Iron dextran

Generic Name: iron dextran (EYE-urn DEX-tran)
Brand Name: Examples include Dexferrum and Infed

Iron dextran may cause serious and possibly fatal allergic reactions. Patients who have had an allergic reaction to another medicine or to several other medicines may have a greater risk of allergic reaction to iron dextran. Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to another medicine.

Only use iron dextran if oral iron therapy is not adequate or possible. Iron dextran should be administered under close medical supervision where emergency treatment for a severe allergic reaction is available, if it should occur.


Iron dextran is used for:

Treating iron deficiency in patients for whom oral iron therapy is not appropriate.

Iron dextran is elemental iron as an injection. It works by replenishing body iron stores in patients with iron deficiency.

Do NOT use iron dextran if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in iron dextran
  • you have high levels of iron
  • you have anemia not caused by a lack of iron
  • you currently have a kidney infection
  • the patient is a child younger than 4 months old

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using iron dextran:

Some medical conditions may interact with iron dextran. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of allergies, blood problems, liver problems, heart problems, rheumatoid arthritis, or you have had multiple blood transfusions

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with iron dextran. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE) inhibitors (eg, captopril) because they may increase the risk of iron dextran's side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if iron dextran may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use iron dextran:

Use iron dextran as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Iron dextran is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office or clinic. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have about iron dextran.
  • Do not use iron dextran if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of iron dextran, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use iron dextran.

Important safety information:

  • Iron dextran may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. To help prevent this, sit up or stand slowly. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to iron dextran.
  • Iron dextran may interfere with certain lab tests, including blood bilirubin and blood calcium levels. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using iron dextran.
  • Lab tests, such as hemoglobin, hematocrit, blood iron levels, total iron binding capacity (TIBC) levels, or percent saturation of transferrin levels, will be performed while you use iron dextran. These tests will be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Iron dextran is should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 4 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if iron dextran can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using iron dextran while you are pregnant. Iron dextran is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use iron dextran, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of iron dextran:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Cramps/leg cramps; diarrhea; dizziness; fatigue; headache; lightheadedness; mild swelling or pain at the injection site; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); backache; chest pain; chills; fainting; fever; seizures; severe dizziness; severe muscle pain; severe stomach pain; severe swelling or pain at the injection site; shortness of breath or wheezing; skin flushing; slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include abnormal skin sensations; chest pain; dizziness; fainting; headache; joint aches; nausea; stomach or muscle pain; swelling, especially of the feet and ankles; vomiting.

Proper storage of iron dextran:

Iron dextran is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using iron dextran at home, store iron dextran as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep iron dextran out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about iron dextran, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Iron dextran is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take iron dextran or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about iron dextran. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to iron dextran. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using iron dextran.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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