Iron Infusion
Other Names: Ferumoxytol (Feraheme®), Iron Dextran (Infed®), Ferric Gluconate (Ferrlecit®), Iron Sucrose (Venofer®)

About This Drug

Iron infusion is used to treat anemia caused by low iron levels. It is given in a vein as an intravenous infusion. A nurse or other health care provider will give you this medication.

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Swelling
  • Constipation (not able to move bowels)
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis are rare but may happen in some patients. Signs of allergic reaction to this drug may be swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way. If this happens, do not take another dose of this drug. You should get urgent medical treatment.

Treating Side Effects

  • If you are dizzy, get up slowly after sitting or lying.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation.
  • If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of iron infusion with food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. 

Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itching, hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling in your mouth, chest pain, or difficulty breathing
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medications
  • No bowel movement for 3 days or if you feel uncomfortable

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug may harm an unborn child. For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while getting this drug.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Last updated March 2016

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