Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Attitudes to prescribing iron supplements in general practice.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 10 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:94
  1. D G Waller,
  2. A G Smith


    In response to a postal questionnaire general practitioners in the Southampton and New Forest area indicated a considerable understanding of the principles of iron prescribing and use of laboratory tests to determine iron deficiency. Many respondents, however, chose slow release and compound iron preparations as first treatments for iron deficiency. The role of parenteral iron appeared to be poorly understood. The use of and response to laboratory investigations for iron deficiency were generally appropriate, but many practitioners probably do not check for a response to oral iron sufficiently early during treatment or stop prescribing supplements before iron stores have been replenished. There is scope for further education in the biology and management of iron deficiency in general practice.