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Intravenous Iron for Anaemia

About your medicine

People with kidney failure suffer from anaemia which makes you breathless and tired.

There are ways of treating this:- taking oral iron tablets eg ferrous sulphate and erythropoietin (EPO) injections (see EPO page).

Intravenous iron can be used for people who are anaemic and either cannot take iron tablets or who need a significant boost in their blood iron levels (often prior to starting treatment with EPO).

How do you receive Intravenous Iron?

Intravenous iron is given intravenously in small regular doses ie weekly, fortnightly or monthly; the frequency is decided according to your individual blood results.

Patients on Haemodialysis will receive doses whilst on dialysis, other patients will receive it over a couple of hours.

Unwanted Effects

You should not receive any Intravenous iron if you have a history of anaphylactic reactions to drugs or if you are known to be affected by any iron preparation.

Your first dose of intravenous iron will be given very slowly and gradually increased if you have no reaction to it. This is because there is a small possibility of an allergic reaction.

Other side effects include headache, nausea, a metallic taste, fever and skin flushing.

Whilst you are receiving iron injections, you SHOULD NOT take any iron tablets so you should stop taking any ferrous sulphate, ferrous fumarate, pregaday or sytron liquid.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 79: Intravenous Iron for Anaemia written: 22/04/2000 last reviewed: 05/05/2014