Safety and efficacy of iron sucrose in patients sensitive to iron dextran: North American clinical trial

Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 Jul;36(1):88-97. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2000.8276.


Sensitivity to iron dextran is a potent obstacle to maintaining optimum iron status in patients with dialysis-associated anemia. As part of the North American clinical trials for iron sucrose injection, we examined the effect of intravenous (IV) iron sucrose in 23 hemodialysis patients with documented sensitivity to iron dextran, ongoing epoetin alfa therapy, and below-target-range hemoglobin (Hgb) levels (<11.0 g/dL). We assigned patients to treatment groups according to whether reactions they had experienced to iron dextran were judged to be mild (n = 16; group A) or severe (n = 7; group B). We prospectively examined adverse events and vital signs after administering 100 mg of IV iron sucrose in each of 10 consecutive dialysis treatment sessions and compared results with those recorded in each of three consecutive dialysis sessions without iron treatment. We administered iron sucrose by IV push over 5 minutes to group A patients and by IV push over 5 minutes or IV infusion over 15 to 30 minutes to group B patients. We did not administer a test dose. Results showed no serious adverse drug reactions after a total of 223 doses of iron sucrose (184 doses by IV push, 39 doses by IV infusion). Intradialytic blood pressure changes after IV iron sucrose injection did not differ from those recorded during dialysis sessions without treatment. An increase in values for Hgb, hematocrit, transferrin saturation, and ferritin, coupled with no significant change in epoetin dose and a decrease in total iron-binding capacity, confirmed the efficacy of iron sucrose injection in managing anemia. We conclude that iron sucrose injection is safe and effective in the management of anemia in patients sensitive to iron dextran and can be administered without a test dose by IV push or infusion.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / etiology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Epoetin Alfa
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Ferric Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Ferric Oxide, Saccharated
  • Glucaric Acid
  • Hematinics / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iron-Dextran Complex / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Renal Dialysis* / adverse effects


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Hematinics
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Epoetin Alfa
  • Iron-Dextran Complex
  • Ferric Oxide, Saccharated
  • Glucaric Acid