What is the difference between Ferrous Sulfate and Ferrous Gluconate? 

What is the difference between Ferrous Sulfate and Ferrous Gluconate? 

The only difference between Ferrous Sulfate and Ferrous Gluconate is the amount of iron available in its elemental form. Ferrous sulfate contains 20% iron, whereas Ferrous Gluconate contains 12%. (1,2)

Both of these formulations are used for iron deficiency. They work in the exact same way and have similar clinical significance. However, you need to check the exact amount of iron present to ensure you’re taking the right dose. If you’re struggling between the two, talk to your healthcare provider. 

How to choose between Ferrous Sulfate and Ferrous Gluconate? 

When choosing between Ferrous Sulfate and Ferrous Gluconate, consider factors like your body’s ability to absorb iron and any potential side effects.

Ferrous Sulfate contains a higher concentration of elemental iron, which means it provides more iron per dose. It is often recommended for individuals with iron deficiency anaemia or those who need a higher iron intake. (1)

Ferrous Gluconate, on the other hand, contains a lower concentration of elemental iron. It is generally considered to be milder on the stomach and may cause fewer gastrointestinal side effects compared to Ferrous Sulfate. (2)

This makes it a suitable option for individuals who experience stomach upset or other digestive issues with Ferrous Sulfate (3). 

Final words

To make the best choice, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your iron levels, health status, and any specific needs you might have. 

Your doctor can recommend the most appropriate iron supplement based on your individual circumstances, ensuring you get the right amount of iron without any unnecessary side effects.

Remember, self-diagnosis and self-treatment may not be accurate, and it’s crucial to seek professional advice before starting any iron supplement. By working with your healthcare provider, you can make an informed decision that suits your health needs best.

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LABEL: FERROUS SULFATE tablet. DailyMed [Internet]. Available from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=5514d582-19b5-4f1e-b794-f790afb8211c&type=pdf


LABEL: FERROUS GLUCONATE tablet. DailyMed [Internet]. Available from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=304fdee6-0290-4717-be3d-b367bec7e411&type=pdf


Tolkien Z, Stecher L, Mander AP, Pereira DI, Powell JJ. Ferrous sulfate supplementation causes significant gastrointestinal side-effects in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 20;10(2):e0117383. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117383. PMID: 25700159; PMCID: PMC4336293. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4336293/