IRON INFUSION

We are pleased to offer Iron Infusion at our clinic

WHAT IS AN IRON INFUSION?

Intravenous or IV means giving something directly into the blood stream of the body through a vein. A needle placed into a vein (usually in the back of the hand or arm) is attached to a syringe or a drip that contains iron. This fluid is slowly infused into the vein and mixes with the blood in your body.

WHY IS IRON IMPORTANT?

Our bodies need iron. 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’.

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 2 iron infusions (given at least 1 week apart) are needed 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 (e.g. before major surgery, late in pregnancy or to avoid blood transfusion)

  • If you have chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure

Your doctor should explain why you need IV iron and the other options

RISKS AND BENEFITS OF IRON INFUSION

Your doctor will explain the risks, benefits & available alternatives to Intravenous iron in your particular case.

The most significant risk of IV iron is a small chance of having an allergic reaction which can, in rare cases, be life-threatening. IV Iron is prescribed for iron deficiency when oral iron is not tolerated, effective or likely to work quickly enough & the benefits if IV iron outweigh the risk in your particular case.

If there is a chance you could be pregnant, inform your doctor as IV iron should be avoided in the 1st trimester in pregnancy.

You need to tell your doctor and the clinic doing your iron infusion if you:

  1. Are pregnant / trying to get pregnant. IV iron should be avoided in the first trimester.

  2. Have a history of asthma, eczema or other allergies.

  3. Experienced a reaction to any type of iron injection or infusion in the past.

  4. Have a history of high iron levels, haemochromatosis or liver problems.

  5. Are on any medications (including herbal and over the counter medicines).

  6. Have (or may have) an infection at the moment.

  7. Anything else you think may be relevant for the doctor to know.

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY?

Your doctor will give your a prescription for the iron.  You need to fill the prescription at a pharmacy and bring the iron with you on the day.

Apart from that, there is nothing special that you need to do to get ready for the day of iron infusion (e.g. you don’t need to fast). Please ensure you are well hydrated to assist with cannulation – eat and drink as normal. Unless you have an unexpected reaction, you will be able to drive home and do your normal activities.

You will be closely monitored while IV iron is given, which takes about 15 minutes.  You will need to stay for observation for 30 minutes after. Sometimes side effects (e.g. headache, muscle or joint pain) can start 1 to 2 days later. Mostly they will settle down by themselves over the next couple of days. If they worry you or interfere with your daily activities contact your doctor for advice.

COST

There is a cost associated with the procedure.  Please contact the clinic to find out more information.