Iron Infusion Clinic


Make sure you have tried Iron supplements first!

Why treat iron deficiency?

Iron Deficiency may cause:

  • Anaemia that may eventually require a blood transfusion.
  • Restless legs syndrome or hair loss.
  • Less specific symptoms include fatigue, or poor concentration.
  • Problems during pregnancy.

Oral iron is the first-line for the majority of people as it’s safe, easily accessible, and cheap.

What are the reasons for an iron infusion?

There are the usual reasons for an iron infusion:

  • Side effects of oral iron are troublesome, or
  • The iron supplement ‘isn’t working’ based on repeating the iron levels at least 6 weeks after starting the supplement, or
  • Medical conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, chronic renal disease or chronic heart failure, or
  • Pregnancy – though we ask you to obtain any infusion through your hospital antenatal provider.

Which oral Iron supplement should I take?

A lot of people think they are taking iron supplements when the dose of iron is far too low!

The dose of Iron required to treat iron deficiency is 100mg  to 200mg of ‘elemental iron’ daily for at least 3 months. The dose stated on the front of the box will usually be dose of the iron compound  rather than the dose of the elemental iron. The compound dose is around 3 times the elemental iron dose.

Look for the dose of ‘elemental iron’ in the small-print on the box, or ask the pharmacist.  Examples of brands that include an adequate level of iron are:

  • ®Ferrograd C has 105mg elemental iron with vitamin C.
  • ®Ferro-F-tab has 100mg elemental iron.
  • ®Ferroliquid that contains 30mg/ml elemental iron.
  • ® Maltofer – there is evidence it may be better tolerated than other oral iron preparations.

Side Effects of iron supplements

Side effects of oral iron supplements are dose-related and include:

  • Metallic taste
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Black bowel motions

How should iron supplements be taken?

  • Take with orange juice or a Vitamin C supplement as 500mg Ascorbic Acid.
  • Iron supplements are ideally taken on an empty stomach to increase absorption.
  • Antacids for heartburn or indigestion should be taken at least 2 hours before or 4 hours after taking iron supplements.

How can I tolerate oral iron better?

You can consider the following to help tolerate the oral iron:

  • Try Taking iron supplement with food. This doesn’t work as well as taking it on an empty stomach, but it’s better to have iron with food than not at all!
  • Try splitting a single dose into smaller doses through the day. This is easiest to do liquid versions of oral iron.
  • Alternate day dosing.
  • Take with a stool softener.

It’s time to think about an iron infusion when Iron supplements are just not working, or causing side effects.


Intravenous cannula for iron infusion

What are the benefits of an Iron Infusion?

  • Rapid return to normal Iron levels.
  • Gets around the gastro side effects of oral Iron supplements.

What are the risks of an Iron Infusion?

Anaphylaxis is a rare but potentially very serious allergic reaction and the risk will be discussed with you in the clinic. The best formulation for use in a walk-clinic is Ferric carboxymaltose ‘as it can deliver up to 1 g of iron in 15 minutes and has an excellent safety profile.

It is considered normal practice for Iron Infusions to be administered in the general practice setting when full Resuscitation facilities are available.

A rare but troublesome risk is permanent staining of the skin. Meticulous confirmation that the cannula is sited in the vein access may possibly reduce this risk.

Side effects of an iron infusion

Symptoms that may occur at the time of the infusion include headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, joint aches and a metallic taste.

Side effects that may occur a day or two later are headache, joint ache, muscle ache or mild fever.

Headache occurs in around 3% of people and can last a few days.

Which Iron Product do you use?

Ferric Carboxymaltose is also known as Ferinject® that allows up to 1000mg of intravenous iron in one sitting. Around 70% of patients attending the clinic require under 1000mg. The dose is calculated using an equation that takes account of your weight and haemoglobin level. Patients who are anaemic will usually require more than one infusion.

How is The Iron Infusion given?

An intravenous cannula is inserted and The infusion is given into a vein over 15 minutes.

Iron Infusion and Kidney Disease or Heart Failure

Iron absorption is poor in people with kidney disease or heart failure, meaning that oral iron supplementation is not usually sufficient. The ferritin is a poor measure of iron deficiency in these conditions. Iron Infusion is therefore often recommended.

How do I get the Infusion?

  • See The doctor for an initial assessment – what is the cause of the iron deficiency?
  • The doctor discusses treatment options which may include an iron infusion.
  • You ask any questions and sign sign the consent form if you wish to proceed.
  • You are given a script and go to the local pharmacy (1 minute away) to get the script.
  • You return to the clinic when an Intravenous cannula is inserted.
  • The iron is administered by The doctor.
  • You need to stay in the clinic for 30 minutes after the infusion.
  • A blood test is arranged 6 weeks later to re-check your Iron levels.
  • You are given a letter that explains the dose of Iron that you have received any any follow up action.
  • We send your results via SMS or the online portal – whichever you prefer.

Iron Infusion FAQs

Most people requesting an infusion are suitable for an infusion.

Serious Side effects may rarely occur and therefore the infusion does need to be medically justified.

The reasons why an iron infusion are not recommended include:

  • There is no significant iron deficiency on the blood tests
  • The person has not tried oral iron supplements.

South East Medical recommends an infusion in a secondary care facility for a person under 18 years of age, or during pregnancy.

A doctor’s referral letter is not required. If you do bring a letter then the doctor will write to your doctor.

We book 45 minutes for an infusion in an all-in-one visit.

The total price is $195. You will get a rebate of around $74, sometimes more.

In addition, the pharmacy cost for The Ferinject script is around $37.

Remember that most clinics that provide an infusion service will require you to come for an initial 30 minute appointment followed by another 30 minutes appointment for the infusion. We cover both in the same visit.

You’ll want to know why you are low in Iron.

There are a number of medical conditions may cause Iron deficiency and the doctor will need to consider whether these have been excluded. Further blood tests are often recommended to check for conditions like Coeliac Disease, Gastritis and Haemolysis.

The doctor will consider the reason for the iron deficiency and offer an infusion when medically justified. The infusion may be performed at the same appointment.

Iron Carboxymaltose comes in 2 x 500 mg vials. The brand name is ®Ferinject.

The cost of the script from a pharmacy will be the standard cost for a PBS script which is around $37.

Please bring along any blood results.

The Iron should be re-checked around 6 weeks later.

We will inform you of your Iron levels by phone or text.

No initial appointment is usually required – providing you bring blood results from the last 6 weeks.

The easiest way to make an appointment is to check the Iron Infusion Calendar below and secure your appointment online.


Kindly note that our appointments calendar shows all available appointments.

WRITTEN BY: Richard Beatty