Iron supplement side effects

Updated April 17, 2017

When taking an iron supplement, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects. Iron should only be taken when recommended by a qualified caregiver. Overdose is possible and potentially life threatening, so use iron supplements with caution and care. Get familiar with several possible side effects before taking an iron supplement.


Consult your physician as soon as possible if you are experiencing pain in the back, groin, stomach or muscles.

Unusual Feelings in Limbs

If your hands or feet feel numb or you experience any tingling in the hands or feet, contact your doctor when possible.


Swelling of the mouth or throat is possible a side effect of iron supplements. Contact your caregiver as soon as possible if you experience swelling.


Rash and hives are a somewhat common side effect of taking iron supplements.

Cold Chills

Some people experience cold chills or "the chills" when taking iron supplements. If you experience this, contact your doctor for advice.

Less Common Symptoms

Some less common and potentially more dangerous side effects of taking iron supplements include bloody stool, chest pain, double vision and weakness. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience these side effects.

Symptoms of Iron Overdose

It is possible to overdose using iron supplements. Seizures, shallow breathing, weak heartbeat, fast heartbeat or pale, clammy skin are all symptoms of iron overdose. If you are having these symptoms, get medical attention immediately.

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About the Author

V. L. Hamlin is a freelance writer residing in upstate New York. She graduated from the State University of New York at Delhi in 2000 with a liberal arts degree and concentrated studies in literature and psychology. She has been writing online since 2006 and is currently a freelance writer for Associated Content and Demand Media.