The Eclectic Physician
Dr. Beth Burch
IV iron infusion.Q. What should I expect from an IV iron infusion? What side effects might there be during infusion and after infusion? How long is it before the iron is absorbed into my blood? How long before I feel better? Will I feel like working the next day? I have heard so many different stories about this procedure, and I need to know correct information.
Iron in injectable form is most commonly administered intramuscularly rather than intravenously. The preservative-free form can be given intravenously, but is usually reserved for cases where an intramuscular injection is contraindicated or when large amounts of iron need to replaced very quickly. Iron injections are given for severe iron deficiency and increase blood iron levels immediately. Iron injections are contraindicated in those who are allergic to it, in all anemias except iron deficiency anemia and in acute kidney infections. Iron injections may be contraindicated in liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory conditions.
The most serious side effect from iron injection is anaphylaxis, a severe immediate allergic reaction that can result in death. Other side effects that can occur during or following iron injection include extremely low blood pressure, flushing, headache, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, nausea, rashes, pain and inflammation at the injection site, fever and chills.
Generally iron given either by injection or orally will result in improvement of iron deficiency anemia in 2-3 weeks. Depending on the severity of the anemia, it can take several months for body iron stores to return to normal.
If you don't have side effects from the injection, you should be fine to go to work the next day. Since iron injections can have serious side effects, they should only be given when necessary and by a physician in the hospital or office setting where anaphylaxis can be treated if it occurs.
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