What is the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia?

Oral iron should be given for 4 weeks and the Hb should then be checked. If the Hb has improved, the oral iron should be continued for another 2 months to replace the iron stores. Therefore, full treatment is oral iron for 3 months. If the Hb has not increased by 4 weeks the child must be referred for further investigations.

Iron deficiency anaemia is treated with ferrous gluconate (or sulphate) syrup 0.25 ml/kg 3 times a day. Always deworm the child with mebendazole or albendazole.

All anaemic children with signs of heart failure must be urgently referred to hospital as they may need a blood transfusion.

The commonest mistake in treating iron deficient anaemia is stopping the oral iron too soon.

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