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November 18, 1974

Iron-Containing Vitamin Preparations

JAMA. 1974;230(7):962. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240070013008

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To the Editor.—  The editorial was written to remind the physician of safety considerations when prescribing iron-containing preparations.Dr. Macgregor may be correct in his assessment of the current mortality risk. However, the key words of the quoted sentence read, "Unless treated promptly, mortality from acute iron poisoning has been reported to be approximately 50% in these young children" (under 5 years of age). This figure was taken from a review of the literature prior to the introduction of deferoxamine, which when used within a few hours after overingestion, has reduced mortality considerably. Nevertheless, there seems to be no justification for subjecting young children to the inherent dangers of iron overdosage.The editorial was based on data published by one poison information center, that of the Ottawa (Ontario) Civic Hospital, where only one case of overingestion of chewable vitamin preparations with iron was reported in children under 5 years of