Iron Dextran Injection


Iron dextran injection is used to treat iron-deficiency anemia (a lower than a normal number of red blood cells due to too little iron) in people who cannot be treated with iron supplements taken by mouth. This injection is in a class of medications called iron replacement products. It works by replenishing iron stores so that the body can make more red blood cells.

Side Effects Of Iron Dextran Injection

Iron dextran injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • soreness, swelling, or weakness in the area where the medication was injected
  • brown skin discoloration
  • numbness, burning or tingling in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • sweating
  • changes in taste

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience these symptoms or those listed in the WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

Iron dextran injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Warnings & Precautions

Before receiving this injection:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to iron dextran injection; any other iron injections such as ferric carboxymaltose (Injectafer), ferumoxytol (Feraheme), iron sucrose (Venofer), or sodium ferric gluconate (Ferrlecit); any other medications; or any of the ingredients in iron dextran injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and iron supplements that are taken by mouth. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have a kidney infection and if you have or have ever had rheumatoid arthritis (RA; a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) or heart or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving an iron dextran injection, call your doctor.

Iron Dextran Injection Dosage

Iron dextran injection comes as a solution (liquid) to inject into the muscles of the buttocks or intravenously (into a vein) by a doctor or nurse in a medical facility. Your doctor will determine how often you receive iron dextran injections and your total number of doses based on your weight, medical condition, and how well you respond to the medication. If your iron levels become low after you finish your treatment, your doctor may prescribe this medication again.

You may experience a delayed reaction to iron dextran injection, beginning 24 to 48 hours after receiving a dose of medication and lasting for approximately 3 to 4 days. Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: joint, back, or muscle pain; chills; dizziness; fever; headache; nausea; vomiting; or weakness.


Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to iron dextran injection.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are receiving an iron dextran injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.