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All about: Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir

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Generic Name: Polysaccharide-Iron Complex Elixir (PAHL-ee-SAA-kah-ride-EYE-run)
Brand Name: Niferex

Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children younger than 6 years of age. Keep this and all medicines out of reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion, call the poison control center or a doctor immediately.


Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir is used for:

Treating and preventing low levels of iron in the blood caused by certain types of anemia. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir is an essential body mineral. It works by replacing iron in your body if your body does not produce enough on its own.

Do NOT use Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir
  • you have high levels of iron in your blood

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir:

Some medical conditions may interact with Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have inflammation of the intestines, Crohn disease, digestive problems, ulcers, anemia, or a blood disease (eg, porphyria, thalassemia)
  • if you have had multiple blood transfusions
  • if you have a history of alcohol abuse

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Doxycycline, mycophenolate, penicillamine, or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine) because the effectiveness of these medicines may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir:

Use Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • Do not take Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir within 1 hour before or 2 hours after antacids, eggs, whole grain breads, cereal, milk, milk products, coffee, or tea.
  • Take Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir.
  • If you are also taking a bisphosphonate (eg, alendronate), a cephalosporin (eg, cephalexin), methyldopa, penicillamine, a quinolone (eg, ciprofloxacin), or a tetracycline (eg, minocycline) along with Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir, you may need to space the doses several hours apart. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much time is needed between doses of Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir and your other medicines.
  • If you miss a dose of Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir.

Important safety information:

  • Do not take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or megavitamin therapy) while taking Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir unless directed to by your doctor.
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose or take Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir for longer than 6 months without checking with your doctor.
  • Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir may cause your stools to darken. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir contains iron. Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children younger than 6 years of age. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.
  • Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir may interfere with certain lab tests, such as tests used to check for blood in the stool. Make sure your doctor and laboratory personnel know you are using Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir.
  • LAB TESTS, including blood tests and iron levels, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir with extreme caution in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir during pregnancy. Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; darkened or green stools; diarrhea; nausea; stomach upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; blood or streaks of blood in the stool; fever; vomiting, especially with continuing sharp stomach pain.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing; loss of consciousness; seizures; severe nausea or diarrhea; stomach pain; tarry stools; unusual tiredness or drowsiness; unusually pale skin; vomiting; vomiting blood; weak, fast heartbeat.

Proper storage of Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir:

Store Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Polysaccharide-Iron Elixir. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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