What is Intravenous Iron Diffusion?

Updated on December 11, 2020

The human body needs a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in order to function. Iron is an important mineral that our body needs. People with iron deficiencies can face a variety of side effects that can affect their quality of life. Usually, our body absorbs iron through the foods we eat. When someone has an iron deficiency, the most common way to treat it is by making changes to their diets and prescribing supplements to them.

Iron deficiency can be caused by two reasons: your diet doesn’t include foods that are sources of iron, or your body is incapable of absorbing iron through the digestive system. People who have an iron deficiency due to the latter have to rely on an Intravenous Iron Infusion in order to treat their iron deficiency. An Intravenous Iron Infusion is a dose of iron delivered directly into your bloodstream. It can help you overcome your iron deficiency, and it’s a relatively simple process. Your doctor will simply administer your dose of iron through an injection. Please keep in mind that you should never try to perform an Intravenous Iron Infusion yourself. You should consult doctors at AscotFamilyPractice.com.au/clayfield/ regarding treatments for iron deficiencies.

Let’s learn more about this process and what it entails.

Preparing For an Iron Infusion

When you’re about to get your infusion, you might feel nervous. This is perfectly normal, and what’s more is that there’s nothing for you to worry about. When done by a professional, an iron infusion is an incredibly safe procedure. On the day of your infusion, here’s what you should do:

  • Have lunch or breakfast as you would normally. Iron infusions don’t require fasting.
  • Take your medications as you would normally.
  • Where loose-fitting clothing so that you can stay relaxed.
  • Have some music on hand and drinking water in case you start feeling anxious.
  • You should be prepared to have an IV drip inserted into your hand or arm.

The Procedure

When you reach your doctor, they will set you up for the procedure. Preparation involves sterilizing your hand or arm and inserting a small IV drip into your vein. Once the needle has been used to insert a catheter into your vein, the needle is removed. The entire process is carefully carried out by a nurse.

This catheter is then attached to a tube that gets connected to an iron IV bag. The IV bag contains a diluted saline solution of iron. Once you are setup, you can relax and read a magazine or do something on your phone as the solution in the IV bag slowly goes into your vein.

The entire process is painless. You will only feel a slight pinch when the needle goes into your body for the first time. After that, you will only feel a slight pressure in the insertion area throughout the procedure.

Your nurse and doctor will also make sure to check for any adverse reactions from your body before they continue with the procedure. If you show signs of adverse reactions, the procedure is stopped immediately.


Once the procedure begins, your iron infusion can take 3-4 hours to complete. Throughout this time, it is recommended that you remain seated. Doctors tend to administer the infusion slowly in order to minimize the chances of any complications. You should note that it takes multiple sessions of iron infusions in order to normalize your body’s iron levels. 

When compared to other iron deficiency treatments, iron infusions are more expensive. But they are also more effective since they deliver iron directly into your bloodstream.

Possible Side Effects

There aren’t any drastic side effects that you have to put up with after an infusion. Most people can return to their normal routine right away. Some people tend to feel very minor side effects such as:

  • Headaches
  • A slight change in how food and drink tastes for a while
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Joint and muscular pain
  • Itchiness or rashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ups and downs in your blood pressure and heart rate

All of these are minor side effects that will only cause a bit of discomfort for a while. In extremely rare cases, a person may experience serious side effects after receiving an iron infusion. This only happens when a person’s body has an adverse reaction to administered iron. Serious symptoms include:

  • Anaphylactic shock caused by iron toxicity
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Collapse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Unconsciousness

Difference Between Iron Infusion And Iron Injection

An iron infusion and an iron injection do the same thing; they deliver a dose of iron directly into your bloodstream. However, the method of delivery is different in both. An injection involves delivering the entire dose of iron in one go. It is injected into a muscle using a needle. While this process is faster, it is also more painful as it can lead to intramuscular bleeding. An iron infusion is less painful and has lesser chances of complications taking place. This is why doctors tend to prefer infusions over injections.


An iron infusion can help you overcome iron deficiency in a painless and comfortable manner. These infusions are relatively safe and are more effective than other iron deficiency treatments. Their only downside is the fact that they are more expensive as well.

An iron infusion session can last for 3 to 4 hours at a time. The infusion is administered slowly in order to minimize the chances of any complications. After you have received your infusion, you may feel some mild side effects. You needn’t worry as these side effects only cause mild discomfort.

An iron infusion can help you overcome various symptoms caused by iron deficiency. They’re an ideal treatment for people with anaemia who aren’t able to normalize their iron levels through other means. 

In order to fully normalize your iron levels, you should expect to undergo more than one iron infusion session. The exact number of sessions you will need will be determined by your doctor after they diagnose you.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.