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Iron infusions are a medical procedure in which iron is delivered intravenously into a vein to help treat iron-deficiencies such as anemia.

Iron infusions are usually prescribed by doctors to treat iron deficiency anemia. While iron deficiency anemia can be treated with dietary changes and iron supplements (in pill or liquid form), some cases require a higher dose with a faster delivery.


IV Iron infusion

You may require an IV iron infusion if you:

Are required to increase iron levels fast to avoid medical complications or a blood transfusion
Are unable to absorb enough iron due to blood loss
Are unable to absorb iron adequately through the gut
Are unable to take oral iron supplements

IV Iron Infusions

Are there different types of Iron?

Yes! Monoferric and iron sucrose are the two most common types. The difference between the two lies in their chemical structure, the mode of administration, and the patient population for which they are intended.

At Port Moody Health we use Monoferric iron which requires 1 infusion instead of 4 and has less potential for adverse effects than iron sucrose.

What is the difference between an IV iron infusion and an iron injection?

While both IV iron and iron injections both deliver iron into the body, they are delivered differently.

Iron infusions are delivered via an IV line placed in the vein with a slower delivery. However, this method allows for a larger amount of iron to be delivered at once and is usually used for individuals with more severe iron-deficiencies.

Iron injections are delivered into the body through an intramuscular injection (into a muscle). The iron is delivered in a smaller dose than the IV and usually in one shot. This method is typically used for individuals with milder cases of iron-deficiency or for those who cannot receive an iron infusion for medical reasons.

The choice between an iron infusion and iron injection will depend on the individual’s medical history and the reason for needing the iron and your healthcare provider will be able to recommend the best option for you.

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How long does an iron infusion take?

The duration of an iron infusion can vary; however, typically they take between 1 to 2 hours to administer. This time may be shorter or longer depending on the dose of iron being infused, the individual’s body stats, and their medical history.
Before the procedure, the healthcare provider will usually start an IV (intravenous) line, and then the iron solution is slowly dripped into the vein over the course of the infusion. The patient will be monitored for any side effects during the procedure in the comfort of our IV suite.

After the infusion, you may return to your normal activities right away and most people are able to drive themselves home and go back to work (if you feel up to it).

IV Iron Infusions

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IV Iron infusion

What causes an iron deficiency?

Heavy menstrual bleeding

GI conditions (celiac, colitis, IBS)
Frequent menstruation or inter-menstrual bleeding/spotting

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Signs and Symptoms of an iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is a nutritional disorder that occurs when the body lacks sufficient iron to function properly. This condition is quite common, affecting millions of people around the world, and can lead to a variety of health issues if left untreated. In addition to anemia, which is a well-known complication of iron deficiency, individuals with this condition may experience a range of symptoms such as Fatigue and weakness, Pale skin, Shortness of breath, Rapid or irregular heartbeat, Chest pain, Headache, Dizziness or lightheadedness
Cold hands and feet, Brittle nails, Restless legs, Poor sleep, Inflammation or soreness of your tongue, Unusual cravings for non , nutritional substances, such as ice or dirt (pica).
IV Iron infusion

What are the benefits of an iron infusion?

Increased iron levels: Iron infusions can help to rapidly increase the iron levels in the body and replenish iron stores that have been depleted due to blood loss, poor dietary intake, or other causes.

Improved iron deficiency symptoms: Iron-deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. An iron infusion can help alleviate these symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Increased energy: Iron is important for energy production, and an iron infusion can help to increase energy levels in individuals with iron-deficiencies. This treatment can help increase energy levels and improve quality of life.

Better oxygen delivery: Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. By replenishing iron levels, an iron infusion can help improve oxygen delivery to the body’s tissues.

Reduced risk of complications: Iron-deficiencies can increase the risk of certain complications, such as pregnancy-related complications or infections. An iron infusion can help to reduce this risk by restoring normal iron levels.

Are there any side effects from the Monoferric infusion?

Side-effects and severe reactions are very rare. However, you should be aware of what they are.

The most common side-effects are:

  •  Headache 
  •  Dizziness 
  •  Flushing 
  •  Feeling sick (nausea) 
  •  Reactions where the needle is inserted (site of the infusion). 

Muscle spasms or muscle pain can happen but are uncommon. Very rarely some women have an allergic reaction to the infusion called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is rare but serious. Our doctors and nurses are trained to deal with this medical emergency. Some individuals can experience muscle aches, spasms and/or joint aches and/or fatigue (“flu-like symptoms”) post-infusion lasting up to 4 days. By day 5 post infusion, most patients will begin to feel the benefits of the monoferric infusion
Please note that the benefits of an iron infusion will depend on the individual’s specific medical condition and their response to treatment. Our physicians can discuss the potential benefits and any potential risks or side effects of an iron infusion with you.

For more information on iv iron infusions and other integrative therapies offered at our clinic, please speak to our patient care coordinators at (604) 949-0077.