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Iron Toxicity Caused by Iron Overdose


Iron toxicity occurs when the body has excessive amounts of iron. The most common cause of iron toxicity is accidental overdose of iron pills by children. Iron pills often attract children because they look like candy. It is important to keep iron pills and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Stomach problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, usually occur within 6 hours of the overdose. Depending upon the amount of iron ingested, symptoms may improve and recovery may follow.

If symptoms do not improve on their own or are left untreated, death can occur 12 to 48 hours after the overdose.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
Last Revised April 8, 2011

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