Drug insight: Safety of intravenous iron supplementation with sodium ferric gluconate complex

Nat Clin Pract Nephrol. 2006 Feb;2(2):92-100. doi: 10.1038/ncpneph0068.


Intravenous iron is necessary for optimal management of anemia in patients receiving hemodialysis and is utilized in the majority of these patients in the US. The availability of nondextran formulations of intravenous iron has significantly improved the safety of its use. The nondextran iron formulation sodium ferric gluconate complex (SFGC) has been extensively studied in the hemodialysis population, with two large phase IV trials documenting its safety. SFGC is efficacious and, at recommended doses, is associated with a low incidence of adverse events. There have been few comparative studies of the nondextran intravenous iron preparations; however, they are known to have different pharmacokinetic characteristics. There is also evidence to indicate that these compounds differ in terms of their cytotoxic and proinflammatory properties, and their propensity to induce oxidative stress. This paper reviews the current literature on the safety of SFGC and examines the emerging safety issues surrounding the use of intravenous iron.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ferric Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Ferric Compounds / adverse effects
  • Hematinics / administration & dosage*
  • Hematinics / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iron / administration & dosage*
  • Iron / adverse effects
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Safety


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Hematinics
  • Iron
  • ferric gluconate