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Iron Dextran Injection

pronounced as (eye' urn dex' tran)


Iron dextran injection may cause severe or life-threatening reactions while you receive the medication. You will receive this medication in a medical facility and your doctor will watch you carefully during each dose of iron dextran injection. Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms during or after your injection: shortness of breath; difficulty swallowing or breathing; wheezing; hoarseness; swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes; hives; itching; rash; fainting; lightheadedness; dizziness; bluish discoloration of the skin, lips, fingers, or toes; cold, clammy skin; rapid, weak pulse; slow or irregular heartbeat; confusion; loss of consciousness; or seizures. If you experience a severe reaction, your doctor will slow or stop your infusion immediately and provide emergency medical treatment.

Before you receive your first dose of iron dextran injection, your doctor will give you a test dose of medication and watch you carefully for at least 1 hour for any signs of an allergic reaction. However, you should know that it is still possible that you may experience a severe or fatal allergic reactions even if you tolerate the test dose.

Tell your doctor if you have asthma or a history of an allergic reaction to any medication. Also tell your doctor if you are taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril, lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik). You may be at a higher risk of having an allergic reaction to iron dextran injection.

You should only receive iron dextran injection if you have a condition that cannot be treated with iron supplements that are taken by mouth.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Iron dextran injection is used to treat iron-deficiency anemia (a lower than normal number of red blood cells due to too little iron) in people who cannot be treated with iron supplements taken by mouth. Iron dextran injection is in a class of medications called iron replacement products. It works by replenishing iron stores so that the body can make more red blood cells.

How should this medicine be used?

Iron dextran injection comes as a solution (liquid) to inject into the muscles of the buttocks or intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. Your doctor will determine how often you receive iron dextran injection and your total number of doses based on your weight, medical condition, and how well you respond to the medication. If your iron levels become low after you finish your treatment, your doctor may prescribe this medication again.

You may experience a delayed reaction to iron dextran injection, beginning 24 to 48 hours after receiving a dose of medication and lasting for approximately 3 to 4 days. Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: joint, back, or muscle pain; chills; dizziness; fever; headache; nausea; vomiting; or weakness.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before receiving iron dextran injection,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to iron dextran injection; any other iron injections such as ferric carboxymaltose (Injectafer), ferumoxytol (Feraheme), iron sucrose (Venofer), or sodium ferric gluconate (Ferrlecit);any other medications; or any of the ingredients in iron dextran injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and iron supplements that are taken by mouth. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have a kidney infection and if you have or have ever had rheumatoid arthritis (RA; a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) or heart or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving iron dextran injection, call your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss an appointment to receive iron dextran injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Iron dextran injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • soreness, swelling, or weakness in the area where the medication was injected
  • brown skin discoloration
  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • sweating
  • changes in taste

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • blood in the urine

Iron dextran injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and order certain lab tests to check your body's response to iron dextran injection.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are receiving iron dextran injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Infed®
  • Dexferrum®

Other names

  • Iron-Dextran Complex
Last Revised - 08/15/2014