What Is an Intravenous Iron Infusion?

Iron infusion is injected directly into the blood stream via an intravenous site.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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An intravenous iron infusion is a type of iron that is injected directly into the blood stream by means of a small catheter known as an IV. This form of iron therapy is typically used when the injectible form cannot be used or in cases where large amounts of iron must be delivered quickly. The use of an intravenous iron infusion allows the entire dose of iron to be delivered at one time instead of undergoing a series of intramuscular injections. Some of the potential complications of this form of iron therapy include allergic reactions, shortness of breath, or vomiting. Any questions or concerns about the use of an intravenous iron infusion on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Most types of iron therapy are administered either orally or by injecting the iron into a muscle. Oral therapy may require several doses before optimum iron levels are reached. The intramuscular injections may not be well tolerated by some patients or may not deliver the iron into the body quickly enough. When this is the case, intravenous iron infusion therapy is frequently used. This method allows the necessary dose of iron to be given at one time and delivers it directly into the bloodstream.

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The process of intravenous iron infusion therapy is usually performed in a doctor's office or hospital setting. A small tube, known as an IV catheter, is inserted into a vein, usually on the arm. This allows the medication to be quickly and easily delivered directly into the bloodstream, providing for immediate results. Patients who may require this form of iron therapy include those with impaired kidney or liver function, those who have gastrointestinal issues that prevent the absorption of iron that is taken orally, or those who have had allergic reactions to one or more ingredients in the iron injections.

In mot cases, there are no negative side effects associated with the use of intravenous iron infusion therapy. Some patients may develop gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea or vomiting or may experience shortness of breath or abdominal pain. In rare cases, a severe type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur. This type of allergic reaction is potentially fatal, so most doctors will monitor the patient for a while after the infusion to make sure there are know signs of potential complications. Any uncomfortable or unusual side effects should be reported to a doctor right away for further medical evaluation.

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