this supplement if you:

  • are allergic to any of the other ingredients of this supplement;
  • have a disorder in which there are excessive absorption and storage of iron;
  • are receiving repeated blood transfusions;
  • are receiving iron intravenously.


This iron supplement is used to treat or prevent iron-deficiency anemia, a condition which occurs when the human body has too few red blood cells.

Due to the risk of tooth discoloration and mouth ulceration, these iron tablets should not be chewed, sucked, or kept in the mouth. The tablets should be swallowed whole with water.


Note – if it’s being used to treat anemia, you might notice an improvement after 3–4 weeks of treatment. Also, eggs, tea, coffee, dairy products, antacids, and spinach, can decrease iron absorption. You should take this iron supplement 2 hours after eating these foods.

The usual recommended dosage is 100-200 mg orally divided every 12 hours.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It should only be used during pregnancy if it is clearly needed. You should talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medicine during pregnancy.

This supplement passes into breast milk. You should talk to your doctor before taking it while breastfeeding a baby.

Side Effects and Precautions

Side effects may include:

  • superficial tooth discoloration;
  • dark stools;
  • urine discoloration;
  • constipation;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • stomach pain;
  • diarrhea.

Drug Interactions

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you use, particularly:

  • methyldopa (Aldomet);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • dimercaprol;
  • acetohydroxamic acid (Lithostat);
  • penicillamine (Cuprimine);
  • etidronate (Didronel);
  • levodopa (Dopar, Sinemet);
  • chloramphenicol.


There may be a negative interaction between this supplement and alcohol.

Bottom Line – Ferrous Fumarate vs Ferrous Sulfate

Ferrous fumarate is a form of iron which can be taken by mouth. This supplement helps the body to make more hemoglobin and so treat the iron deficiency anemia.

Ferrous sulfate is an iron supplement which is used to treat iron deficiency anemia.

According to the data, the most commonly prescribed iron supplement by physicians for pregnant women is ferrous sulfate, which is cheap and reasonably well-absorbed.

As per a 2011 study, ferrous fumarate is as well absorbed as ferrous sulfate in non-anemic, iron-sufficient infants and young children, and can be recommended as a useful fortification compound for complementary foods designed to prevent iron deficiency.




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