Iron infusion is a process in which iron is transferred to your body intravenously. It is usually prescribed to people who have iron-deficiency anemia and where it can't be treated with iron supplements and dietary changes. For example, you will be asked to undergo iron infusion if you can't take iron by mouth, and you need to increase the iron levels in your body quickly to avoid certain medical complications.Request an appointment
You may need one to three sessions of iron infusions, which are usually given about one week apart. The dosage and frequency of iron infusion will depend on which intravenous iron product your doctor prescribed and on the severity of your anemia.
An iron infusion typically occurs at a doctor’s clinic, a hemodialysis center, or a hospital. Chesapeake Oncology Hematology Associates offers iron infusion in all of the office locations.Request an appointment
As iron infusion is done intravenously, you may feel a small pinch in your skin and also a slight pressure where the intravenous needle is inserted during the procedure. Your doctor may give you a test dose before performing iron infusion to ensure that you don't develop any adverse reactions from the iron. In such cases, he will stop the procedure.
There may be minor side effects associated with iron infusions, such as headaches, temporary changes in taste, and shortness of breath. Rarely a patient may develop an allergic reaction during the infusion, which may require additional medications to treat the reaction and discontinuation of the iron infusion. Please consult with your doctor if you experience any side effects.
Most iron infusions are completed within an hour. Depending on the iron product used, some infusions may take up to 3 hours. During this time, you are expected to remain seated. Keep in mind that a slow infusion rate helps in preventing undesired complications.
The number of iron infusions can vary from patient to patient. It may take many rounds of iron infusions to bring your body’s iron levels up to the desired levels. For this, you will have to receive iron infusions over one or a few weeks.
Iron infusions are considered medically necessary for patients who receive hemodialysis and for those who have low levels of iron due to chronic kidney disease or chronic blood loss. Our office staff will obtain prior authorization for treatment from the insurance company if needed. However, your insurance may only partially cover it. You will need to check with your insurance provider to assess your coverage.
If you are looking for an iron infusion treatment for your anemia or any other medical condition, please contact Chesapeake Oncology Hematology Associates.
The iron infusion may lead to weight gain in some patients. Increased iron absorption in the body can cause leptin levels to drop remarkably and cause an increased appetite. Intravenous iron infusion can cause weight gain without protein gain. However, if chronically ill patients receive intravenous nutrition, it’s difficult to determine the effect of iron infusion on their body weight.
Anemia is caused by low nutritional iron intake resulting in iron deficiency. Insufficient iron leads to anemia, and the body cannot produce enough red blood cells. Such iron deficiency can be compensated with iron supplements or iron infusion.
In contrast, anemia of chronic disease results from autoimmune or chronic diseases. Diseases such as chronic kidney diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cancer, and other autoimmune diseases can alter red blood cells, causing them to die faster or produce at a much slower rate.
It takes six months for iron supplements to compensate for the body’s iron deficiency. A large part of iron remains unabsorbed by the body and causes gastrointestinal problems. Intravenous iron infusion is absorbed better by the body and does not cause intestinal side effects. One iron infusion can sufficiently replenish iron levels in most patients.
The intravenous iron infusion takes place under the medical supervision of expert doctors and nurses. An iron infusion session typically takes up to 3 to 4 hours, but the duration may vary and can take a long time depending upon the medical condition of the patient.
It depends on the level of deficiency you have and the cause of the deficiency. Usually, one to three iron infusions are given one week apart. The severity of anemia is among the deciding factors in ascertaining iron dosage. People suffering from chronic and autoimmune diseases might need multiple iron infusion sessions to replenish their iron levels.
IV iron is usually well tolerated. GI symptoms such as constipation and nausea that occur with oral iron do not occur with IV iron. Infrequently, a patient may feel flushing of the face, muscle aches, itchiness or dizziness during an infusion. Fortunately these symptoms usually resolve within 24 hours. It is exceedingly rare to have an allergic reaction to IV iron, but in the event that it happens, our doctors and nurses are trained to manage these side effects swiftly.
It is normal to not feel energized immediately after IV iron. It can take up to 2 weeks after the infusion to feel that boost in energy.
It can take 2 weeks or more to see an improvement in your hemoglobin after IV iron.
A clear indication of when IV iron is needed during the third trimester is if the mother has iron deficiency anemia with hemoglobin less than 10. In this situation, oral iron may take too long to improve the hemoglobin. If a woman had increased blood loss after delivery and is symptomatic from her anemia, IV iron would be indicated.