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VOLUME 17 , ISSUE 5 ( October, 2013 ) > List of Articles


Fatal overdose of iron tablets in adults

J. Jonathan Arul, Divya Bala

Keywords : Adults, fatal, iron tablets, overdose

Citation Information : Arul JJ, Bala D. Fatal overdose of iron tablets in adults. Indian J Crit Care Med 2013; 17 (5):311-313.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.120326

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-08-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2013; The Author(s).


Acute iron toxicity is usually seen in children with accidental ingestion of iron-containing syrups. However, the literature on acute iron toxicity with suicidal intent in adults is scant. We report, the first instance of two adults with fatal ingestion of a single drug overdose with iron tablets from India. Two young adults developed severe gastro-intestinal bleeding and fulminant hepatic failure 48 h after deliberate consumption of large doses of iron tablets. Serum iron levels measured 36 h after ingestion were normal presumably due to the redistribution of iron to the intracellular compartment. Despite aggressive supportive management in medical intensive care unit of a tertiary care hospital, the patients succumbed to the toxic doses of iron.

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