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Iron Intravenous

Iron Intravenous: How To Do, Benefits, Risks

Iron can be called lifeblood for the human body. Technically, it’s a mineral that keeps your body agile and active. Its deficiency can make you anaemic, which is typically considered as lacking blood. Doctors often recommend green leafy vegetables, like spinach, beetroot, etc.

What if the patient is unable to swallow these haemoglobin carriers?

Intravenous iron or iron infusion can restore life to patients by infusing this mineral through a needle into a vein. It increases the level of iron, especially haemoglobin, in the body. 

Now, let’s introduce you to iron infusion, & discover what it is.

Iron Infusion: What It Is?

However, it’s already been briefed. An iron infusion or Intravenous (IV) iron supplementation is actually a clinical method to deliver this mineral into the blood by using a small catheter into the vein of the patient. This treatment is administered in a clinic or medical office. 

Once received this mineral, the body starts responding positively. This is because this iron deficiency anaemia treatment enriches blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. When it fails to do so, your body turns anaemic, which is a deficiency of anaemia. 

Why Does This Deficiency Cause?

This iron deficiency can emerge because of multiple reasons. Here we go to explain.

  • Lacking intake of iron-rich diet. 
  • Some strong medicines that make your body unable to absorb iron
  • Losing blood because of ulcers, cancers, period problem, or other severe conditions.
  • When your health condition needs more iron (as in the case of pregnancy & lactation period)

These all conditions can bring you in need of iron supply into your blood. Although the intravenous method comes last when oral medicines or iron supplements won’t make much difference to your health. Fortunately, these supplements work in almost all cases, except a few rare cases. All in all, getting iron infusion is not common.

Cases When Iron Infusion Is Needed

This is aforesaid that this method comes into play when oral iron intake won’t help in achieving wellbeing. Here is a list of some cases wherein infusion proves the only way to save the patient.

  • The very first case is when your gastrointestinal tract (gut) bleeds, rapidly slowing down the level of iron. To quickly overcome, IV iron is given.
  • The second case can be of inflammatory bowel disease, which is related to intestinal disease causing pain, diarrhoea, and weight loss. In this case, oral supplement can make the gastrointestinal tract upset. So, intravenous option is selected.
  • The next case is of patients on dialysis. This is actually a kidney issue, which causes blood loss. Besides, these patients are put on erythropoietin stimulating agent (ESA), which creates need for more iron. 
  • If an anaemic patient went through a surgery, it can make him or her iron-deficient. To instantly recover, doctors switch to this method.  
  • If a patient has celiac problem, which is related to gluten intolerance, iron dose is a must.
  • If you have cancer and taking ESA, it can be required
  • If oral supplement is not working well, this remains an ultimate option.
  • If you have a vascular concern, you may lose a lot of blood.
  • If you have pregnancy or severe anaemia, the iron level needs to be increased immediately.

Doses You Need

One of the interesting things is that only one dose is enough for weeks. In simple words, you require only one or two doses over several weeks. And this treatment continues until its level reaches the standard requirement. Sometimes, it can take two months.


The procedure begins with consultation. It will help in deciding if you need it and how many doses can be sufficient to achieve the state of wellbeing. He or she can decide the dose in accordance with the weight and health condition. So, the patient should disclose these points before this procedure. 

Here are the main points that are seriously considered.

  • Medical conditions
  • Allergies or sensitivity
  • Medicines recommended
  • Supplements taking without a prescription.

How Does the Procedure Go On?

Now, let’s move on to discover how it goes on. Here is the step-by-step procedure.  

Step 1. It all starts with cleaning up the area where it is to be administered, which can be your arm or hand.

Step 2. Select a vein to put a needle, which has an ending of a plastic IV tube.

Step 3. Before injecting, tap the IV to make it immovable.

Step 4. Now, put the fluid bag on the hanger or IV stand.

Step 5. Switch on a machine so that the fluid can be pumped into that vein. A full dose of 1,000 milligrams of iron can be introduced in 15 to 30 minutes.


Through iron infusion, you can expect relieve in your deficiency symptoms. The healthcare specialist will come and check in 30 minutes after this procedure to see if it’s all well and not causing any bad reaction.

How Does It Work?

This procedure can work as per situation. However, the better results won’t be instantaneous. But yes, your body will start taking in the needed iron supplement, which gradually relieves the symptoms.

You should monitor symptoms to see if everything is ok; or, if there is any side effect occurring because of its intake.  If you see any alarming sign, call your doctor immediately.


  • For sure, the very first advantage is that your iron levels up.
  • Second, it works better than oral medications.
  • Another plus point is that it is more tolerable and rarely cause any allergy or reaction.


Side Effects

There may be some effects that can become a major concern. Let’s check them out.

  • Bloating or inflamed face, arm, hand, or lower legs
  • Faintness, feeling lethargy, and light when get up all of sudden from a sitting or lying posture.
  • Gut (gastrointestinal) pain, nausea, and dysentery 
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation or difficult pooping
  • Head, chest, joint, or muscle pain
  • Skin allergy like rashes
  • Difficult breathing called anaphylaxis, which can hit with itching and rash all over the body

When to See the Doctor

It completely depends on the after effect. If it seems all fine, you can visit the doctor on a scheduled date. And if there emerges any reaction, schedule the visit immediately, so that he or she can manage that effect. 


Iron infusion refers to introducing iron if the body has its deficiency. It’s an instantaneous method of fulfilling its requirement. The patient must disclose his/ her medical history before this procedure. It is recommended in rare cases, especially when the patient is incapable of swallowing oral supplements.