What Types of Drugs May Interact with Iron

What Types of Drugs May Interact with Iron?

• Antacid drugs can lower the absorption of iron in the intestines.

• Iron supplementation can hinder the absorption and efficacy of antibiotics, such as tetracycline.

Safety Issues

• Side effects. Long-term supplementation with iron can cause the accumulation of excessive iron in the body. Excessive iron can lead to oxidative damage, exacerbating the symptoms associated with atherosclerosis, heart disease, cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29% of men in the US are in danger of excessive iron in the body. One should avoid taking iron supplements of more than 20 mg daily unless a high dose is required for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia.

• Other essential elements. Taking high-dose supplements of other essential elements—such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, or copper—can negatively affect iron absorption in the intestines. Iron supplements should be taken at least two hours apart from other essential element supplements.

Iron is an essential trace element. On average, the human body contains 3–4 g of iron, of which 70% is stored in hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin in red blood cells helps carry oxygen and delivers it to organs and tissues via blood circulation. Myoglobin in muscles helps accept, store, and transport oxygen to produce the energy needed for muscle contraction. About 25% of iron is stored in ferritin, an iron storage protein, which is present in nearly every cell in the body and releases iron into the bloodstream when needed.