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Information on the Iron Supplement Geritol

by
author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Information on the Iron Supplement Geritol
Male pharmacist serving senior couple. Photo Credit Mark Bowden/iStock/Getty Images

Geritol is an over-the-counter multivitamin and iron supplement manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Your doctor may recommend treatment with Geritol if you don't get enough iron, minerals or vitamins from your normal daily diet. This supplement is administered orally and is available in tablet and liquid form. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Geritol, consult your primary medical provider before beginning treatment with this supplement.

Side Effects

Treatment with Geritol may cause mild side effects. After taking a dose of this supplement, you may experience stomach discomfort such as nausea, heartburn, stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea. You may also notice that your urine or stools appear unusually dark or black in color. Headache pain may also occur, which can interfere with your ability to remain focused or attentive at work or school. Geritol may also leave a metallic or unpleasant taste in your mouth that can contribute to or exacerbate stomach discomfort. Though eating a small snack before taking a dose of Geritol may help reduce stomach discomfort, do not take this supplement 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating whole-grain or fortified cereal or bread, fish, liver or meat, Drugs.com warns. Additionally, do not take Geritol with food, supplements or medication that contains calcium, as calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb the nutrients provided in this supplement.

Overdose Warning

Taking more than the recommended dose of Geritol may increase your risk of experiencing an overdose. Symptoms associated with an iron or vitamin overdose may include hair loss, diminished appetite, bloody stools or vomit, muscle or joint pain, pale skin, weakness, heart rate changes, breathing problems, seizure, blue lips, sensations of warmth or tingling and severe back pain. If you exhibit any of these symptoms while taking Geritol, contact your physician immediately.

Medication Interactions

Always discuss all medications you are currently taking with your health care provider before beginning treatment with a new drug or supplement -- including Geritol. Health professionals with Drugs.com warn that Geritol may interact with certain medications, including diuretics, blood pressure drugs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Additional medications that may interact with Geritol include trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, penicillamine, dimercaprol, isotretinoin, etidronate, deferoxamine, acetohydroxamic acid and cimetidine.

Contraindications

Talk with your doctor about any pre-existing health problems you may have before you take Geritol. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using supplements that are not specifically recommended by their doctor. Large doses of certain vitamins and minerals may be harmful to a developing fetus or baby.

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