Don’t let your low iron levels get in the way of your day! Iron infusions improve your immune system, mental health function, muscle strength and energy — so you can ensure that your body feels and works at 100 %!
Iron infusions require prior consultation with a GP so we can check to see if you are suitable to receive the treatment.
Why do I need iron?
Did you know? Your body is incapable of producing iron, that’s why you need to get it from food.
Iron is a mineral that the body needs for growth and development. Your body uses iron to make haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, and myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles. Your body also needs iron to make some hormones.
It is also important for muscle strength, energy and good mental function. If your iron levels are low this may make you feel tired and not able to do normal daily activities. As the amount of iron in the body falls even lower, the Haemoglobin level drops below normal. This is known as iron deficiency Anaemia. About one third of the world’s population is iron deficient. Menstruating women are at greater risk than men and postmenopausal women of iron deficiency. It is thought that up to 5% of the Australian population has iron deficiency anaemia.
Why might I need Iron Infusion?
An Iron Infusion might be needed if:
- Patients cannot take iron tablets or liquid because of side effects (e.g. constipation) or problems with absorption (e.g. Crohn’s disease)
- Iron levels that have not improved with iron tablets or liquid
- You have chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure (your doctor should explain why you need Iron infusion and the other options).
- A blood transfusion is not suitable (e.g. for religious reasons)
- Very low haemoglobin levels due to low iron (iron deficiency anaemia) that need to be increased quickly (e.g. prior to surgery)
Take easy quiz and dedicate a few minutes to find out whether you are experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency. : https://www.takeIRONseriously.com/symptom-checker
What to TELL your Doctor?
You need to tell your doctor if you:
- Are pregnant / trying to get pregnant. IV iron should be avoided in the first trimester.
- Have a history of asthma, eczema or other allergies.
- Have had a reaction to any type of iron injection or infusion in the past. · Have a history of high iron levels, Haemochromatosis or liver problems.
- Are on any medications (including herbal and over the counter medicines).
- Have (or may have) an infection at the moment. ·
What to ASK your Doctor
You may wish to talk with your doctor about the following:
- Why do I need IV iron?
- What are the other options?
- About how long will the iron infusion take?
- How many iron infusions will I need to get enough iron?
- (If you are taking iron tablets at the moment), When do I stop taking iron tablets and will I need to use them again?
What happens on the day?
There is nothing special that you need to do to get ready for the day of iron infusion (eg. you don’t need to fast). Unless you have an unexpected reaction, you will be able to drive home and do your normal activities. Before leaving Parkhill Medical Centre, ensure that you have:
- The number to contact if you have any worries or questions
- The dates for any follow up tests and/or appointments
How much do I have to pay?
You will be charged $205.00 with a medicare rebate of $76.95.
What are the common side effects?
Generally, when side effects do occur, they are mild and settle down on their own. The most common side effects are temporary and include:
- Headache, feeling sick or vomiting, muscle or joint pain
- Changes in taste (eg. metallic)
- Changes to blood pressure or pulse Skin staining (brown discoloration) may occur due to leakage of iron into the tissues around the needle (drip) site. This is not common but the stain can be long lasting or permanent.
Inform the doctor or nurse straight away of any discomfort, burning, redness or swelling at the needle (drip) site. Although very uncommon, some people may have a serious allergic reaction. In rare cases this can be life threatening. You will be closely monitored while Iron Infusion is given, and for 30 minutes after. Sometimes side effects (eg. headache, muscle or joint pain) can start 1 to 2 days later. Mostly they will settle down by themselves over the next couple of days. If they worry you or interfere with your daily activities contact Parkhill Medical Centre for advice.
If you have chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness or neck / mouth swelling, please seek urgent medical attention / call an ambulance (000).