An iron infusion is a procedure in which iron is delivered to your body intravenously, meaning into a vein through a needle. This method of delivering a prescribed medication or vitamin/mineral cocktail is also known as an intravenous (IV) infusion.
Iron infusions are a rapid and effective way to replenish the body’s iron stores.
They can play an instrumental role for those that have low iron and do not tolerate oral supplements (meaning they are ineffective to increase the body’s iron stores or they have intolerable side effects such as nausea or constipation).
Signs and Symptoms of low iron may include:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Pale skin and pale overall appearance
- Feeling cold
- Easy bruising
- Hair loss
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Shortness of Breath
- Racing Heart
Before your iron infusion, appropriate bloodwork and criteria will be reviewed to ensure you are a candidate for this treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral for an infusion?
Yes, either from a Physician or an ND ( referral form must be filled and emailed to our clinic). We offer consultations in our clinic as well, thus you skip the step of needing a referral sent and Dr.Mohamed, ND administers the iron infusion.
What if a practitioner that is not an ND/Physician wants to refer for an infusion?
If practitioner referring is not an ND/Physician or is a patient inquiring themselves, please ask the client care team to book an Iron consult – 15 minutes with Dr. Mohamed to see if the patient is eligible for an infusion.
What form of Iron do you use and why this one? How many doses are needed?
Monoferric – A single treatment of IV iron is often sufficient to restore iron levels. The treatment can be repeated if needed. How often the treatment is needed varies depending on the condition that is causing the iron deficiency, and whether it persists.
Venofer/Iron Sucrose – Usually used for pregnant and underweight patients and may require 5 doses over multiple weeks.
How long does the iron infusion take and why does it take this long?
Monoferric infusion – 2 hours for a full dose and approximately 1.5 hours for 1/2 a dose. There is a very specific way iron infusions have to be administered and these infusions have to be monitored much more closely than a simple Nutrient IV. Ensuring the correct drip rate that is provided in the guidelines is key to preventing reactions. Thus with a slower drip rate and needing to take vitals ( blood pressure, heart rate and pulse oxygen) multiple times during the visit and requiring the patient to stay 30 minutes post infusion for monitoring, the total amount is this long.
Venofer – 1 hour drip time, however, multiple doses are required
How do the costing/ benefits work for iron infusions?
Option 1: Pay full out of pocket for drug (Monoferric Iron – $260 for 1/2 dose – $500 for full dose) and if Venofer ($80 dollars for a full dose and $40 dollars for a 1/2 dose) + $250 Iron Administration Fee (Monferric Iron) or $160 (Venofer) – the administration fee is paid to clinic but can be claimed through naturopathic benefits.
Option 2: Drug plan coverage through extended benefits (once prescription is faxed to pure pharmacy, the pharmacy will call the patient and ask for their coverage information and let them know how much they are covered for the iron and if they wish to proceed the iron is faxed to our clinic) + Iron Administration Fee ( paid to clinic but can be claimed through naturopathic benefits)
Are they any side effects to an iron infusions and how long can it take to feel the effects?
A very small group of people can experience an allergic reaction and that is why taking vitals, dripping slower and monitoring the patient is key during the infusion.
Some people can have some minor reactions post infusion, which resolve within the week or two. These include flu like symptoms, rashes, mild flushing, headaches, muscle aches and some gut disturbances for example.
How long till I feel a benefit from the infusion?
Some people can notice improvements in iron deficiency symptoms within a week, however, it takes some time for the iron to get converted to a form our cells can use, thus, patients may notice a subtle change over time e.g up to 6 weeks.
How soon can I book in?
As soon as you are evaluated by an ND/physician and considered a candidate for an infusion.
What do I need to prepare for the infusion?
Looking into your insurance coverage ( both Naturopathic and Drug Plan Benefits) under your extended benefits can be beneficial before you come in for a consultation. On the day of the infusion, allocating time and knowing you will be spending up to two hours with us that day and coming hydrated and having eaten, will set you up for success.