Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Ferrous fumarate (C4H2FeO4), and iron supplement, is also known as iron (II) fumarate. Ferrous fumarate is the iron(II) salt of the parent compound fumaric acid. Ferrous fumarate is used replace iron in the body to treat and prevent iron deficiency anemia (a lack of red blood cells caused by having too little iron in the body). In raw form it exists a red to brown powder, and commercially it is available in oral tablet and liquid formulations. The fumarate salt provides less iron per tablet but may help reduce stomach side effects. One tablet of 300 mg iron fumarate will contain roughly 100 mg of elemental iron. Iron supplements and multivitamins containing iron are the second most common cause of poisoning in young children in the U.S. (aspirin is the first). The lethal dose of ferrous sulfate for a 2-year-old is only 3 grams.