Iron Infusions To Treat Anaemia: Are There Any Major Side Effects?

Iron infusions are a medical procedure in which a needle delivers iron intravenously to a patient’s body. The method of administering medication or supplementation is also called an intravenous (IV) infusion.
Doctors usually prescribe iron infusions to treat iron deficiency anaemia. Iron deficiency anaemia is usually treated with supplements and dietary changes. However, in some cases, doctors may recommend iron infusions.
Before you seek which medical centre closer to you can assist, make sure that you know everything about the treatment.

Before the treatment

Your doctor will give you specific instructions regarding the treatment to prepare for your first iron infusion treatment.

Some things you can do to prepare yourself for the treatment;
• Eat meals properly.
• Know how to call for help during the process if you experience an adverse reaction.
• Take your regular medications.
If this is your first time, it is natural to feel nervous about your iron infusion. You can help reduce any anxieties by discussing the treatment with your doctor first. They will recommend ways to help you stay calm and relaxed during the treatment.

During the treatment

An iron infusion takes place at a hospital or haemodialysis centre. First, a small tube will be inserted through a needle into a vein by a medical professional. This tiny tube is called a catheter. Usually, it is put into a vein in your arm. Then, the needle will be removed, leaving the catheter in your vein.
The catheter is connected to a long tube attached to an IV bag of iron, which has been diluted with a saline solution. The saline is either pumped into your vein or uses gravity to run down the tube into the vein slowly.
The healthcare provider performing the procedure will give you a test dose to prevent any adverse reactions.

How long does the treatment take?
Usually, an iron infusion can take up to 3 to 4 hours. However, in some cases, the infusion may take a little longer, depending on your current health condition.

It may take several infusions to bring the body’s iron levels up to normal levels. Therefore, you will receive iron infusions over one or a few weeks.
Side effects and complications

You may have some side effects after the treatment. Most of them are mild, however, including:
• temporary changes in the way you taste foods
• nausea, vomiting
• headaches
• muscle and joint pain
• itchiness and rash
• shortness of breath
• burning sensation or swelling at the site of the injection
• increased or decreased heart rate or blood pressure

Iron infusion versus iron injection
Iron infusions are administering iron through an intravenous vein with an IV drip. On the other hand, iron injections involve injecting iron into a muscle using a needle.
Iron infusions may take up to a few hours, whereas iron injections deliver a full dose at once.
Iron infusions are less painful than iron injections. Sometimes, injections may cause orange discolouration or intramuscular bleeding.

At Hooper Medical Centre, we have a team of medical professionals that can perform iron infusions. To know more about the procedure, you may call us.