Letter to the Editor

I wonder if the authors of the article on iron deficiency could clarify when oral iron supplements should be taken.1 The article advises taking them without food, but the iron supplement packs (and AusDi) advise taking them with food.

Vera Pennisi


Authors' response

Jonathan Baird-Gunning and Jonathan Bromley, the authors of the article, comment:

Iron supplements can be taken with or without food, however their absorption can be reduced when taken with food as outlined in our article. Gastrointestinal adverse effects from oral iron are common and are often the reason for poor compliance. Taking the iron with or soon after food may reduce these effects and in turn potentially improve compliance.

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Vera Pennisi

Dentist, Brisbane

Jonathan Baird-Gunning

Registrar, Acute and General Medicine, Canberra Hospital

Jonathan Bromley

Consultant physician, Gastroenterologist and General Medicine, Canberra Hospital

Clinical lecturer, Australian National University, Canberra