13 March

Iron and folic acid tablets during pregnancy

Anjali was pregnant for the first time The news of her pregnancy had just sunk into her. She had started taking iron-folic acid tablets for the past two days as instructed by the ANM after her checkup. She was terrified to see the color of her stools. It was black. She got very scared and rushed to her Doctor. She narrated her concern to her Doctor. Her Doctor laughed and said, “Anjali - Don’t be scared, the color of your stools is because of the iron tablets that you are taking” Iron is very important for you and for the developing baby.

So continue taking iron tablets. Not taking a diet rich in iron and folic acid can cause anemia. 

Here are a few points to keep in mind while taking iron and folic acid tablets -

  • Iron tablets should be taken before food on an empty stomach, however, if you cannot tolerate it that way, you can take it in between meals or after meals. They get absorbed better if taken on empty stomach.
  • Iron absorbs better into your body when taken with vitamin C. So try to add more vitamin C containing food in your diet like Amla, Lemons etc
  • The absorption of iron is delayed in the presence of tannins which is present in Tea. So avoid Tea and coffee one hour before and after taking iron tablets.
  • Avoid taking calcium tablets or calcium-containing foods like milk,  along with iron tablets. You can take them a couple of hours later
  • Avoid taking antacids and H2 blockers along with iron tablets.


Dosage - Usually 100 mg of elemental iron and 500 micrograms of folic acid per day. Please keep the above instructions in mind while taking iron tablets. If for any reason you are not able to tolerate iron tablets and you are anemic, please see your doctor. She may be able to change the medication or give you injectable iron.

Last modified on Friday, 03 August 2018 10:44
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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