Once the reason you have anaemia has been found (for example, an ulcer or heavy periods) the GP will recommend treatment.
If the blood test shows your red blood cell count is low, you'll be prescribed iron tablets to replace the iron that's missing from your body.
The prescribed tablets are stronger than the supplements you can buy in pharmacies and supermarkets.
You’ll need to take them for about 6 months. Drinking orange juice after you've taken a tablet may help your body absorb the iron.
Follow the GP’s advice about how to take iron tablets.
Some people get side effects when taking iron tablets like:
- constipation or diarrhoea
- tummy pain
- feeling sick
- black poo
Try taking the tablets with or soon after food to reduce the chance of side effects.
It's important to keep taking the tablets, even if you get side effects.
Your GP may carry out repeat blood tests over the next few months to check that your iron level is getting back to normal.
Keep iron supplement tablets out of the reach of children. An overdose of iron in a young child can be fatal.