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Intravenous iron

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What is intravenous iron (IV iron)?


IV iron is used to treat iron deficiency when iron preparations taken by mouth (like tablets) have not worked or cannot be used. The aim of the treatment is to boost your iron stores.


    Why is iron important?


    Iron is important because it helps your body to make haemoglobin. Haemoglobin, or ‘Hb’, is the protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body and gives blood its red colour.


      How will the iron be given to me?


      Intravenous iron is given directly into your vein. The infusion will run into your vein from a drip. A nurse will monitor you during the procedure.

      Intravenous iron can also be given as an injection into the vein if only small doses are needed.


        How long will it take?


        The time taken to be given an infusion depends on your body weight and the iron dose needed. It normally takes about 30 minutes.

        You will be observed for 30 minutes by your nurse following each infusion.


          You should not be prescribed or given an IV Iron if:


          • You are allergic (hypersensitive) to the product or any of the other ingredients in this medicine.
          • You have experienced serious allergic (hypersensitive) reactions to other IV treatments in the past*.
          • You have an iron overload (too much iron in your body).
          • Your anaemia is not caused by iron deficiency.

          You should tell your doctor before they prescribe or administer an IV iron if you have any of these allergies or conditions.


            What are the risks of having IV Iron?


            IV Iron can cause allergic reactions. In a small number of patients these allergic reactions can become severe or life-threatening (known as anaphylactic reactions) and can cause problems with your heart and blood pressure and/or cause you to faint or lose consciousness.

            *It is important to know that a reaction can still happen even if you have not had any problems in the past with IV Iron.


              What increases my risk of having an allergic reaction?


              If you have:

              • Known allergies including drug allergies.
              • A history of severe asthma, eczema or other allergies (for example dust, pollen, pet dander).
              • Immune or inflammatory conditions (for example, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus).

              You should tell your doctor before they prescribe or give you an IV Iron if you have any of these allergies or conditions too.

              Your doctor will decide whether IV Iron is suitable for you.


                What if I am pregnant?


                IV Iron should not be used during pregnancy unless clearly necessary. If you are pregnant or think you could be pregnant, it is important to discuss this with your doctor.


                  You should tell your doctor or nurse immediately if:


                  You have any signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction during or shortly after treatment with IV Iron. This includes:

                  • Hives or rash.
                  • Dizziness or light-headedness.

                  Swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or body Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing.

                  Your doctor and nursing staff are aware of these possible side effects and you will be monitored during and after you receive IV Iron.

                  If you experience any problems at home, please call 01273 696955 Extension 67413.



                    This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

                    The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

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