, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 109-114

Supplementary iron dose in pregnancy anemia prophylaxis

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This study was conducted to determine the optimum dose of supplemental iron for prophylaxis against pregnancy anemia. One hundred and ten pregnant women were randomly allocated to three groups: Group A receiving equivalent of 60mg, group B 120 mg and Group C 240 mg, elemental iron as ferrous sulphate daily; the content of folic acid was constant in all the three groups (0·5 mg). These women had at least consumed 90 tablets in 100±10 days. Blood was drawn at the beginning and at the end of the treatment. Fifty percent were anemic (<11g/100 ml). The hemoglobin levels rose similarly in all groups and the differences were statistically not significant. Fifty-six percent had depleted iron stores (serum ferritin value <12 μg/1) at the beginning of the study. Following therapy a statistically significant increase in iron stores was observed in group B and C as compared to group A. The difference between group B and C was not significant. The side effects increased with increasing doses of iron; 32·4%, 40·3% and 72% in group A, B and C respectively. Based on these findings, the authors advocate that optimum dose of iron should be 120 mg instead of 60 mg as is currently being used in the National Nutritional Anemia Prophylaxis Programme. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A08BC044 00008