Parenteral iron therapy is occasionally necessary for patients intolerant or unresponsive to oral iron therapy, for receiving recombinant erythropoietin therapy, or for use in treating functional iron deficiency. There are now three parenteral iron products available: iron dextran, ferric gluconate, and iron sucrose. We summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each product, including risk of anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity, dosage regimens, and costs. The increased availability of multiple parenteral iron preparations should decrease the need to use red cell transfusions in patients with iron-deficiency anemia.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.