IV Therapy for Iron Deficiency Anemia

Posted by Encore Infusion Site Administrator


Iron deficiency anemia is a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy oxygen-rich red blood cells necessary for tissues throughout the body; it is among the most common types of anemia. The condition arises as its name implies because of insufficient iron. Without enough iron, your body can’t produce enough of a certain protein (hemoglobin) that is one of the building blocks in red blood cells that enable them to do their job of oxygenation.

Initially, iron deficiency anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But as the body becomes more deficient in iron and anemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia may include:

· Extreme fatigue

· Shortness of breath

· Weakness

· Pale skin

· Chest pain, fast heartbeat

· Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness

· Cold hands and feet

· Inflammation or soreness of your tongue

· Brittle nails

· Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances: sometimes ice, dirt or starch

· Poor appetite especially in infants and children

Often, iron deficiency anemia can be corrected with diet and oral iron supplements. However, in more extreme cases, your doctor may prescribe iron supplementation via infusion therapy. Your physician may prescribe IV therapy for your iron deficiency anemia because:

· You do not tolerate oral iron supplements

· You do not absorb sufficient amounts of iron through the gut

· You’re losing more iron through blood loss than you can supplement orally

· Your anemia has advanced to a point beyond which oral supplements are adequate

There are a number of IV infusion medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia including:

· Feraheme (ferumoxytol)

· Ferrlecit (sodium ferric gluconate)

· Injectafer (ferric carboxymaltose)

· Monoferric (ferric derisomaltose)

· Triferic AVNU (ferric pyrophosphate citrate)

· Venofer (iron sucrose)

Infusion therapy for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia can take up to 3 or 4 hours. You should expect to remain seated for this time. In some cases, the intravenous infusion may take a little longer, depending on the level of treatment your doctor thinks you need. The slow infusion rate helps prevent complications.

It often takes several iron IV infusions to bring the body’s iron levels up to the appropriate levels. You may receive multiple iron IV therapy treatments over the course of a few weeks.

For more information about IV therapy for your iron deficiency anemia, contact Encore Infusion and we can discuss your options and help you coordinate with your physician for infusion therapy at one of our locations.