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Publication Type: Newsletter
Single or Multiple Incident: Single
Date: 2/5/2020 12:00:00 AM
Country: Canada

This newsletter discusses the potential medication safety incidents that can occur when consumers take the wrong dose of medication due to confusing labels. A report was received of a consumer who almost took 10 times the amount of iron that was prescribed. She was recommended to take 300 milligrams (mg) daily by her doctor. The label on the iron product showed the iron content as “35 mg”, so the consumer calculated that she needed 9 or 10 tablets every day. Fortunately, the consumer was uncomfortable taking so many iron pills. She contacted the pharmacy to ask for more information. She learned that the 35 mg on the product label referred to elemental iron. The 300 mg recommended dose referred to the iron salt. With this product, 35 mg of elemental iron is equal to 300 mg of iron salt. In other words, the doctor wanted the patient to take just 1 tablet daily. Two examples of iron salts and their corresponding elemental iron content are ferrous fumarate 300 mg which contains 100 mg elemental iron and ferrous gluconate 300 mg which contains 35 mg elemental iron. Suggestions for consumers are provided to reduce the likelihood of similar medication incidents.

Additional Details

iron, ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate

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