Iron Infusion

IMPORTANT DETAILS

45 Minutes

Private Room

Medicare Rebate

$150 out of pocket

GP Referral Required

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Iron Infusions At Knox GP

Iron is one of the most important minerals for healthy body function, cognitive ability and energy production. Having too much iron can be just as harmful as being iron deficient, so it is essential your iron infusions are administered by an experienced doctor.

DIRECTOR – DANIEL BADOV 

Knox General Practice & Family Medicine

What Is An Iron Infusion?

The iron infusion is given intravenously through a needle inserted into the back of your hand or your forearm. Next, the needle is attached to a drip containing iron mixed with saline. This fluid is slowly dripped into the vein and mixes with the blood in the body.

As the iron combined with a saline solution mixes with the blood, it works to restore your iron levels up to a healthy range much faster than supplements or dietary changes. The iron infusion replenishes iron stores, allowing the normal production of hemoglobin which is very important as it carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

It often takes several iron infusions to bring the body’s iron levels up to the appropriate levels. Most patients notice symptoms (tiredness, dizziness and so on) improve within a few days with the full effect being more evident after a couple of weeks.

Iron Infusion FAQs

Iron is an essential mineral assisting the body to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and it is important for muscle strength, energy and good mental function. Iron is necessary for proper function of the immune system and maintaining healthy cells, hair, skin, and nails.

Iron makes haemoglobin (Hb), a pigment that makes red blood cells red. Haemoglobin is made from iron which is ingested through red meat, seafood and leafy greens. When the amount of iron in the body gets too low, the haemoglobin levels fall below normal. This is known as iron deficiency anaemia.

Healthy levels of iron for a female are 12 g/dl which varies for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding so it’s important if you’re an expectant mother that you regularly have your iron levels checked with a simple blood test. As women lose blood while menstruating, they are more susceptible than men to becoming anaemic.

People may require intravenous iron infusions if they can’t take iron orally, absorb iron adequately in the gut or can’t absorb enough iron due to anemia or excessive blood loss. Infusions are useful if iron levels need to increase fast to avoid medical complications or a blood transfusion.

People who suffer from iron deficiency require infusions. Often these are people with kidney failure, those taking blood-thinning medication, females due to monthly periods and childbirth and individuals who have trouble absorbing iron due to biological factors.

Symptoms of Iron deficiency:

  • Tired or fatigued
  • Low energy
  • Pale skin
  • Feel cold
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation
  • Aches and pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Infections due to low immunity

You should start feeling increased energy levels, reduced pain and easier breathing a few days after your final infusion treatment. How long these benefits last depends on the cause of your iron deficiency anemia and whether or not you’re using any other methods to increase your iron levels.

Please book a consultation with one of the doctors at Knox GP to discuss your iron levels and learn more about the options available to you.

  1. Book a GP Consultation
  2. Discuss your symptoms or condition
  3. Ask the doctor questions and voice any concerns
  4. If iron infusions are likely to help you the doctor will give you a referral
  5. Book your iron infusion via reception either same day or soon after depending on availability

Tell your doctor if you:

  • Are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Have a history of asthma, eczema or other allergies
  • Had a reaction to any type of iron injection in the past
  • Have a history of high iron levels, hemochromatosis or liver problems
  • Are on any medications – including over the counter or herbal supplements
  • Have anaemia not caused by iron deficiency
  • Under 14 years of age

$150 out of pocket after Medicare rebate

The appointment including the procedure takes 45min

  1. Eat and drink as normal (no fasting required)
  2. Make sure you are well hydrated
  3. Arrive at the clinic on time
  4. Let your doctor know if you are:
    – Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
    – Have asthma, eczema or other allergies
    – History of high iron levels or hemochromatosis
    – Liver problems e.g. Fatty Liver
    – Any medications you are be taking
  5. The procedure takes around 30 minutes
  6. You will have a private procedure room with a comfortable chair
  7. A Doctor will insert a needle into the back of your hand or forearm
  8. A Nurse will monitor you closely throughout the process
  9. You can drive home (unless you have an unexpected reaction)
  10. Resume your normal activities after the infusion

If you have chest pain, trouble breathing, dizziness or neck / mouth swelling, please seek urgent medical attention / call an ambulance (000)

Unless you have an unexpected reaction, you will be able to drive home and do your normal activities. Sometimes side effects (e.g. 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 your doctor for advice.

You may start experiencing more energy, less pain and easier breathing a few days after your final infusion treatment. The iron will take a few weeks to have its full effect and your doctor will check your blood iron levels 6 weeks after your infusion.

The biggest risk with an iron infusion is that as it is administered directly to your bloodstream, if an allergic reaction transpires this can often be severe. This shouldn’t cause alarm because the risk of an allergic reaction is minimal and the healthcare professional administering the infusion will be fully trained on how to deal with any adverse reaction. An iron infusion will only be recommended if the benefits outweigh any risk.

Possible Adverse Reactions:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Skin irritations such as rash, hives or itch
  • Hypertension
  • Nausea
  • Injection site reaction
  • Low phosphate levels
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains

Uncommon Adverse Reactions:

  • Leakage of FERINJECT at injection site may lead to long-lasting brown discolouration of the skin
  • Anaphylaxis to FERINJECT is potentially life-threatening, but RARE

Usually side effects are not serious and are simply the body’s response to extra iron in the bloodstream. While effects may be felt as quickly as 15 minutes into the infusion, they could take a couple of days to subside. If you’re concerned that the side effects are potentially harmful, always consult with your GP who can examine you to identify any further health concerns.