Procedural Information – Iron Infusion

What is Iron?

Iron is an essential nutrient for your body. It is an important part of haemoglobin (Hb), the red pigment which gives blood its colour and which carries oxygen around your body.

Why do I need Iron injections?

Your blood results have shown that the amount of iron you have in your blood is low. You need iron so your body can make new haemoglobin and red blood cells to carry the oxygen your body requires. Therefore, it is very important to have enough iron in your blood.

What are the likely benefits of Iron injections?

By increasing your iron levels, you will see noticeable changes in your energy & concentration levels. Before you receive Iron injections please stop taking your iron tablets the day before coming to your appointment. You do not need to fast before your iron infusion & please continue your medications as usual.

You should not receive Iron injections if:

-You are known to be sensitive (allergic) to any iron preparations intended for intramuscular or intravenous administration.
-You are known to have damage to your liver.
-You have any acute or chronic infections.

How will the Iron be administered?

A small needle will be placed in a vein in your hand or arm. The iron will be given through a pump which takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

What happens after the procedure?

We would like you to wait for half hour after your infusion to ensure there are no adverse reactions eg rash. If you are well, you will be discharged to go home immediately.

Two review appointments will be made to check your iron levels are within normal limits at 1 week & 6 weeks after the infusion. You will be required to have blood test one day before each review appointment. Depending on your iron levels, you may require an additional iron to maintain the levels expected.

Are there any risks?

There are some potential side effects to having this injection. The most common is a metallic taste in your mouth. This normally disappears within 15 minutes of you having the infusion. You might feel light headed, sick or dizzy. If you have these symptoms, please advise our staff. Other effects you may notice following treatment of iron include lowering of blood pressure, tingling or numbness of the limbs, abdominal discomfort, muscular aches and pains, fever, rashes, skin flushing, swelling of the hands and feet and very rarely, anaphylactic like reactions (e.g. paleness, swollen lips, itchiness, weakness, sweating, dizziness, feeling of tightness in the chest, chest pain, fast pulse, difficulty in breathing). If this happens after you have left the clinic, please go to your nearest Emergency Department or your GP and tell them that you have had an iron infusion. This may be an allergic reaction to the iron and you will be given antihistamine medication.

Are there any alternatives?

You can take iron tablets. But the latest research shows that they are not very effective in patients with any degree of kidney failure. This is why you have been asked to have the iron injection. To aid the iron absorption from your food, research has shown that it is best to avoid tea and coffee for at least 30 minutes either side of having your food. Iron absorption can be reduced by up to 67% if you have tea or coffee at meal times. To encourage the absorption of iron at meal times a fruit juice, fruit squash, or fruit at meal times will help. If you have any dietary concerns please ask.
Who can I contact with queries or concerns?
Please ring 90 444 200 Monday to Friday (opening hours 8am to 5pm).