What is iron dextran, 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.


Anemia Symptoms and Signs, Types, Treatment and Causes See Slideshow

What is the dosage for iron dextran, and where on the body is the injection given?

Iron dextran is injected into a vein or the muscles of the buttocks.

The recommended dose for adults is 25-100 mg intravenously or deep into the muscle of the buttock everyday as needed. The maximum dose is 100 mg (2 mL) a day

Which drugs or supplements interact with this drug?

No clinically important drug-drug interactions between iron dextran and other medications have been reported by the manufacturer.

Is thsi drug safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Iron dextran should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
  • Small amounts of iron dextran are excreted into human milk. Iron dextran should be used cautiously in pregnant women.

What else should I know about this drug?

What preparations of iron dextran-injection are available?

Iron dextran solution is available in 2 ml single dose vials for injection, containing 50 mg of elemental iron per ml.

How should I keep iron dextran-injection stored?

Iron dextran should be stored at room temperature, between 68 F and 77 F (20 C to 25 C).

When was iron dextran approved by the FDA?

The FDA approved iron dextran in April, 1974.


Sickle cell disease is named after a farming tool. See Answer


Iron dextran injection (Dexferrum, INFeD, Pri-Dextra, Proferdex) is a prescription iron supplement used for people who are iron deficient (anemia) and cant take oral iron supplements. Iron is crucial in red blood cells and their ability to transport oxygen. This drug can cause life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) including death and should be used with caution.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 9/24/2019
FDA Full Prescribing Information