iron dextran (Dexferrum, INFeD, Pri-Dextra, Proferdex)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is iron dextran-injection, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Iron dextran is an injectable form of iron used to treat iron-deficiency anemia, a condition in which the blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells because of a deficiency of available iron. It is only used to treat patients who cannot be adequately treated with oral iron supplements. Iron is an important mineral and is a necessary component of red blood cells and their ability to carry oxygen. Iron supplements replenish iron in the body and allow the transportation of oxygen.

What brand names are available for iron dextran injection?

INFeD, Pri-Dextra, and Dexferrum are the brand names available for this drug in the US.

Is this drug available as a generic drug?

No, iron dextran is not available in generic form.

Do I need a prescription for this drug?

Yes, you need a prescription from a doctor or other heatlh care professional for this medication.

What are the uses for iron dextran?

Iron dextran is used to treat patients with iron deficiency anemia that cannot be adequately treated with oral iron supplements.

Iron dextran WARNING

Serious anaphylactic-type reactions, including death, have occurred after administration of iron dextran injection. Resuscitation equipment and trained personnel should be available during administration.Patients should be given a test dose before their first dose and monitored closely by their doctor. However, fatal reactions have followed the test dose of iron dextran injection. Fatal reactions have also occurred even when the test dose was tolerated. The risk of experiencing allergic type side effects may be higher in patients who have allergies to other drugs.

Large doses may cause delayed (1-2 days) adverse reactions such as:

The reactions start 24-48 hours after administration and symptoms generally subside within 3-4 days.

Iron dextran should be used cautiously in people with liver disease and should not be used by people with kidney infections.

What are the side effects of iron dextran?

Common side effects include:

Other possible side effects include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2017
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