Human iron therapy
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron is an essential substance in the human body, transporting
oxygen to tissues via hemoglobin in red blood cells and functioning
as a co-factor in a number of enzyme systems. Iron deficiency is
caused by a deficit in total body iron, resulting from iron
requirements that exceed the iron supply. If the iron deficiency is
not corrected it will ultimately lead to iron deficiency anemia
with a significant impact on life, morbidity and
The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 2
billion people - more than 30% of the world's population - are
anemic, mainly due to iron deficiency.3
Parenteral Iron Repletion Therapy
Therapy for iron deficiency anemia includes treatment of its
underlying cause and restoration of normal hemoglobin
concentrations and iron stores. This can be accomplished by oral or
parenteral administration. Although the oral route is preferred,
clinical situations exist where the parenteral route is
- Intolerance or non-compliance to oral iron preparations.
- Lack of effect of oral iron therapy.
- Malabsorption of oral iron, e.g. due to gastrointestinal
disease or surgery.
- Patients in whom the chronic iron loss exceeds the rate of
replacement possible with oral iron.
- Patients with a clinical need for rapid delivery of iron to
iron stores, e.g. post operative and post partum patients or in
cases of autologous blood donation.
- Functional or absolute iron deficiency in connection to
erythropoietin therapy (r-HuEPO).
Intravenous Iron Infusion Therapy
The introduction of r-HuEPO not only changed the treatment of
anemia - it also highlighted the need for parenteral iron
supplementation. From being primarily indicated and used in renal
anemia the use of erythropoietin has now spread to new indications,
e.g. autologous blood transfusion, gastroenterology and anemia in
cancer. In many of these patients gastrointestinal iron absorption
is not sufficient and therefore parenteral iron administration has
to be considered.
Learn more about our treatments for iron deficiency anaemia,
Monofer® (iron isomaltoside 1000) and
Cosmofer® (low Mw iron dextran).
1) Nissenson AR. Arch Intern Med 2003.
Vol. 163, June 23. pp. 1400-1404. 2) Silverberg D.S. Journal of
Nephrology 2004; Vol. 17 (6): 749-761. 3) WHO 2004, http://www.who.int/nut/ida.htm.