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Is there life threat if excess IRON tablets have taken?

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my friend has taken excess iron tablets in anguish about his life.
he has taken about 30 tablets.i found out that the chemical in the tablets is ferrous fumarate and each tablet contains about 50 mg of elemental iron.
will there be any effect on him?will there be any long term effects?is there a life threat?
He is denying any sort of treatment from past 15 hours.
Please help.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 26 Doctors Online

Hello. Thanks for your query at
Iron overdose will start causing toxicity when iron reaches a level of 10-15 mg/ kg body weight. Since he ingested around 30 tablets, there is a cause to worry. I will advise you to convince him immediately and take him to the ER, where they can give him Deferoxamine, which is iron antidote. He can be asymptomatic too, depends entirely on how much iron his body is metabolising. He can have symptoms such as Nausea, severe vomiting, even diarrhea, gastritis, ulceration, metabolic acidosis, e.t.c
Please get him examined as soon as possible,
Hoping for the best.
Feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

Thank u for the there a life threat?

Hello. Thank you for writing to us again.
Metablic acidosis if i mentioned before can be very serious. The good thing however is, he has not shown any of the symptoms i mentioned above. ( I am assuming that since your query was posted around 9 hours ago ). If he's still feeling fine, then we can be relieved. However, it is better to get him examined, since they can detect the level of iron in his syrum and give treatment accordingly.
I am glad that you are there, and you will help him recover from this.
Feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

He took another dose of iron 1hour back approx abt 70 tablets.just came to know from him that he's been taking excess iron intake from last one week. He is denying any kind of treatment.does this dosage have any long term effects. Does excess iron intake really kill an adult? Will all his body organs function normally.

Hello. Thanks for writing to us again.
If he has really taken 70 tablets, then i recommend you go to the doctor immediately. It is a serious issue, because iron can cause problems like perforation, ulceration, acidosis, damage to liver and brain, can even lead to death from acute liver failure or shock.
I do not know under what circumstances he took the medicine, but please take him to the doctor immediately. Make sure he doesn't consume any more. It can be fatal.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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