Iron dextran (INFeD®)

About This Drug

Iron dextran is used to treat anemia (low red blood cells) caused by low iron levels. It is given in the vein (IV) or as an injection in a muscle (intramuscularly).

Possible Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Increased sweating
  • Hot flashes or sudden skin flushing may happen. You may also feel warm or red.
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting)
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Itching and rash
  • Pain in your chest, back or abdomen
  • Pain in your joints
  • Injection site reaction -you may get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin may get red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection. Your skin may sometimes become brown at the injection site.
  • Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis are rare and may be life-threatening. Signs of allergic reaction to this drug may be swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way. If this happens, do not take another dose of this drug. You should get urgent medical treatment.

Note: Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Severe and life-threatening allergic reactions
  • Severe reaction to this drug can happen 1 to 2 days after you have received your treatment (delayed reaction). Signs of a delayed reaction to this drug may be a headache, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, pain in your back, pain in your joints and/or muscles, nausea and vomiting. These side effects usually go away within 3 to 4 days. If this happens, you should call your doctor.
  • Iron overload (too much iron in your body)
  • If you have a history of rheumatoid arthritis, you may have increased joint swelling and pain after receiving iron dextran
  • Seizure. Common symptoms of a seizure can include confusion, blacking out, passing out, loss of hearing or vision, blurred vision, unusual smells or tastes (such as burning rubber), trouble talking, tremors or shaking in parts or all of the body, repeated body movements, tense muscles that do not relax, and loss of control of urine and bowels. There are other less common symptoms of seizures. If you or your family member suspects you are having a seizure, call 911 right away.

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • While you are getting this drug, please tell your nurse right away if you get a rash, swelling or bruising or your skin gets red, warm, itchy or painful at the site of your infusion or injection.
  • Keeping your pain under control is important to your well-being. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are experiencing pain.
  • If you get a rash do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of iron dextran with food.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinkingand/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Severe back and/or abdominal pain
  • Pain that does not go away or is not relieved by prescribed medicine
  • Signs of allergic reaction: swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way
  • Symptoms of a seizure such as confusion, blacking out, passing out, loss of hearing or vision, blurred vision, unusual smells or tastes (such as burning rubber), trouble talking, tremors or shaking in parts or all of the body, repeated body movements, tense muscles that do not relax, and loss of control of urine and bowels. If you or your family member suspects you are having a seizure, call 911 right away.
  • New rash and/or itching
  • Rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug may harm an unborn child.For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving this drug. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: This drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breast feeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.

Revised April 2018

This information is intended to provide helpful health information to the general public and is not to be used in place of any medical, health, psychological, or any other kind of personal professional services. The information herein does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medicines mentioned, nor is the information intended as medical advice for individual problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of taking a particular medication. The dose, method of administration and contraindications for any administered medication should be confirmed before use.UPMC specifically disclaims all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any medication mentioned herein.