ZocdocAnswersCan I take vitamins instead of my vitamin prescription?

Question

Can I take vitamins instead of my vitamin prescription?

Would it be possible to take a multivitamin every day instead of an iron pill?

Answer

The answer to your question depends on why your were given a prescription for an iron pill. When doctor's give a prescription for iron supplementation, it is almost always for a specific reason. Iron pills can cause significant constipation and abdominal discomfort. In addition, having too much iron can be harmful to the body. Thus, when a doctor wants you to take iron pills, it almost always means that you have a deficiency in iron. Most over the counter multivitamin pills contain very little (if any) iron. While taking a multivitamin may not be a bad idea, it would not replace the iron pill that your doctor prescribed. Thus, I do not think myself or anyone else would recommend this. The only exception that your doctor may make is if you agree to take prenatal vitamins which do contain some iron. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can explain to you why you were given a prescription for iron pills and the importance of having adequate iron in your body. You can also discuss why you were iron deficient, and how to prevent it in the future. Finally, you can discuss that multivitamin pill and whether or not it is warranted in you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.