Efficacy and safety of iron sucrose for iron deficiency in patients with dialysis-associated anemia: North American clinical trial

Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Feb;37(2):300-7. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2001.21293.


Iron sucrose has been used to provide intravenous (IV) iron therapy to patients outside the United States for more than 50 years. In a multicenter North American clinical trial, we determined the efficacy and safety of iron sucrose therapy in patients with dialysis-associated anemia, evidence of iron deficiency, and below-target hemoglobin (Hgb) levels despite epoetin therapy. Evidence of iron deficiency included a transferrin saturation (Tsat) less than 20% and ferritin level less than 300 ng/mL, and below-target Hgb levels included values less than 11.0 g/dL. We administered iron sucrose in 10 doses, each administered undiluted as 100 mg IV push over 5 minutes, without a prior test dose. We assessed efficacy by determining the subsequent change in Hgb, Tsat, and ferritin values. We assessed safety by recording blood pressure and adverse events after iron sucrose injection and comparing results with those for the same patients during an observation control period. Results showed a significant increase in Hgb level that was first evident after three doses of iron sucrose and persisted at least 5 weeks after the 10th dose. Tsat and ferritin levels also increased significantly and remained elevated. In 77 enrolled patients, including those with previous iron dextran sensitivity, other drug allergies, or concurrent angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor use, we saw no serious adverse drug reactions and no change in intradialytic blood pressure associated with iron sucrose administration. We conclude that iron sucrose injection administered as 1,000 mg in 10 divided doses by IV push without a prior test dose is safe and effective for the treatment of iron deficiency in patients with dialysis-associated anemia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / etiology
  • Epoetin Alfa
  • Erythrocyte Indices
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Ferric Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Ferric Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Ferric Oxide, Saccharated
  • Glucaric Acid
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iron / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Hemoglobins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Epoetin Alfa
  • Iron
  • Ferric Oxide, Saccharated
  • Glucaric Acid