Side Effects of Iron Infusions

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Iron sucrose infusions are primarily used to replenish iron in patients with chronic kidney disease. Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen throughout the body, and dialysis patients commonly require intravenous iron to maintain sufficient levels. Available in generic form and as the brand Venofer, iron infusions can have several side effects, some serious.

Iron is an essential part of how blood works
Iron is an essential part of how blood works (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency in dialysis patients results from blood loss during dialysis, increased red blood cell production and inadequate absorption of iron.

Dialysis can cause an iron deficiency
Dialysis can cause an iron deficiency (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Most Common Effect

The most common side effect associated with iron infusions is low blood pressure (hypotension). Signs are dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, usually when getting up from a sitting or lying position.

Dizziness and lightheadedness can be a result of hypotension
Dizziness and lightheadedness can be a result of hypotension (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Other Common Effects

Other relatively common side effects of iron infusions include muscle cramps, constipation or diarrhea, nausea and headache.

Iron infusions side effects include nausea
Iron infusions side effects include nausea (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Allergic Reaction

Although rare, some people have experienced a severe allergic reaction to iron infusions. Signs are rash or hives, difficulty breathing, throat closure, severe dizziness and facial or mouth swelling.

Rare reactions may include rashes
Rare reactions may include rashes (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Other Serious Effects

Other rare serious effects also have been reported. They include blurred vision, chest pain or pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures and severe headache.

Serious side effects may include chest pains
Serious side effects may include chest pains (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

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