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Ferrlecit

Generic Name: sodium ferric gluconate complex (SOE dee um FER ik GLU koe nate KOM plex)
Brand Name: Ferrlecit, Nulecit

Medically reviewed on August 15, 2018

What is Ferrlecit?

Sodium ferric gluconate is a type of iron. You normally get iron from the foods you eat. In your body, iron becomes a part of your hemoglobin (HEEM o glo bin) and myoglobin (MY o glo bin). Hemoglobin carries oxygen through your blood to tissues and organs. Myoglobin helps your muscle cells store oxygen.

Ferrlecit is used to treat iron deficiency anemia (a lack of red blood cells caused by having too little iron in the body) in adults and children who are at least 6 years old. This medicine is for people with kidney disease who are on dialysis.

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

Important Information

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Ferrlecit or benzyl alcohol.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have iron overload syndrome, or if you receive regular blood transfusions.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially iron supplements you take by mouth.

Also tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Ferrlecit or benzyl alcohol.

To make sure you can safely use Ferrlecit, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • iron overload syndrome; or

  • if you receive regular blood transfusions.

FDA pregnancy category B. Ferrlecit is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether sodium ferric gluconate complex passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Ferrlecit should not be given to a child younger than 6 years old.

How should I take Ferrlecit?

Ferrlecit is injected into a vein through an IV during your dialysis session. This medication must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 1 hour to complete.

You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not self-inject Ferrlecit if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

Ferrlecit must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) in an IV bag before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine. Do not mix this medicine with any other medication or solution in your IV.

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.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include severe weakness, loss of balance or coordination, rapid breathing, tremor, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Ferrlecit?

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Ferrlecit side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • chest pain, trouble breathing;

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

  • fast or uneven heart rate; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain, leg cramps;

  • dizziness, general ill feeling;

  • mild headache;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or

  • pain, redness, swelling, or irritation around the IV needle.

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)

What other drugs will affect Ferrlecit?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially iron supplements you take by mouth.

There may be other drugs that can interact with Ferrlecit. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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