Clinical use of the total dose intravenous infusion of iron dextran

J Lab Clin Med. 1988 May;111(5):566-70.


Eighty-seven patients with anemia and absent bone marrow hemosiderin were given treatment with total dose intravenous infusions of iron dextran. The effect of rate of infusion and premedication with diphenhydramine, aspirin, and methylprednisolone on acute and delayed reactions was assessed. All patients were monitored for 72 hours after infusion. Two patients reacted to the test dose. One responded with generalized body pain that lasted approximately 5 minutes. In one an anaphylactoid reaction developed, which was promptly terminated by intravenous methylprednisolone, subcutaneous epinephrine, and intravenous diphenhydramine. Transient delayed adverse reactions easily controlled by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs occurred in 37 patients. The most common delayed reaction was a syndrome characterized by arthralgia, myalgia, and fever. Seven subjects had a chronic disease in addition to anemia with absent bone marrow iron. In all seven normal hemoglobin and hematocrit values were attained after treatment. The results of our experience with total dose intravenous iron dextran therapy suggest that it be the preferred method of replenishment in clinical situations where parenteral administration of iron is indicated. An unexpected benefit was the efficaciousness of this method of administration in patients with iron deficiency and coexisting chronic disease. A protocol for its administration is proposed.

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced
  • Anemia / complications
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diphenhydramine / therapeutic use
  • Disease / complications
  • Fever / chemically induced
  • Hemosiderin / deficiency*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Iron-Dextran Complex / administration & dosage*
  • Iron-Dextran Complex / adverse effects
  • Iron-Dextran Complex / therapeutic use
  • Joint Diseases / chemically induced
  • Muscular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Premedication
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Steroids
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Iron-Dextran Complex
  • Hemosiderin