Sodium feredetate for the prevention of anaemia

This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information may differ from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information usually relates to adults. Read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.

Name of medicine

Sodium feredetate

Brand name: Sytron®, SodiFer®

This leaflet is about the use of sodium feredetate for the prevention of anaemia (this is called anaemia prophylaxis). A separate leaflet about the use of sodium feredetate for the treatment of anaemia is available on the Medicines for Children website.

Why is it important for my child to take sodium feredetate?

If the body has too little iron (iron deficiency), it cannot make enough haemoglobin, which it needs to carry oxygen in the blood around the body. Having too little haemoglobin is called anaemia.

Babies are usually born with good stores of iron in their bodies but these can get used up if the iron is not replaced by iron in the diet. Babies that are born prematurely (early) and are only breastfed may not get enough iron in their diet and are at risk of getting anaemia, which could affect their growth and development.

Sodium feredetate contains lots of iron. It can help the baby’s body to make more haemoglobin and replace lost stores of iron. It is used to prevent anaemia from developing – this is sometimes called anaemia prophylaxis.

What is sodium feredetate available as?

Liquid medicine: 190 mg (which is 27.5 mg iron) in 5 mL; this medicine contains a small amount of alcohol

When should I give sodium feredetate

Sodium feredetate is usually given once each day. This can be in the morning OR the evening.

Give the medicine at about the same time each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of sodium feredetate (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.

How should I give sodium feredetate?

Liquid medicine

Measure out the right amount using a medicine spoon or oral syringe. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.

Do not give the medicine with a milk feed or with food containing milk or dairy products (e.g. cheese or yogurt).

When should the medicine start working?

The medicine starts to work straight away but it takes some time to replace lost stores of iron. You will not see any difference in your child.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

  • If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of sodium feredetate, give them the same dose again.
  • If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of sodium feredetate, do not give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.

If your child is sick again, seek advice from your family doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.

What if I forget to give it?

If you usually give it in the morning

Give the missed dose when you remember, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the next dose is due.

If you usually give it in the evening

Give the missed dose if you remember before bedtime. You do not need to wake your child up to give a missed dose. You can give the missed dose in the morning, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the evening dose is due.

Never give a double dose of sodium feredetate.

What if I give too much?

Children who have had too much sodium feredetate might not show any symptoms, or only have mild symptoms. If you think you may have given your child too much, contact your doctor or local NHS services (details at end of leaflet) or take your child to hospital.

If your child has one or more of the following symptoms, they may have had too much sodium feredetate:

  • stomach pains
  • being repeatedly sick (vomiting)
  • diarrhoea
  • the vomit or stools (poo) may be blood stained, or be green or grey. 

If your child appears very unwell or drowsy call for an ambulance straight away. Take the medicine container or packaging with you, even if it is empty. This will be useful to the doctor. Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.

It can be dangerous to give too much sodium feredetate. Never give your child more than the doctor has advised.

Are there any possible side effects?

We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).

When your child first starts having sodium feredetate they may have stomach pain, feel sick or be sick (vomit) or they may get diarrhoea, wind (flatulence) or constipation (difficulty doing a poo). It may help to give each dose after some food even though iron preparations, like sodium feredetate, are best absorbed on an empty stomach. If these problems last longer than a week, contact your doctor.

Your child’s stool (poo) may look darker than usual. This is nothing to worry about.

There may sometimes be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side effects to a UK safety scheme at

Can other medicines be given at the same time as sodium feredetate?

  • You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.

The sodium feredetate should not be given with any other medicines or vitamin preparations that contain iron.

Try not to give the sodium feredetate at the same time as a milk feed or dairy products (e.g. cheese or yogurt), as less of the medicine will be absorbed into the body.

sodium feredetate should not be taken with some medicines that you get on prescription. It is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before starting sodium feredetate.

  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

Once opened, this medicine should not be kept for longer than 3 months.

A separate leaflet about the use of sodium feredetate for the treatment of anaemia is available on the Medicines for Children website.

General advice about medicines

  • Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
  • If you are not sure a medicine is working, contact your doctor but continue to give the medicine as usual in the meantime. Do not give extra doses, as you may do harm.
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
  • Make sure that the medicines you have at home have not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.

Where should I keep this medicine?

  • Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
  • Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
  • Keep the medicine in the container it came in.

Who to contact for more information?

Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about sodium feredetate and other medicines used to prevent or treat anaemia.

England: NHS 111

Tel 111

Scotland: NHS 24

Northern Ireland: NI Direct

Wales: NHS Direct

Tel 111 (free) or 0845 46 47 (2p per minute)

Copyright disclaimer

Version [2]. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by April 2018.

The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website,

We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.