iron dextran

Generic Name: iron dextran (EYE urn DEX tran)
Brand Name: DexFerrum, Infed

What is iron dextran?

Iron dextran is a form of the mineral iron. Iron is important for many functions in the body, especially for the transport of oxygen in the blood.

Iron dextran is used to treat iron deficiencies and iron deficiency anemia (low red blood cells).

Iron dextran may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about iron dextran?

You should not receive iron dextran if you have a type of anemia that is not caused by iron deficiency.

Iron dextran can cause severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions or severely low blood pressure. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel light-headed (like you might pass out), or if you suddenly have trouble breathing.

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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving iron dextran?

You should not receive iron dextran if you are allergic to it, or if you have a type of anemia that is not caused by iron deficiency.

To make sure iron dextran is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease;

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • rheumatoid arthritis;

  • bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia;

  • stomach bleeding;

  • asthma or allergies;

  • if you are allergic to any medication; or

  • if you use a beta-blocker medicine (atenolol, carvedilol, metoprolol, nebivolol, propranolol, sotalol, and others).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether iron dextran will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

Iron dextran can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is iron dextran given?

Iron dextran is injected into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Iron dextran must be given slowly. Injecting this medicine too quickly can cause serious side effects.

Your doctor may want to give your first dose of this medicine in a hospital to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur.

If you use this medicine at home, prepare your dose only when you are ready to give the injection. Do not mix iron dextran with other medicines or liquid (diluent) in the same syringe or IV container. Do not use iron dextran if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in height or weight. Iron dextran doses are based on these measures.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition, you may need frequent blood tests. You may not notice any change in your symptoms, but your blood work will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with iron dextran.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using iron dextran.

Each single-use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of iron dextran.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include joint pain, chills, dizziness, fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid while using iron dextran?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Iron dextran side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Iron dextran can cause severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions or severely low blood pressure. Tell your caregiver right away if you feel light-headed or if you suddenly have trouble breathing.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or slow heartbeats. chest pain, wheezing, trouble breathing;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • blue-colored lips or fingernails;

  • red or pink urine;

  • weak or shallow breathing (breathing may stop);

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • swelling, warmth, redness, or itching where the medicine was injected; or

  • delayed effect (1-2 days after injection)--fever, chills, dizziness, headache, general ill feeling, nausea and vomiting, joint or muscle pain, back pain.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild itching or rash;

  • body aches, numbness or tingly feeling;

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea;

  • mild dizziness or weakness, low fever; or

  • brown discoloration of your skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Iron dextran dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Iron Deficiency Anemia:

25 to 100 mg (0.5 to 2 mL) IM or IV once a day. Individual doses of 100 mg (2 mL) may be given by the intermittent IM or IV route until the calculated total iron dextran requirement has been met.
Total dose infusion method: The total dose required is diluted in 250 to 1000 mL of normal saline and administered over a 2 to 6 hour period. Upon completion of the infusion, the vein should be flushed with 10 mL of normal saline.

Usual Adult Dose for Anemia Associated with Chronic Renal Failure:

25 to 100 mg (0.5 to 2 mL) IM or IV once a day. Patients with low baseline iron profiles at the beginning of epoetin alfa therapy should be supplemented with oral (preferred) or parenteral iron therapy to insure adequate erythropoiesis.

What other drugs will affect iron dextran?

Other drugs may interact with iron dextran, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about iron dextran.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2014-05-01, 8:33:15 AM.

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