Intravenous Iron Offered to Treat Blood Disorders

Interventional Pain Therapy at Mercy

Medical Oncology and Hematology at Mercy in Baltimore, Maryland, offers treatment options for a variety of blood disorders, including iron deficiency. Our highly trained physicians are skilled at providing intravenous iron therapy to treat patients who do not absorb iron well and who cannot take oral iron medications to improve iron loss.

What is Intravenous Iron?

Intravenous iron is used to treat iron deficiency in patients who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to maintain sufficient iron. Iron is one of the minerals in the human body and one of the parts of hemoglobin, found in red blood cells that help carry oxygen throughout the body.

The most common iron deficiency is anemia. If you need intravenous iron treatment, your primary care physician may refer you to a hematologist.

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Types of Intravenous Iron procedures

Intravenous iron comes in a variety of formulas. It can be administered all at one time, or over several periods. Your hematologists at Mercy will decide on which intravenous iron preparation is best for your blood disorder. Intravenous iron types include:

  • Iron dextran
  • Iron sucrose
  • Ferric gluconate
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How is Intravenous Iron delivered?

Intravenous iron is administered through a needle into the patient’s vein or muscle. This outpatient procedure can take place in the doctor’s office or a clinic. The length of the treatment will depend on which treatment plan your doctor ordered. Your intravenous iron treatment will stop once your iron levels are restored to the appropriate level.

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Who should receive Intravenous Iron?

Patients who receive intravenous iron do so because they cannot take oral supplements or have one of the following medical disorders:

  • People with bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) and who need to replace iron immediately
  • People with inflammatory bowel disease and cannot take oral iron because how it effects their GI tract
  • People on dialysis
  • Cancer patients with anemia who are taking ESA (erythropoiesis-stimulating agents) 
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What are the side effects associated with Intravenous Iron?

The side effects of intravenous iron are typically minimal, but may include:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Breathing issues
  • Chest pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and cramps
  • Skin rash