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IRON INFUSION

Iron infusions are a popular procedure often undertaken by those with anaemia or are otherwise iron deficient. If you think you may need an iron infusion or similar procedure, speak with your GP first.  

 

Iron is used to make haemoglobin – the part of our red blood cells that carries oxygen around our body. It is also important for muscle strength, energy and good mental function. If your iron levels are low this may make you feel tired and not able to do normal daily activities. As the amount of iron in the body falls even lower, the haemoglobin level drops below normal. This is known as iron deficiency anaemia.

What is an iron infusion?

An iron infusion is a minor procedure. It involves infusing an iron-containing medicine directly into the blood circulation. The iron-containing preparation circulates and is delivered to the body organs that require iron for normal functioning.

Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) also known as FERINJECT®, is an intravenous (IV) iron preparation. It is used in the treatment of iron deficiency conditions such as iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA). It contains iron in the form of ferric carboxymaltose, an iron carbohydrate compound. 

Why might I need IV iron?

The most common way to treat iron deficiency is to take iron by mouth as a tablet or liquid. This works well for most people and is usually tried first. Some people may need iron to be given straight into the body through a vein. This is called an Intravenous (IV) iron infusion. The iron is given through a needle and dripped (‘infused’) into your vein. Sometimes more than 1 iron infusion is required to fully top up iron stores. The infusion is made up of iron, not blood.

 

IV iron might be needed if you:

  • Are not able to take iron tablets / liquid

  • Are not responding to iron tablets / liquid or not absorbing them

  • Need to get your iron levels up quickly (eg. before major surgery, late in pregnancy or to avoid blood transfusion)

  • If you have chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure

How long does it take for an iron infusion to make you feel better?

It may take around six to twelve weeks for the effects of an iron infusion to be felt in your body. It is usually a gradual improvement, with steadily increasing levels of energy, improved sleep quality and better mood and memory.

The effect of iron infusions vary from person to person. For some people, the improvements will be very noticeable, while for others it will be subtle. 

Are there any side effects with IV iron?

Generally, when side effects do occur, they are mild and settle down on their own.

 

The most common side effects are temporary and may include:

  • Headache, feeling sick or vomiting, muscle or joint pain

  • Changes in taste (eg. metallic)

  • Changes to blood pressure or pulse

  • If you have chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness or neck / mouth swelling, please call an ambulance (000)

 If you have any questions about the way your iron infusion is making you feel, please contact the surgery

on 07 3208 1022.

To make an appointment:

 If you would like to discuss the possibility of needing an iron infusion, please contact the surgery and make an appointment with your Doctor.