Iron deficiency anemia is the most common cause of low hemoglobin levels. The disorder occurs when the body does not have enough iron to create hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells throughout the body. Iron infusions are used to raise iron levels and help treat the anemia. How quickly does iv iron increase hemoglobin depends on the severity of the anemia and how many infusions are required to restore a normal level of iron.
During an iron infusion, a nurse or doctor will put a needle into a vein in your arm or hand. They will then connect a tube, called a catheter, to the needle. The tube is then connected to an IV bag of iron that has been diluted with a saline solution. A pump or gravity will then use the catheter to slowly drip the medication into your body through your vein. The procedure usually takes 30 minutes to complete.
Most people don’t experience any pain during an iron infusion. However, the treatment can cause chills and muscle pain in some patients. In addition, some patients may feel nauseous during an iron infusion. To help reduce these side effects, doctors recommend taking an antiemetic pill before the infusion and wearing loose-fitting clothing that won’t restrict circulation.
Despite the discomfort, the procedure is safe and relatively quick. Patients can return to their normal activities immediately after an iron infusion. Symptoms, such as joint pain or muscle pain, tend to last two to four days and can be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol.