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Intravenous Iron Infusion and Me

Updated on March 28, 2015
Iron IV bag photo belongs to cari_kay. Please do not copy without permission
Iron IV bag photo belongs to cari_kay. Please do not copy without permission

Iron Infusion and Me

Hi. I'm Kay. I have been suffering from Iron Deficiency Anemia now for the better part of ten years.

I've put together this page to share my experiences with my first round of Iron Infusion Therapy. You'll hear the good. You'll hear the bad. You'll hear that this treatment is probably one of the best things I've ever done.

I do apologize that my story is rather lengthy but I have been dealing with anemia for some time now. If you are reading this page and are about to begin iron infusion treatments, I do hope you find this page helpful. I welcome your comments.

Are You Anemic?

Are you Anemic?

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Congratulations! It's a Girl AND a Case of Iron Deficiency Anemia!

-or- My History with Anemia

Just over eight years ago, we welcomed into our family our second child. Not only did we gain a daughter, I 'gained' a case of Iron Deficiency Anemia that has never quite resolved.

The Birth

I don't believe I had ever struggled with anemia before my daughter was born. At least, I'd never been told I was anemic. With my daughter, I had a planned C-Section. Several days after the birth, I was taking a shower in my room in the hospital when I either passed out or came close to passing out. To tell the truth, all of it was a blur. The doctors gave me some little red pills but never told me what was going on. I just figured it was birth related, took them for a week or so and then forgot all about them.

Several Months Later

So, for several months, I'm tired. I'm really, really tired but, I just had a baby. How many moms of infants do you know that are not really, really tired? I didn't think anything of it until one day when I dropped my son off at Kindergarten. I was walking back to my car in the parking lot while carrying my daughter. I stepped off the curb and next thing I know, I'm on the ground looking up at all these people helping me. I passed out. Somehow, I managed to twist around and land with my daughter resting uninjured on top of me. I was pretty banged up. My doctor, after taking blood, realized I was anemic. She asked if I was still taking those little red pills and I told her that no, I didn't know they were for anemia and I didn't know I was anemic.

Fast Forward Eight Years

I won't bore you with a lot of details. I will tell you that I've struggled with my anemia since that time and with each and every doctor, one of the first things they say is, "Did you know you're anemic?" Normal hemoglobin levels for women are between 12 to 18. I would bounce back and forth between 6 and 11. I have not had normal levels since having my daughter. My hemoglobin level has even gone down to below five (considered transfusion level). Rather than a transfusion, they just upped my iron. For the next eight years, I would battle anemia with every type of iron pill available. None of them worked well. I just didn't absorb iron. I changed my diet. Everybody had their little tips and tricks. I tried them all to no avail. If I pushed through the pain of the iron pills for a month or so, I'd get my level up to the 10 and 11 range where everybody seemed satisfied but only months later, I'd start feeling the effects of anemia and it was starting to affect my heart.

Let me just say, of all the iron, one pill did stand out from the rest. Initially, I had no stomach problems with Slow FE. You can purchase it over the counter at any local pharmacy. If you are struggling with pills and have not tried Slow FE, talk to your physician about it. It releases slowly and just seems gentler. After awhile, though, even these pills were causing problems and so we moved on to the next pill.

No Answers

Nobody knows what is causing my anemia. Some doctors suspected it was related to my cycle. I was scheduled for an endometrial ablation that ended up being canceled the day before the procedure. Another doctor believed that due to my bicornuate uterus, that procedure would likely have caused more problems. I've had two colonoscopies. Currently, due to the pain I have when taking iron pills, they believe the issue might be upper GI but we still don't have that answer.

Iron Infusion Therapy

Three years ago, I had a physician who had run the gamut of tests and was sending me to a Hematologist to investigate iron infusion therapy. However, just after that appointment, we moved across the country. I found a new physician here but they wanted to start at square one. They were worried about my heart so I had ultrasounds, stress tests, lots of blood work but they weren't keen on sending me to the Hematologist and I didn't push it. Honestly, I figured a Hematology appointment wouldn't provide much in the way of answers. How wrong I was.

ER Visit

Several nights before Thanksgiving of this year, my heart started really behaving erratically. It almost felt like it was stopping and then would start beating really fast. I was having a tough time breathing and really getting a bit scared. My husband took me to the ER. I told them that I knew it was my anemia. Hours later they came in and announced that I had anemia and I was right on the border of getting a transfusion. I really didn't want one and they told me to go see a hematologist.

"Anemia is neither normal nor harmless and may have far-reaching effects."

— National Anemia Action Council

Fast Forward to the Hematologist

The day after my ER visit (or really the same day since I was in the ER overnight) I called to schedule an appointment with a recommended hematologist .

I must admit, having an appointment at the local Cancer Center was a little unnerving. Everybody in the Center was wonderful though. Normally you go to the doctor's office and everybody is all business. I found everybody here to be very friendly and cordial. The staff joked with me and put me at ease. The physician's assistant took my blood and ushered me into the exam room. Shortly thereafter, the doctor came into the room. She took my history and asked questions. Once the results of the blood test were brought in, she promptly announced that I needed an iron infusion first and foremost. Of course, we needed to get to the bottom of what was causing the Anemia but, the infusion would remedy quite a bit. She told me I could have the first one in the morning. My hemoglobin was at 8 which I thought was pretty good. Hey, I've had lower levels but, given my history, she felt iron infusion therapy would help.

"12% of women aged 12 - 49 are iron deficient"

— anemia.org

What is Iron Infusion Therapy?

some questions I asked or have been asked

In a nutshell, iron infusion therapy is iron being delivered into your body intravenously.

Why not take iron pills?

Some people, like myself, just struggle with iron pills. Either the iron does not absorb or they have so many side effects that they really make life uncomfortable. Constipation, stomach upset and stomach cramps are the common side effects. I would have terrible stomach pains whenever I increased my iron.

Are there side effects with iron being delivered through an IV?

The quick answer is yes. The most serious side effect is possible allergic reaction which, in some cases, can cause anaphylactic shock. I was told that other side effects could include rash, joint pain, headache and flu-like symptoms.

With the risk of serious reaction, why do people agree to taking iron intravenously?

Like myself, you have to weigh which is worse, the reaction to iron or your Anemia. In my case, my heart was being affected. I struggled to get through each day because I was so exhausted. I've had doctors tell me that if I didn't get this fixed, I might not live to see my children grow up. Yes, anemia can be that serious.

Are there safeguards in place in case you do have a serious reaction?

Funny you should ask because that is one of the first questions I asked my doctor. She told me that, yes, they have had patients have serious reactions but they are closely monitored. If somebody starts to show the signs, they know what to do. She said most patients have more mild side effects if any.

Will I feel better once the IV is removed?

No. I think even though I knew this, I remained hopeful. Each person is different. I've since talked to women who were back in their usual routine by the next day and there there are some who needed a few days of rest. Plan ahead. Schedule your appointment right before the weekend so that you can take a couple days of rest if needed. For many of us, it may take four or five weeks before we are really feeling a difference.

According to the CDC the number of visits (to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments) with anemia as the primary diagnosis:

5.3 million

My First Infusion

because this is why you are reading my story

I arrived at the Cancer Center at 8:30am. I was promptly ushered back into a large room filled with recliners. The nurse told me to pick a chair. Being a little nervous about the procedure, I chose one right in front of the nurses desk. About 3/4 of the chairs were occupied with chemo patients but I saw one other woman with a rusty red iron bag. Some people were napping. Some were watching television. Some were plunking away on the keyboards of their laptop computers. All were hooked up to IVs. Because there was wi-fi, I decided to catch up on the news. By 9am, I still was not hooked up. The nurse said there was a problem with insurance but they were working through it. Never found out what the problem was but by 9:30am, a nurse came over to insert the IV. By this point, I was chatting with my son online. I asked the nurse if she could give me the IV in my arm rather than my hand so I could continue to type comfortably but she explained that they preferred to use the hand and that it was just easier overall. Easier is good so I was fine with that decision. After she had the IV inserted, I continued typing away with my son. After a few minutes, the room started swimming and I could no longer focus on my computer. Not sure why, I quickly typed that I had to go, closed my computer and felt like a little schoolgirl as I raised my hand to get the nurse's attention. Turns out, they had put Benadryl in my IV. I knew I was getting it but I thought I'd be taking it in pill form.

Let me just pause a moment to say, oh my goodness, Benadryl in an IV really packs a punch quickly. The room was swimming and suddenly I was beyond exhausted. The nurse told me that many of the patients liked to take naps once it hit. I was fine with that suggestion. The nurse brought me two blankets because i was suddenly very cold as well. I think I was asleep before she had the iron hooked up. I woke maybe an hour later to see that the iron was dripping and my hand, where the IV was inserted, was throbbing a bit. The pain was not bad though so I didn't say anything. It was more uncomfortable. Thankfully, I fell asleep again. When I awoke about a half hour later, about half of the patients had left. My hand was a little achy but, again, very bearable. I also found that I was a bit itchy and was scratching my neck and head. I was more than halfway through the bag though and happy about that. The room was no longer swimming but I was still pretty tired. I took out my computer but only lasted about five minutes before I decided another nap sounded wonderful (and it was!). I awoke to some stomach pains. This was not worrisome for me though because I get the same pains when I take those heavy iron pills. They subsided after a bit. Soon afterward, the iron bag was just about empty and the nurse came and freed me from it all. They scheduled another infusion two weeks out and I was done. I was supposed to have the next infusion the following Friday but because the next week was a busy one for us, they agreed that waiting an additional week would be just fine.

I was still a bit tired but also found that I was really hungry so I pulled through a drive through and headed home. After about a half hour at home, I was feeling even more tired so I laid on the couch. Next think I know, it's several hours later. I woke up feeling beyond exhausted. I must admit, it felt almost more so than when my levels were really low. I joked with my family about feeling like actual iron had been pumped into my body because my legs felt leaden just walking around the house. Long story short, for the next five or so days, I was exhausted. I also felt fluish. My body was a bit achy and I had an achy sort of head ache the first night Thankfully, being the weekend, my husband helped with the kids and I just slept. I have to admit, I felt a bit depressed as well. I was beginning to think the treatment did not work and now what were we going to do? Thankfully, on day six, I woke up feeling so much better. I won't say I felt like Superwoman but I had no problem getting back into my usual schedule. Until my next appointment, I was still tired and taking naps but with my anemia, that was just the way it had been. A couple days before my appointment, I did start to worry about the next infusion. I didn't want to go through that exhaustion again. I think I could have talked myself out of the appointment but my husband would not let me. He told me to give it one more time and see if it helped. And, so, I did.

Lesson Learned:

Drink a glass of water before your infusion appointment. The extra fluid will make it easier for the nurse to find your vein and help avoid the discomfort of repeated jabs.

My Second Infusion

two weeks later

Again, I showed up at my appointment bright and early. This time, they had me hooked up to the Benadryl within ten minutes of being seated. The nurse felt that my exhaustion the last time might have been from the Benadryl. I explained that I have always been a lightweight when it comes to medications. She said they could lower the dose a bit but said that because of my itchiness before, I might also be more susceptible to a reaction from the iron. I'd much rather deal with exhaustion than hives or some other time of reaction, so I told her to dose me up. I was prepared this time. I brought my pillow from home and got my two blankets ahead of time. Within a couple minutes, I was out. I slept longer this time. When I woke up, I'd gone through quite a bit of the iron bag. I was itchy again and this time perhaps a bit itchier. I also had a few stomach pains but my hand did not hurt as much this time. I think I dozed off again once or twice. I do think the second time was easier. Perhaps part of that was just knowing what was going to happen. I finished my appointment and they scheduled labs and a doctor's appointment two weeks out. Again, found myself famished and hit the same drive thru on the way home. I did go through the same exhaustion this time but it only lasted two days. I'd since talked to a couple other women who said they reacted to Benadryl through the IV the same way so I really do think it was the Benadryl that caused that reaction. I did not have the flu like symptoms this time and after two days of rest, I was back in my routine once again.

My Appointment

after two infusions

Again, the staff at the Center were great. They took blood right away and sent me back into the waiting room for a bit. They then called me back into the doctor's office and she appeared about ten minutes later. She had my levels. She said that I was still slightly anemic but they had risen to 11 (at 12 they become normal). I don't think I've had levels at the 11 range in years, I was thrilled! The doctor looked pretty pleased as well. She said the real test would be the ferritin levels but those would be back later in the week. She did tell me, though, that I had had no detectable iron at my last appointment. Wow! She said, if the ferritin rose enough this time, they'd see me again in six months (unless I started showing signs of severe Anemia again). All in all, I was very pleased with how my hemoglobin had risen so quickly.

Several days later, the nurse called to congratulate me. Not only had my iron levels gone from non existent but she said they were excellent now! Let me just say, I was so thrilled that I would have gladly named my daughter after this doctor in apprecation. However, my daughter, being eight, is rather attached to her name so I, instead, heartily thanked the nurse.

Have you had Iron Infusion Therapy for Anemia?

See results

If you have had an iron infusion, have you had any side effects?

See results

What were your side effects (if more than one, pick the most serious)?

See results

According to the World Health Organization, roughly 30% of the world's population is anemic!

Please, keep in mind, there are a number of people who visit this page after only one infusion and it takes at least a few weeks to see results!

If you have had an infusion, was it worth it?

See results

Fast Forward Two Months

that's two months after my last appoinment

You are probably wondering how I feel now. Let me just say, I FEEL WONDERFUL! Honestly, I don't think I've had this much energy in years. Now I'm not running marathons or anything like that but I've spent a number of years now with just no energy. Naps were a common thing with me and I was exhausted at the end of each day. Now, I'm out walking quite a bit. A nap is no longer a necessity.

Lesson learned:

Next time I can tell my Anemia is an issue, I'm skipping my general practitioner and OB. I'll just make an appointment with my Hematologist. I really feel like she was a miracle worker.

New Precautions for IV Iron Administration

in the European Union

The new precautions seem to be modeled after precautions already taken in the United States:

New Precautions Recommended for IV Iron Supplements

Iron Comparison

Dextran vs. Venofer

Because I am now about to start a new iron, I wanted to compare the two main types.
Treato.com compares the side effects and reactions of the two among hundreds of patients:
Iron Dextran vs. Venofer.

If you'd like to see the side effects for each:

Iron Dextran Side Effects and Reviews

Venofer Side Effects and Reviews.

Just scroll down and click on each one to learn more.

Lesson Learned:

Drink a glass of water before your infusion appointment. The extra fluid will make it easier for the nurse to find your vein and help avoid the discomfort of repeated jabs.

Are you struggling with Iron Deficiency Anemia? Are you going to start infusion therapy or have you been through it already. I'd love to hear from you. I try to answer all messages but often get to my email a bit more quickly. You can contact me at CariKay11@gmail.com if you'd like to talk. Thank you!

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    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
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      Kay 4 months ago

      I actually need to update this. I had a hysterectomy this year and am no longer anemic! There may be others who visit who will try the nettle though :)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 4 months ago

      Great news!!! I am so happy for you!

    • profile image

      K-nel 4 months ago

      Hi Kay! Yes I am happy to report that the endometrial ablation was a success! The heavy bleeding was the root cause and now that is a thing of the past! Thank God! My iron deficiency anemia is completely healed!

    • profile image

      Cyndi 4 months ago

      You may want to look into a simple Nettle infusion. It is like tea. You buy stinging Nettle and make it at home like you make tea almost. You can google Susan Weed Nettle infusion. I have been anemia for over 40 years and this stuff was like a miracle for me. Changed my life for $15 a month (1 LB of nettle on amazon).

    • docashp profile image

      Dr Ashish 5 months ago from india

      What is the cause of your anaemia?The logical cause of iron deficiency is either reduced intake or absorption ,increased demand or increased loss from the body.So whats the cause in your case?Are you suffering from a malabsorptive disease??

    • profile image

      Marilyn Gayle 7 months ago

      I also am glad I found this page! Thank you! I can so identify. Two years ago I found out I was iron deficient anemic. I was extremely tired all the time, couldn't make it from one end of the mall to the other without having to sit down and catch my breath, and I would often feel dizzy when I would get up. I would feel a spongy or weak feeling in my arms, hard to explain. My hemo. was 6.9, and my doctor sent me straight to the hospital 2 days before Easter, and I had 2 units of blood. I started taking iron pills, and found out after my family doctor sent me to the Cancer center the pills were doing me no good at all, only causing stomach discomfort, and constipation. I have what is called a Tortuous colon (it's longer than most and takes a lot of twists and turns) My doctor at the cancer center feels like this is why my body does not absorb iron. I have had 4 iron infusions so far with no side effects, and I usually start to get my energy back within several days to a week. I do not have the constipation and stomach problems I had before. They are all so nice at the Cancer center, get me hooked up, bring me a coke, really spoiling me. I've accepted the fact that I will probably have to have these for the rest of my life, but that's okay! I know I'll feel good, Normal, and healthy :)

      P.S. I failed to mention that my colonoscopy, also occult blood tests were normal.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 20 months ago

      You have just been through such a time. I am so sorry. I would love to hear if you think the ablation helped. I know that takes some time and you still have to get your levels back up. (((hugs)))

    • profile image

      K-nel 20 months ago

      I'm glad I found this. Wish I would have found it sooner. January 29 I went to the doctor thinking I was having heart problems. My symptoms were shortness of breath, fatigue, and I don't even know how to explain what was happening to my heart. I ended up being admitted into the hospital and received a blood transfusion, three units of blood to be exact! My hemoglobin was 6 and hematocrit was 22, ferritin was 3, iron and iron saturation could not even be detected. After three bags of blood, hemoglobin went up to 9 and hematocrit 30. But crazy thing is during the blood transfusion my blood pressure spiked very high and stayed high for a few weeks even after being given blood pressure medicine. I am 46 and have been having heavy periods for a couple of years. So my periods were the root of my iron deficiency anemia. So the obgyn recommended an endometrial ablation but could not do it until my blood pressure was normal. But she gave me progestin-only birth control pills in the meantime thinking that would lessen the bleeding. I was hopeful that it was gonna work but it did not!! And to be honest, I think my blood pressure was high because of the anxiety I had with getting a blood transfusion (my thoughts get out of control) and then reading the terrible side effects of the iron infusions the hematologist scheduled me for! It was all a bit too much for my brain and nerves! Lol My first iron infusion was Injectafer. I had a bad reaction within the first 20 minutes. Felt flush, dizzy, was about to pass out, started uncontrollably crying, (not sure if the crying was from the iron or a side effect of the steroid injection they had to give me because of my reactions.) I was also shaking uncontrollably! Craziness! So they had to stop that infusion obviously! So a few weeks later I go in again to get a different iron called Venofer. They pre-medicated me with Benadryl and Tylenol this time. Everything was fine until the next day I had terrible stomach pains that brought me to tears and a bout of diarrhea on fourth day. Second infusion was scheduled one week later, did fine, had a bad headache and a bout of diarrhea and then felt fine. Skipped one week to have a D&C and endometrial ablation. So yesterday was my third infusion of Venofer. They gave me the cocktail of Benadryl and Tylenol and then infused me and I was fine while I was there. An hour after I left I broke out in hives all over my legs!! Was told to take more Benadryl and if I had problems breathing to call them, but all was well, hives went away. Was told that they will give me a steroid injection with my next infusion, which is next Monday. I sure have been tired today for some reason. Could be from the Benadryl.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 21 months ago

      Let us know how it goes! Thankfully, many women seem to have an easy time of them. Hopefully you are one of them!

    • profile image

      Suzana 21 months ago

      Thank you for sharing your story, I have one scheduled in two weeks and I must admit I'm nervous about it. Don't know what to expect, or if it will help. All I do know is that I'm tired of feeling so exhausted all the time.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 22 months ago

      Does the venofer seem to last longer for you?

    • profile image

      Jessica 22 months ago

      I can relate to your story. I too struggle with anemia. I have gone in for a total of four iron treatments. I can't seem to keep my iron levels up. They first started on the ferrlicit, which worked great the both times they used it. The only downside is how many times they have to administer it. The last two I have gone for they used venofer which I ended up liking better. It was a faster treatment and the side effects were less.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      Glad to hear they are working. I know it is so nice having energy again!

    • profile image

      Stewart 2 years ago

      A lot better than iron tablets

      worked well for me

      I have had two now

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      Please, let us know how you are doing and what they said. Was this your first infusion? What type of iron?

    • profile image

      Ashley ds 2 years ago

      I had one last night. Woke to a migraine so bad i threw up. Also i was just slightky bleeding when having this done but about 8 hours later thats dramatically increased. Its so bad that in less than an hour im overflowing. Im planning to seek medical attention this morning.

    • profile image

      Marilyn 2 years ago

      I'm seeing a lot of Vit D and B12 in addition to the anemia. I know B12 is common but Vit D? I just had mine tested and it's low, which surprised me as I spend a lot of time in the sun.

      Wondering if anyone has has this done in Vancouver, Canada. While my iron levels finally had a small jump from using Feramax (and cutting out inhibitors like wheat & dairy) but part of me feels like after 2 years of constant super low ferritin levels (and frequent dips over the years) that this is something I may try. My Dr wants to see where the Feramax gets me in 2 months and we'll talk about it then but it does seem like a real possiblity that IV is the way to normalize my iron. I'm a bit nervous about the benedryl as I don't take any medication (aside from the occasional, very rare advil).

      This has been the best run through of what to expect though so thank you for writing the blog!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      You are not an odd duck. I've talked to so many women who have a hard time with iron. I have a hard time with a lot of infusions as well. Talk to your doctor. They may just want to hold off on any more infusions and wait and see how your levels are doing. Then, if you need infusions in the future, they might be able to try another iron. I am so sorry. As one who has struggled with iron, I understand. (((hugs)))

    • profile image

      MsKrys 2 years ago

      Hi. I'm on my 6th weekly infusions. With venofer and it's almost as if pre-treatment I was below a symptom threshold (except for the ongoing fatigue and weakness) and although the last labs showed hardly any change its as if I've entered a symptom zone filled with headaches, colds, coughs, increased anxiety and headaches just to name a few. I've been so hopeful that these infusions would put me back on track but I'm feeling awful. :( everyone everywhere that I speak with or that I e read about have had awesome results. Am I an odd duck? It sucks feeling like a prisoner to my body:( ( sorry feeling mopey and hopeless at the moment)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      I am so sorry you are going through all of this. I hope the supplements work. Please, let us know what you find out. (((hugs)))

    • profile image

      Katie 2 years ago

      Hi there, I am from the UK and these infusions do not seem to be as readily available on our NHS. I have been taking Ferrous Sulfate for the past week, 200mg three times a day. My iron level at last blood test was very dangerously low and my Vit D is virtually undetectable, I am also awaiting results of a B12 blood test to see if I will be having tablets or injections as that is so low also. Cant believe all of this! If my Iron does not come up in next few weeks then I will need to ask my Doctor about having an infusion, my level is currently 4.2! Very anxious about all this and the problems it could be causing my body.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      Hi Pat. I emailed you. Hang in there and keep us updated. Praying for you as well.

    • profile image

      Pat 2 years ago

      Well I am suppose to start my iron infusion tomorrow the first of two. Yes I am wary that is why I am reading what you guys have written. I also have alot of pain issues and I am in Pain Management. Also have Osteoporosis and have broken several bones. My Dr. told me she has not seen anyone with no folic acid, low iron and low b12 at the same time. Needless to say I have alot of anxiety. Don't know what to do. If someone wants to talk with me you are welcome kingp1949@gmail.com....Thanks For Any and all support!!

    • profile image

      juliemj 2 years ago

      I start half hour iron transfusions tuesday, 1 of 2. I am so scared. I dont want to have a bad allergic reaction. they are giving me benadryl and a steroid b4 the iron. i am so very frightened to have this done because of any reactions. i have severe panic disorder and clinical depression. the panic attacks are going to hit hard i'm sure. i don't want to die. please pray 4 me or give me good feedback. ty all

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      I've talked to others who have gotten the ports as well. I do hope they figure out what is going on and why you are not absorbing iron. I remain hopeful that one day they will figure it out for me as well.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      Please do update! I'd love to hear your experience with the Injectafer. For me, it varies. I can start to feel more energy about three to five weeks after I begin infusions.

    • profile image

      crystal 2 years ago

      I am sending out encouragements to people with iron deficiency anemia. I have had two blood transfusions and I am on my second round of iron infusions. I have been diagnosed due to not being able to absorb iron. So I could take iron pills all day and it would not help. I have had two hematologists, both with the same outlook, "let's get you feeling better". They moved forward with iron infusions quickly. I had my last iron over two years ago but recently began to receive treatments again. This time they had great difficulty getting the IV's in my arm. My new Hematologist quickly suggested a port, due to this being a long term issue that will require iron infusions over long period of time, so that I would not miss doses due to not getting an IV in. Got the port in Monday, got my iron infusion today (Friday). It was sooo easy and I am so glad the doctor moved quickly. Dr. Cuervo (yes that is his name) is fantastic and listens to me not just my tests. My ferretin was 5 and my energy was zero. Looking forward to better quality of life.

    • profile image

      Change forgetter 2 years ago

      I was recently diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia and per my hematologist recommendation I start iron infusion. The one used in my case happen to be injectafer, a new drug approved in 2013 which promises less side effect and less visits . The procedure itself is two visits 30 minutes each for two connective weeks. I just got my first injection and had a slight allergic reaction, itching all over my body. Ended up taking two 25mg pill form Benadryl which caused the itching to go away but left me feeling tired all day. So far I'm not feeling to different energy wise and was told it would take 6 weeks to notice a difference. My ferritin before the infusion is 0 and my hgb is a 8. I'll update on my second trip to receive the final dosage

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 2 years ago

      Yes, they've talked to me about steroids in the IV but, sadly, I'm allergic to any steroidal medication. I'm so glad it worked well for you.

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      NoLongerTired 2 years ago

      Have been extremely fatigued for years, and saw several MDs who only ran CBC and checked thyroid, and, because hemoglobin and hematocrit and thyroid levels were normal, I was dismissed. Last year, finally found a doc who was thoughtful enough to check ferritin and my ferritin level was 13. After a year and a half of taking max oral dose of iron and ferritin never higher than 20 and recently dropped into single digits, I saw a hematologist who ordered iron dextran infusion. I have had my first infusion and get my next infusion next week. I was premedicated with 125 mg methylprednisolone IV and Tylenol, received test dose and vitals checked 5min, 10min, and 15min intervals for an hour and experienced no side effects. My hematologist is the author of this article from 2008 and is extremely knowledgeable of this: http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/19/5/833.full. Yes, I did my own research. I felt fine immediately after my infusion and began to notice improvement within days.

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      Kay 2 years ago

      Seems like an awful lot of treatments in one week. They space mine out by a week or more. Are you seeing a hematologist?

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      Deborah 2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story with us! When I found out that I had to get infusions I was nervous, but hearing stories like yours helps ease the mind and is a reminder that we are not alone! I thought I would list the side effects that I experienced.

      I've had four iron infusions. Three out of the four were done in one week. I've been told that you can get a burning sensation in the spot where they place the catheter. Luckily, I didn't experience this. The last day of my infusion, when I was driving home, I was experiencing sharp jabbing pains in my lower back. They were sudden and would stop and would come back if I breathed in too deep. When I got home, I noticed I had hives on my feet so I went back to the oncologist's office. By the time I made it back to the office, they traveled up my legs and to my arms. They told me this was normal and put me back on an IV and gave me a shot of Benedryl and a shot of Steroids. They had me stay there until the hives were completely gone and prescribed me a Prednisone steroid pack to take for six days to help prevent another breakout. The back pains lasted for four days.

      Days after my last infusion, my body was achy. My joints hurt a little bit but it was more of a discomfort than pain. Another side effect that I had was a soreness on my whole body. It felt like I had a huge sunburn and if someone touched my skin, it would hurt. It didn't hurt or burn all of the time, just when someone touched my skin (gave me a hug, patted my back, etc.)

      I was told since I got that many treatments in one week, that it can be an overload on your body. I am very grateful that I didn't experience vomiting or diarrhea. Besides the side effects that I did have, I think the iron infusions were VERY worth it. I go tomorrow morning to get labs done to see how much my levels have improved since the infusions.

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      Kay 2 years ago

      I hope it goes smoothly, Let us know how you do!

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      Natalie 2 years ago

      Hi from Canada

      I'm having my first iron infusion on March 23! Thanks for your story. It helps me to be prepared. I am a bit nervous but the way I'm feeling being deficient is worse than the nervousness . Lesser of two evils.

      Again thanks

      Natale

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      Kay 2 years ago

      Please, let us know how it goes!

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      Lisa bergan 2 years ago

      Tomorrow is my first of many iron transfusions,i'm scared but I'm so glad I read your step by step diary.I had gastric bypass is four years ago,and my body has changed for the worse

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      Kay 2 years ago

      Despite any side effects, I think this is so worth it as well. Thanks for the comment.

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      Mary 2 years ago

      I had an iron infusion a month ago. I had a migraine that lasted five days as a result (same thing happens when I take oral iron). It was worth it though, since my iron levels went from nonexistent to normal-high!! My levels have not been normal in over ten years! Within a week I was going from sleeping twelve hours a day, to six! I have so much energy that I daydream about exercising. I am very pleased. I should mention I also had iron injections in my hips which did not budge my levels at all.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      It is different for each person. Initially, my infusions lasted about six months then I let myself get talked into a dangerous diet (hCG) and that did something horrible to my body because I immediately needed more infusions after only weeks of the diet. After that, they went to about every four months.

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      Mrs. Foster 3 years ago

      Had my first 2 infusions in September. Dr's seem happy with my levels 8 weeks later, however, I am beginning to experience some of the symptoms I had before they sent me for infusions. How long can I expect the benefits of the infusions to last ? Is there somewhere I can find a list of the acceptable bloodwork levels/values online ?

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      Kay 3 years ago

      Keep me updated on how it goes. I go for another infusion this week.

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      Tanika 3 years ago

      I have been suffering from iron deficiency anemia for years because of malabsorption and am currently in the middle of a two week iron therapy with venofer. It was really good to just read through your journey, with your information and the links. It's also good to know it's not just me who has problems with the iron pills even with Slow Fe. In the past I've had blood transfusions because my blood cell count didn't increase enough with the pills. My current doctor is trying iron therapy only to see how well I do with that rather than transfusion followed by one iron infusion. I'm looking forward to seeing how things go with a strict iron therapy instead of a transfusion.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      Let me know how it goes. I go back in for bloodwork this week so I may be starting back up again myself.

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      Mocha2go 3 years ago

      Thanks so much for the info and tips! I have been seriously anemic for many years, my ferritin is now at 2. I've resisted the infusions when the dr brought it up in the past, but now I am actually looking forward to getting them. Hoping my dr is right and I'll "feel like a million bucks!"

      Funny thing is, I've felt this way (tired, palpitations, etc) for so long it just seems normal. Thanks again! I'll let you know how it goes. Going to have venifer once a week for 6 weeks. :-)

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      Kay 3 years ago

      It's hard when they don't know what is happening. Hopefully, since they may have an idea, maybe there is some solution? Hope your infusions kick in quickly!

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      Lisa 3 years ago

      My anemia seems to be caused by bleeding ulcers. Cause of ulcers is uncertain but may be from being salicylate sensitive.

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      Lisa Murray 3 years ago

      Have been struggling for years. Had to have a blood transfusion when my levels went under 4. I am scheduled for five more infusions over the next two weeks. I am so excited about getting well.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      yes, when my ferritin is that low, I am exhausted. It's hard to function. Good luck with your infusion. Let me know how it goes. I'm sort of surprised they are waiting so long. When my ferritin is under 5, my doctor usually gets me in the next day.

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      Mary Kay 3 years ago

      Very informative! Thank you for being so open about your journey. I am scheduled for my first infusion on the 24th. I thought I was exhausted from a super busy summer, but after trying to donate blood and being deferred, I found out my ferritin level is 3. Thanks again for all the info!

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      Kay 3 years ago

      Keep me updated on what they say. If my ferritin gets up to 50, I feel so much better. When it gets down below 20, I start tiring really easily and by 10 or below, I'm napping whenever I can. Be curious to hear what they say.

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      Wendy 3 years ago

      Thanks for this. I'm being referred to a hematologist for a potential infusion. My iron levels are within normal (56 was my last, with the normal range being 30-150. I was 130 in January), but my ferritin levels are still too low (10 last year, 32 in January, 42 in July, people feel normal at 70 and great over 100). Since that's rising SO slowly, I'm hoping something more can be done. This was VERY helpful for me to read. I feel far more educated now about what to expect if the hematologist thinks this is a possibility for me.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @glosow416: I wonder if it is Dextran? I know my infusions with that were quite long. Although it isn't always fun getting these infusions, I so agree, it is worth it!

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      glosow416 3 years ago

      I just had my fourth infusion and the only thing I dislike is it is an all day thing. Mine is usually 4-6 hrs long depending on how much I need. I have to get two steroids first then the test dose, then the infusion. I feel fine the day of the infusion but for 2-3 days after I am extremely tired. After that I feel great and it is definitely worth it!

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @focusonthepoint: That's what keeps me going! It's easy to feel a bit down while going through the infusions because they do take time to work but, once they do, it is so worth it! Hope you are feeling better soon!

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      focusonthepoint 3 years ago

      I just finished my 4th week of Venofer infusions & have two more to go. Like Cari, this is my second round this year. I got a slight cold after the very first infusion, but with a good night's sleep I was out and about the next day. The Benadryl IV given simultaneously really helps too. Just keep in mind how much better you'll feel after you've completed your infusions.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @lzacherau: I'm guessing they are using Venofer and that is what I go through about two times a year. Many people have very mild side effects if any. I seem to react to iron so they are back to giving me a dose of Benadryl in my IV which helps a lot. Please, keep us updated!

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      lzacherau 3 years ago

      I am supposed to start infusion but don't have my first appointment yet...after reading some of your experiences I am afraid of the side effects my Dr said I would have infusions once a week for 5 to 6 weeks...is this normal??? I keep reading 2 or 3 infusions. I'm just terrified of the possible side effects...I am a single mom to a 10 year old boy and can't afford not to work...I know this is something that is important to take care of just being a baby I guess.

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      crystal-pease2 3 years ago

      My full story started when my period wouldn't stop my pap showed abnormal cell changes so my doctor decide to do a historectomy an thought that would improve my levels but only depressed a month later I went to my pcp because I was always tired he did blood work said my levels were dangerously low got me in to see a doctor at the cancer center had blood transfusion two weeks latter more blood work no improvement started ivi an now these symptoms I'm at a loss because I'm still week an tired as well any information would help

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      crystal-pease2 3 years ago

      Hi my name is crystal an i just finished my 3 infusion I have had some joint pain nothing to bad but now I seem to have developed diarrhea an stomach cramps

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @Dixiechicnunes: I'm so sorry. I know I get a bit flustered when it takes more than one stick too! What type of iron are they using on you now? I know with the venofer, I usually have five or six infusions (one a week). Let me know how you are doing!

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      Dixiechicnunes 3 years ago

      @Dixiechicnunes: Walked in ready and nervous Monday morning to conquer this task. Nurse tells me my RX has to be changed to a newer safer with less side effects. Okay, I'm game.......wait, what 8 single doses requiring me to be stuck numerous times! I am so disappointed now. Monday it only took twice of getting stuck to find a descent vein. Tuesday had me in tears with four attempts to successfully complete the bag. I know I need this but took a break from Wendsday, the swelling needs to go down as well as my nerves calm down. Gonna try this again today. Please let's get a beautiful vein on the first try to be successful the entire bag. I don't like the headaches or the upset stomach......but honestly not sure if it's the medicine or my nerves right now. Trying so hard not to be upset.

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      Dixiechicnunes 3 years ago

      I'm glad I found your blog. I'm going in Monday for my 1st iron infusion. Definitely nervous and anxious about it. Over the past 4 years I've been bouncing only between 6 and 8 with my levels. Iron pills and diet aren't working here for absorption. I'm looking forward to being able to sleep without having to take medicine. I wish I could take naps! I feel better about knowing what to expect with the process. The nurse advised me over the phone today to expect being there at least 6 hours. I think I'll pack a snack bag and some magazines.

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      patricia-olsen-35 3 years ago

      Hi,Thanks for sharing your experience. I just had my first infusion today. I have had a high platelet count for over two years now, along with recently extreme exhaustion that either makes it a struggle to stay awake driving home from work mid day, to daily naps that were never needed and falling asleep many evenings while on the computer sitting up! Also generally just feeling yucky all the time, nausea, headaches, low grade fever and no energy at all. After my primary Dr has been monitoring the platelets with no changes she decided it was time to see a Hemotologist, I researched the ones she referred and selected based on his reviews and being voted as the best in our area over a few years. My first appt was with a PA in the office and she went over my medical history with me and ordered my labs which were drawn that day, I was told to come back in a month and would see the actual Dr, unless my results showed an acute form of something going on, in that case I would be called to come in sooner. Thankfully no calls, so was hoping to hear nothing wrong...well seems I do have some Iron Deficiency Anemia in addition to a low B12 and Vit D and these conditions have been known to increase platelet counts, so he is hoping by having an infusion and B12 injections will lower my count. SO today I had my first infusion, I experienced most of what you did, other than itching, so far none of that, however, have had a mild headache and a very metallic taste in my mouth, a flushing feeling and maybe a bit of nausea this evening. I had done some research on my own and like many posted here, that the reactions most experience have been a few days after the infusion, so really hoping it does not happen to me, really don't want to miss any work, next week. Thanks for everyone sharing their experiences, always helps to hear from the ones that actually have lived it and not have to rely on info of well it may or may not happen, or that have not heard of anyone having a delayed reaction. I did ask my nurse today, after getting my test dose and then when no reaction she brought the real thing and it was noticeably a much stronger and full strength bag....she did say yes it is and that some reactions patients have had did not come along until they were in like the last 45 min or so of the drip, which mine was 4 hrs, that most them felt like and itching throat or shortness of breath. Her advice to me if any reactions after leaving the dr office was to go to ER or call 911 and not to waste time trying to reach the Drs office. Keeping fingers crossed it won't be necessary.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @rachellmn: You are not alone! I get a little bugged when nurses have acted surprised by my side effects but other nurses have let me know, they see it a lot. I also hear from many people who have a tougher time. Overall, though, this is very much worth it. Hope you are feeling better!

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @ljeskew3: I am so sorry you are going through this as well. In fact, I've in the middle of a round of infusions this month. Since I wrote this page, I've probably gone through five more rounds. For me, the Venofer is definitely easier. In fact, they've started giving me IV Benadryl with the Venofer (usually they don't do it with this particular iron) and it has really lessened my side effects. Happy about that. I'm so used to the infusions now. It really is not a big deal. Keep me updated on you!

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      ljeskew3 3 years ago

      hi kay. wow you really been thru it with your anemia. my name is lisa, and i too am going thru alot of the same things that you are. i have been iron defecient for 10 years now. ive been on every prescription iron, and ever otc iron pill avalible. the latest one being vitron c, which my dr. highly recommended. anyway its been such a battle. my levels run between 6 and 10 most times. I like you started to have problems with my heart, felt a lot of fluttering and skipped beats. very scary stuff. i even saw a cardiologist too. i had to figure out on my own that this was related to not having enough iron in my body. i go back today to see if my levels are up from taking the vitron c. which has caused me to have so many gi related issues its not funny. my doctor has said that if this didnt work he wants to set me up some intr iron therepy. i just wanted you to know that your journey post, have helped me . i glad you put these up for others to read, because i didnt know what to expect. im still nervous about possibly starting the iv iron, but your information is so detailed at least il know what to expect. i also was diagnosed with fybromyalgia back in 2006. lucky me. im a little worried about how my body is going to reacte with the iv iron. anyway again thank you for sharing

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      rachellmn 3 years ago

      I'm so glad to have found your blog. When I've told my doctor that I feel like crap afterwards he laughs and tells me "no! you should be great." He only started to believe me after he told me his daughter had the same feeling after her infusion. Now he is a super great guy this not believing me when I told him how I felt was the only thing that I didn't love about him. I'm so glad that I'm not alone in feeling this way.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @tara-mclaughlin1: That is so awesome! Having energy just makes such a difference! Keep us updated :)

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      tara-mclaughlin1 3 years ago

      @Cari Kay 11: I am definitely considering asking to be referred to a specialist. I have been feeling so much better since the treatment, it's amazing to finally be able to live my life instead of feeling like I can do little more than eat and feed the little ones. Thanks again for your support and for your information. :)

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @tara-mclaughlin1: Oh my goodness. I am so sorry that you went through all this. So scary! Are you seeing a hematologist? Almost everybody who contacts me has their infusions at the local Cancer Center and they are really good at monitoring you for side effects. I would really consider finding a new doctor. That is just so scary. Please, keep me updated!

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      tara-mclaughlin1 3 years ago

      I'm not sure what to think right now but I am so glad I read your blog. Here's my story: I had my first IV infusion (Ferric Carboxymaltose) 9 days ago. I am 39 years old, had low iron in both pregnancies (2011 and 2013) and since my last birth a year ago have had extremely heavy periods. I started feeling extreme fatigue and dizziness and intense mood swings a few months ago. I was told by an urgent care doctor that I was anemic but my gp said no, I was not anemic but my iron was low. We started on oral iron but I developed severe headaches. We went next to IV iron. The doctor said there were no side effects except very rarely people can have an allergic reaction. It took 30 minutes and I was sent home. I felt a bit heavy-limbed and dizziness set in as I walked home. About 20 minutes later I noticed I was itching everywhere. Welts popped up on my arms and legs, my ears and hair itched. I called the doctor and was told to come back in. They gave me an injection that scared the crap out of me. As the itching subsided almost immediately, I began to feel like I was losing consciousness. I couldn't lift my arms, I couldn't tell if I was breathing. I was afraid I was going to pass out or die on that table. The doctor seemed so surprised that I would react this way to the anti-allergy meds as all my vitals were normal. After reading your post about getting the allergy meds beforehand and falling fast asleep, I see this is normal. I am questioning whether I should trust my doctor. It seems like, even though she says she does IV infusions all the time, she doesn't know how to handle it in all its possible scenarios. I am upset that she sent me home immediately instead of observing me for a half hour after. (Thank goodness I live across the street from her.) Her instructions at this point is to watch from improvement in the next 2-4 weeks and if things are still bad, return for another blood draw and appointment. If I'm feeling better, check iron again in 3 months. I'm hopeful I don't need another infusion, but at least, if I do, I know from your experience that the extreme sleepiness is part of the deal and I'll know what to expect. Thanks for sharing.

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      beth-bresslermcgee 3 years ago

      I am scheduled for my first infusion this comming wed. Feb 19th. I am nervous. I am scheduled for 12 weeks one infusion a week. From what I have been reading this seems like alot. My iron has been low for years but after having Rhumatic fever this past November it really impacted all of my blood counts my iron has not improved and has gotten even worse since then so hopefully this works and I feel better soon and won't be taking 2 or 3 naps a day. any words of wisdom for the nervous nilly here.

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @Baymouse: Please update after your infusion. I'd love to hear how it went. Hopefully it'll be a breeze and you'll be back to old self in no time!

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      Baymouse 3 years ago

      Thanks for your blog! I have stage 5 kidney faliure and am super anemic, so,,, tommorro, Tues. Jan. 28th I'll get my first iron infusion. As with anything new, I'm nervous. I had a blood transfusion a couple years ago and they gave me 2 pints of the "good-stuff" as I called it and I felt a lot better with in a few days. I remember that night I was so weak! Just lifting my hand, my hand had to weigh at least 50 pounds! It's was a strange time. Any who, just wanted to tell you Thank you for shareing your experience as now I have an idea of what to expect. :)

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      Kay 3 years ago

      @katiejasmine: That is such good news! Congratulations! I'm so glad you shared this with us. It gives me hope :)

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      katiejasmine 3 years ago

      I'm back...It's been almost a year since the infusions started & went Friday for the 11th one & YAY, didn't need it...ferritan is 342, dropped 3 points in 3 months, so will recheck in April..a year ago I was passing out all over the place & am feeling so much better...

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @Ekreinca: They really do work but just take time. I know I really don't feel it for about three to four weeks. After my very first infusion, I no longer wanted ice. It was so strange. How are you doing with the corn starch?

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      Ekreinca 4 years ago

      I had my first infusion today. I feel sweaty and nauseated right now. The nausea is not as bad as I have had on the oral iron. I also eat corn starch instead of ice. I hope this works.

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Anita. How did your infusion go? Hopefully it was side effect free! I just started a round of them this last week and am looking forward to them working. Would be nice to have energy again.

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Sorry it has taken so long to respond. I'm going through infusions now too and just have had no energy the last month or so. I am so sorry to hear about your reaction. Yes, during my second round, I had a reaction to Dextran but not as quickly or severe as yours. They switched me to Venofer. It really is a lot easier than me. I still get some side effects but I've had some where, other than tired, I've felt just fine. Just had my first one of this round and had a horrible headache for days. Not sure if it was the infusion or not. Guess we'll see when I have the next one. How are you doing now?

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: How are your infusions going? You should be feeling a bit better by now. I hope you leave an update. I'm going through them now too. That's one reason I'm so behind on comments...no energy!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Losing the craving for ice was amazing - I think that happened after my 2nd Venofer infusion. I didn't start to warm up until 6-7 and although I've completed all 8 as of 2 weeks ago I'm not 100%. My energy level is better, but I'm still way too tired way too often.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hello everyone. I am glad someone is talking about their experience with Iron Infusions. I am going through my second round of Intravenous Iron Infusion after a 18 month period, I will take my last treatment on Monday. I really didn't have any side effects until I started this go around. The first treatment was input in my right arm and my whole left side went numb. My arms were like dead weight and my legs were numb. I was wondering if anyone out there has this type of side effect. The Doctor doesn't seem to concern but it only happens when the IV is put in my right arm.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi,I have higher counts than many of the reviews on here but I will list mine any ways.RBC 4.64Hemoglobin 128Ferritin 22However I have had the following symptoms for the past two months:Extreme fatigue, light headedness (even at rest), chest pain, weakness, headaches, shortness of breath, pale skin.I am very lucky to have such an amazing family doctor. She listens and actually cares, as well is very thorough.My doctor here in Canada diagnosed me with iron Deficiency Anemia, due to menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). As you can see my RBC & Hemoglobin counts are both normal. Actually my ferritin level sounds a lot higher than most people on here. But I have been told that doctors prefer your ferritin level to be above 50.I cannot take oral iron supplements due to the systemic reactions it causes (constipation, diarrhea..ect) I digress, I went for my Iron IV Salin solution transfusion this morning.Here in Canada they do a initial 5 minute test to make sure that you do not have a reaction.The type of iron they gave me was Iron Dextran IV solution dissolved into saline.Within less than 2 minutes I had a severe reaction to the iron dextran. It started with severe abdominal pain, and the feeling of being very flushed with extreme heat through my torso, up my arms, chest, neck into my face. My ears were so hot they felt like they were going to burn up. My eyes felt like they were going to burst. And my heart was beating so rapidly and hard it was terrifying. Also my vision became blurred, and I had chest pain. I had to wave a nurse to come over. I have to note that the staff was all extremely friendly, and knowledgeable. The nurse came over and asked me what exactly I was feeling, she immediately shut the iron dextran transfusion off. They began to immediately give me diphenhydramine (benadryl). I was there for an hour and a half after that. The nurses would randomly monitor all the patients in there. They warned me that a relapse (allergic reaction) was very possible any where from 1hr- a couple days after this. If that happened to just take another benadryl. Of course after I got home 9hrs later I began to feel very hot, and noticed that I had a rash from head to toe. The injection site is still very itchy, hot (feels like it is burning), and it stings (20.5 hours after iron dextran iv infusion). Accompanied by a bad headache and itching. I read online that these symptoms can last up to 3-7 days. So I am not overly concerned.I do intend on trying the Iron Sucrose Iv Solution next.Even though I had such an extreme anaphylactic reaction to the Dextran, I believe that this is the best way for me to get the iron supplementation that I need. Seeing has I lose a fair amount of blood every month due to either my menstruation or my IBD. I will update when I go in for the next attempt at the transfusion. I have been told by my doctor that it takes about a week before you can feel the effects of the iron. For my own personal case my doctor wants me to go monthly for these IV Iron transfusions (if they take). I have also been told that some patients react to the iron dextran, but very rarely do patients react to the iron sucrose. I forgot to ask why that is. Could be something as simple as dosage amount but I really do not know.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi my name is Ana and I'm from RI. I've found your blog so helpful. I had gastric bypass 6yrs ago and lost about 200lbs. Along with all the weight I got rid of diabetes, which I was battling for about 9yrs. Over the yrs I've had my shares of hospital visits n stays. I've had a few other surgeries n lets not forget my blessing, 2 more kids. Total of 4. I'll be going for my first iron infusion in two days. A bit nervous but looking forward on getting betta. I'm tired of feeling tired n sick. Thanks for your story.

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm glad to hear my story helped. Keep in mind, numerous people tell me they have no side effects at all and you may be one of those people! I hope you share an update after your infusion. I'd love to hear how it went.

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry to hear you have been through so much. I would be interested to hear if the infusions helped after you have that next blood test. (((hugs)))

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hello, I am on my third infusion...I had extreme bowel surgery for the past several years (hernia and bowel obstruction). I was unable to take iron pills and became anemic. I had two blood transfusions, but this time the hematologist felt it was highly necessary for iron infusions. I am scheduled to have my gallbladder out but unable to go through surgery because of the caution that trails behind the several surgeries I had in the past...no surgeon would take the risk for this surgery because of it being life threatening. I finally found great surgeons at Michigan State University, they recommended me seeing a hematologist because my last surgery I developed an pulmonary embolism. Well my blood doesn't clot but the anemia was so severe that the Dr. stated that no surgery can be done at this time. I have one more infusion after this one and a blood test to see if it helped. AFTER, all this I will be scheduled every month for an iron infusion. On to see my heart doctor next to clear me for surgery.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi....just been diagnosed with Iron Deficiency Anemia and start my first infusion on Mon (26th). I'm a little nervous but your story helped a lot. I'm scheduled for 5 infusions....5 days in a row! I noticed that yours were weeks apart so I'm not sure what to expect with 5 in a row! Oh well, I guess my doctor knows what he's doing!! LOL.....I've been telling everybody (including my family doctor) about my symptoms for a year or so but she's big on health food stores and changing diets. Finally she took notice of my Hemoglobin and WBC and sent me to a Gastroenterologist. He did the Ferritin, Serum and Saturation tests and I wonder how I'm moving around!! Hopefully these infusions will help me have a better quality of life. Thanks for sharing your story..I'm a little more prepared now for Monday!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Donna

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I didn't have side effects with the other procedures and not everybody has side effects with the infusion. Some of us do though but, for the most part, it really isn't bad. I have to say, even with side effects, I am so glad I can have these infusions. They help so much! Best of luck to you!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi,I'm so glad that I discovered your story. I am 18y.o and have been suffering from very low iron stores now for the past few years. My gastrointerologist suggested that I have an iron intravenous in the coming month. I suffer from shortness of breath, heart palpitations and so forth of the associated symptoms with iron deficiency. I've been taking iron supplements for a couple of years and for some reasons body doesn't absorb what it needs to - perhaps a contribution to my other gut problems.After reading your story I am very happy with how the infusion went for you and I am seriously considering having it done myself with all of the positive outcomes for it. However, my anxiety stands before me and I'm beyond fearful of needles - drips and all of the side effects which may accompany the procedure. My doctor suggested to have it done the same day that I have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy (I've had these 2 procedures don't previously and experienced a temperature and flu-like symptoms and exhaustion for the following week - has this happened to anyone before?)

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Believe me, I know it helped so much to know I wasn't alone. I think it is great for those who have an easy time of all this but, for some of us, there is a little more effort put forth :) Hang in there and hopefully you'll continue to feel better and better!

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Dieting could definitely be a cause. I did the hCG diet and it dropped all my ferritin so quickly. And, yes, fatigue is definitely a side effect for some! Best of luck to you!

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @katiejasmine: High is good! Those are great numbers. My Dextran results were like that but with my Venofer, they stay under 100. Doesn't matter, it's working! I'll be curious to hear your levels when you do go back in. Thanks for the update!

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      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Rhoda. It does take time. I find that a good month is necessary to feel truly like my old self. Please, keep us updated on you!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just want to add my email to be notified of comments

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have just had my first Iron Infusion, I am located in Canada. I have been Anemic all my life and now getting to that age of Menopause it need those stores filled up. There are differences in how the infusions ae done from Country to Country I am finding. I was given Vinofer - straight up no Benedryl - it was a 3 hour session. When I went for my Infusion I asked all sorts of questions as my docotr (and most doctors I have heard about) have little info. I was given a form at the hospital - that I think all doctors need to give to their patients - educate educate educate ... any how. I am doing 2 bouts - my Iron is at 4 - 5 (always) with 3 iron doses a day ... Not sure of my Ferritin but I will find out. When the Iron began - I had a slight whoosh - dizzy. I htkn more from my anxiety and other than that - my viens were full - my arms were a bit swollen but decreased as the saline / iron absorbed. Next day felt great Pep in step - I actually went to my Gym class (not so great idea - just saying) - 2 days later (which is today) I am very fatigued and have not give my body the rest is needs from this (lesson learned) . I do my next Infusrion on Tuesday so hopefully all will go fine.

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      katiejasmine 4 years ago

      Hey, I'm back...had infusion #11 on Friday, Monday got Ferritan results...297...now my level is too high but of course the hematologist has to follow "his schedule" so before the next scheduled one in Oct I'll have my NP order another Ferritan & see where we are...unbeliveable that I started in February with a 4 & am now too high...feel so much better...thanks for all of your encouragement & support.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing . I am on my second course of I'M iron injections for IDA. Unknown cause but lm starting to suspect dieting and protien pump inhibitors for reflux are the main contributors.. l came on line to see if my incrediblle fatigue for 24 hrs after iron therapy is expected. Yes ...guess it is after reading your blog ..Lol. Liz , Brisbane Australia xx