Intravenous iron treatment is an important component of anemia therapy for patients on dialysis. Until recently iron dextran was the only parenteral form of iron available in the United States. This drug has been associated with occasional serious adverse reactions, including full-blown anaphylaxis. In 1999 the Food and Drug Administration approved a second form of iron for intravenous administration, sodium ferric gluconate in sucrose. It is expected that by the time of this publication, a third agent, iron saccharate will also be approved. In this review the comparative safety of these three agents is critically evaluated.