A nurse on the postpartum floor is caring for a new mother of twins. Review of daily laboratory results reveals a hemoglobin of 8.6 and hematocrit of 24.8. The doctor has ordered the supplement ferrous sulfate (iron) 325 mg by mouth daily for six weeks. The nurse is giving the patient discharge instructions. The nurse should include which of the following when discussing the iron supplement?


•Patients with reduced hemoglobin and hematocrit who are started on iron supplements should be given instructions to know how to properly take these supplements to increase absorption so that more red blood cells are produced. 

•Ferrous sulfate (iron) supplements should be taken with orange juice or vitamin C to increase absorption.

•Iron supplements may cause constipation and dark brown or black stools.

•Iron supplements should not be taken with milk or calcium as this prevents absorption in the GI tract.

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