Iron Supplements for Anemia – Med List Review

77 year old female has a past medical history including but not limited to: GERD, PMR, Hypertension, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Osteoporosis.  Her current medication list includes:

  • Ferrous Sulfate 325 daily
  • Aspirin 81 mg daily
  • Ranitidine 150 mg twice daily
  • Prednisone 10 mg daily
  • Alendronate 70 mg weekly
  • Ferrous Gluconate 324 mg daily
  • Enalapril 10mg daily
  • Acetaminophen 500 mg as needed

There is an obvious question to ask here.  This patient is using two different iron supplements for anemia.   Our patient is on both Ferrous Gluconate and Ferrous Sulfate.  I would suspect this is an oversight, or the patient did this on their own.  It would be appropriate to get rid of one of the supplements.  With that stated, it will also be important to assess anemia and iron stores in the future to make sure that long term iron supplementation doesn’t get continued indefinitely without follow up.

This patient has a history of PMR and is likely taking the prednisone for that reason.  I would likely suspect the prednisone is long term, but the length of prednisone therapy always needs to be assessed for appropriateness.  Because of the prednisone, this patient is at higher GI risk (on Aspirin as well).  The prednisone increases the risk of osteoporosis and this patient is likely on alendronate for treatment of that.  I’m usually not an advocate for adding medications in the elderly if we can help it, but assessing if calcium and vitamin D supplementation is necessary would be appropriate here.

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Written By Eric Christianson

May 20, 2015

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