Our bodies need iron. Iron is used to make haemoglobin – the part of our red blood cells that carries oxygen around our body. 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.
Why might I need IV iron?
The most common way to treat iron deficiency is to take iron orally as a tablet or liquid. This works well for most people and is usually the first option. Some people may need iron to be given straight into the body through a vein. This is called an Intravenous (IV) iron infusion. The iron is given through a cannula and infused into your vein. Sometimes 2 iron infusions (given at least 1 week apart) are needed to fully top up iron stores. The infusion is made up of iron, not blood.
IV iron might be needed if you:
- Are not able to take iron tablets / liquid
- Are not responding to iron tablets / liquid or not absorbing them
- Need to get your iron levels up quickly (eg before major surgery, late in pregnancy or to avoid blood transfusion)
- If you have chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure
Ask our Doctors for more information