Do IV Iron Infusions Have Any Side Effects?

Intravenous iron infusions may cause bloating or swelling of the face and extremities; dizziness, faintness or lightheadedness when changing positions or standing up; nausea and stomach cramps; and body rash, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Additional symptoms may include breathing difficulties, chest pain, anaphalaxis and low blood pressure.

IV iron infusions are used to treat anemia in people with long-term kidney disease, in people on dialysis, or in others with anemia who have not responded to dietary changes or oral iron supplementation, notes WebMD. It may also be used to supplement treatment with erythropoietin, a medication that encourages the bone marrow to make more red blood cells.

Those with low blood counts not related to iron and those with active kidney infections should not take intravenous iron, states WebMD. Those with kidney, liver or Hodgkin’s disease, those with asthma or bleeding problems, and those with autoimmune or heart disease should take IV iron with caution.

Anemia occurs when the body cannot make enough hemoglobin due to a deficiency of iron, explains the Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms include fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and feeling cold. A headache, dizziness and frequent infections are other symptoms associated with anemia.

Women, people on blood thinners, those over 65, those with kidney failure and those who have trouble absorbing nutrients are at a greater risk of developing anemia, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Those who take medication that inhibits iron absorption and those on dialysis are also at greater risk.