Published: 2020-01-28

A randomized controlled trial on lactoferrin versus ferrous sulphate for the treatment of mild to moderate iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy

Swati Gawai, Michelle Fonseca, Deepali Kapote


Background: One of the important factors associated with maternal and foetal complications during pregnancy is Anaemia. Various oral preparations of iron are available, and each has different bioavailability, efficacy and adverse effects. Lactoferrin is a naturally existing iron-binding multifunctional glycoprotein, and a member of a transferrin family, thus belonging to those proteins capable of binding and transferring iron. Lactoferrin has considerably less gastrointestinal side effects than ferrous sulfate and is very useful as well as promising alternative to ferrous sulphate.

Methods: Prospective randomized controlled study. Total 100 females with 24 to 36 weeks of pregnancy with haemoglobin between 8 to 10 grams were included out of which 50 patients were given ferrous sulphate 200 mg BD and 50 patients were given lactoferrin 250 mg BD daily for 8 weeks. Various haematological parameters and the adverse effects of both the drugs were studied at registration, 4 weeks and 8 weeks and compared.

Results: Thus, after this study authors can say that the rise in haemoglobin with lactoferrin was 1.58 g/dl while with ferrous sulphate it was 1.67 g/dl at 8 weeks. Adverse effects were much lesser in Group A taking lactoferrin compared to Group B.

Conclusions: Thus, lactoferrin has the advantage over ferrous sulphate in having   less side effects and increasing the compliance and thus the efficacy of the drug compared to ferrous sulphate.


Anaemia, Ferrous sulphate, Haemoglobin, Iron deficiency anaemia, Lactoferrin, Pregnancy, Serum Iron, Total iron binding capacity

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