Fatal overdose of iron tablets in adults

Indian J Crit Care Med. 2013 Sep;17(5):311-3. doi: 10.4103/0972-5229.120326.


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.

Keywords: Adults; fatal; iron tablets; overdose.

Publication types

  • Case Reports