Discuss the pharmacokinetics of iron, Vit B12 and folic acid.



Learning Objectives

After reading and studying this chapter the student should be able to

  1. Discuss the pharmacokinetics of iron, Vit B12 and folic acid.
  2. Explain the mechanisms of action of major anti anemic drugs
  3. Discuss the use of iron to treat iron deficiency anemia, the use of Vit B12 and folic acid to treat megaloblastic anemia.
  4. Describe how heparin and oral anticoagulants produce their effect.
  5. Discuss the indication of heparin and oral anticoagulants
  6. Identify major adverse reactions associated with heparin and oral anticoagulants


Hematopoiesis, the production of circulating erythrocytes, platelets and leukocytes from undifferentiated stem cells, is a remarkable process that produces over 200 billion new cells per day in the normal person and even greater number of blood cells in people with conditions that causes loss or destruction of blood cells. The hemopoietic machinery resides primarily in the bone marrow in adults, and requires constant supply of three essential nutrients – iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid

ANEMIA – a deficiency in oxygen carrying erythrocytes and very common in developing countries

In this section anemia due to deficiency of iron, vit B12 or a folic acid will be dealt with.


Iron forms the nucleus of the iron porphyrin heme ring, which together with globin chains forms hemoglobin that reversibly binds oxygen and provides the critical mechanism for oxygen


  1. Discuss in detail the pharmacokinetics of iron?
  2. Discuss various types of iron formulations with their side effects?
  3. Explain the mechanism of action and effect of vit B12 and folic acid and the relation of the latter?
  4. What are the effects and adverse reaction of heparin and oral anticoagulants?
  5. What is the role of aspirin as an antiplatelet agent?

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