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Iron dextran

Generic name: iron dextran [ EYE-urn-DEX-tran ]
Brand names: Infed, DexFerrum
Dosage form: injectable solution (50 mg/mL)
Drug class: Iron products

Medically reviewed by on Feb 23, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is iron dextran?

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.


You should not use 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.

Before taking this medicine

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.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using the medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Iron dextran can cause injury to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using iron dextran. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is iron dextran given?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Iron dextran is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give your first dose and may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

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

You may receive your first dose in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.

Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine 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.

You may need frequent medical tests. Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if this medicine is effective.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using iron dextran.

Each vial (bottle) is for one use only. Throw it away after one use, even if there is still medicine left inside.

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.

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 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. Call your doctor or seek medical help right away if you feel light-headed or if you suddenly have trouble breathing.

Also all 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 of iron dextran 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.

What other drugs will affect iron dextran?

Other drugs may affect iron dextran, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

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.