Ferinject (ferric carboxymaltose) is an iron replacement therapy used to treat patients who have low levels of iron in their body. Iron is an essential element required for the oxygen-carrying capacity of haemoglobin in red blood cells and muscle tissue. Iron is also involved in many other functions necessary for maintenance of life in the human body. Over time low levels of iron can lead to anaemia, where red blood cells are either smaller and/or fewer than normal.
Ferinject is used to increase the amount of iron in your body. Increasing iron is intended to reverse and prevent anaemia.
How does Ferinject work?
Ferinject is a non-blood product which contains tiny particles of iron with a sugar coating. This allows the iron to be released steadily and taken up by the storage sites to be used by the tissue in your body.
How is Ferinject given?
Your doctor will want to talk to your before you start treatment as not all medicines are suitable for all people. Before you are given Ferinject, your doctor may ask you about the following:
- Your full medical history.
- Whether you are taking any other medicines, including those that don’t need a prescription.
- If you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant.
You will be treated with Ferinject by your specialist or nurse by infusion, diluted and given directly into a vein in your arm through a drip. Your treatment time will be approximately 15 minutes.
What happens after a Ferinject Infusion?
- You will need to stay for an additional 20 minutes for observation.
- Your doctor will request a blood test at four weeks after treatment.
- You may require a repeat treatment based on your body’s iron needs.
Safety and Risks
As with all medicines, Ferinject can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. The most common side effect you may experience from treatment with Ferinject is a headache. There is a low risk with all iron treatments given directly into your vein that you could experience a reaction known as an anaphylactic reaction. This can cause symptoms such as swelling of the face, mouth and tongue as well as potentially causing difficulty breathing.
The nurse administering the infusion will discuss possible side effects with you and will also monitor how you are while your treatment is being given.
Please let the nurse know if you feel unwell or think you may be experiencing any side effects whilst you are being treated with Ferinject.