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Iron infusions and side effects

datorres
on 6/2/12 10:04 pm
 Does anyone know if fatigue,  terrible gas and bloating is a normal side effect of iron infusions. I had my second one yesterday and all I could do today was lay around and dose off. I am so bloated that I'm up 3 pounds from yesterday. I feel terrible, I thought this was going to help my energy level.
poet_kelly
on 6/2/12 10:09 pm - OH
I don't know if those are commen side effects or not.  They didn't tell you about possible side effects when they recommended iron infusions for you?  They should always warn you about possible side effects when recommending any procedure, but if they don't tell you, you can ask.

Getting your iron level up should help your energy level but it may take more than two infusions to get your level up enough.  Did you have those side effects after your first infusion?  How many infusions are they planning to do?

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

DetroitGirl
on 6/2/12 10:13 pm
RNY on 07/09/07 with
I haven't experienced any side effects from my injections (I've had 2 different ones), but a typical side effect of iron supplementation is constipation / GI distress, so the bloating and gas seems like a fairly normal side effect... the fatigue might be an issue of the specific type of iron you're getting...

rbb825
on 6/4/12 4:58 am - Suffern, NY
gi distress and constipation are side effects of oral iron not IV iron.  it goes directly into your bloodstream bypassing your digestive system, so you aren't going to get any of the GI problems.

as far as the fatigure - fatigue is a side effect of iron deficiency and we take the IV iron to stop the fatigue but it doesnt happen overnight.  most people go for 8 or 10 treatments and sometimes more depending on how low the levels are and how you respond = so you cant expect the fatigue to go away after 1 or 2 treatments.  You are probably just experiencing the fatigue from your iron deficiency.

are you still taking oral iron? if so, that could be causing the GI problems.

 

Paatyn-Den
on 8/3/14 7:45 pm

I have experienced the fatigue for every infusion.  I am so discouraged to go back every time because I feel worse than I started out and something is wrong.  My doctor continues to tell me I will fell better.  I hve had the infusion prior and I stopped for one year because I could not take it.  The key is to eat right.  I have to get 15 infusion to get at a normal level and the infusions are done 2 times a wee****il I get to the normal level. 

datorres
on 6/2/12 10:53 pm
 Kelly,  yes they did give me some information on side effects. I know that G.I. irritation is one of them but the nurse didn't say anything about fatigue. I'm going to call my Dr. on Monday. I'm thinking it will take more than two to start feeling better.
MrsLitch
on 6/3/12 12:24 am - Morris, IL
RNY on 06/04/12
My coworker has had to have iron infustions several times due to non wls anemia and she said they always make her very tired right after. So whether or not it's normal or not I don't know but I know you aren't the first to say it.

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com

5' 3" - HW: 244 SW:234  GW:120 LW: 107 CW:110 Made goal 3/16/13!    

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Kim

on 6/3/12 8:52 am, edited 6/3/12 8:53 am - Castle Rock, CO
I always have the one-off 4 hour infusions and have never had any side effects at all - my energy level is improved pretty much straight away and I feel like a new woman after a few days!

I hope you feel better soon - I know the series infusions you are having are supposed to have less allergic reactions but they don't seem to have the immediate effects the one-off infusions have and they certainly cost a lot more in co-pays!

I hope you feel better soon ...

10 years post RNY - Success - one day at a time

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Socialist Liberal 

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rbb825
on 6/4/12 5:11 am - Suffern, NY
I didnt think they did the large dose ones anymore.  I had those about 10 years ago and had severe allergic reactions causing me to be hospitalized for 3 days and this was long before my RNY - just had severe iron deficiency.

Now after 3 1/2 years of absorbing iron great, I stopped.  My hematologist didnt want to give me the IV iron because of what happened all those years ago.  We talked about it and I explained that when I got it back then that I got  1 gram at a time and I was also highly asthmatic at the time which I am no longer.  So, he decided to give it a try but at a tiny dose -

So, the usual dose they do now is 200mg at a time - 8 to 10 infusions (he said they dont do the large ones anymore because so many people had reactions like I did) - so I started with 50mg with major pre meds the first week and we did it in the hospital outpatient infusion center in case of a reaction, , then the second week I did 100mg, and last week I did 150mg.  This week I will do 200mg which hopefully will be fine also.  So, far all has been great.  If all is okay this week at 200mg, I can start getting them at my hematologsts office in his infusions center rather than being in the hospital - it is still attached to the hospital but still easier.

I can say that I felt so much better after the 3rd one which was equivalent to the first one for the average person. 

You are very lucky that you didnt have a reaction but it is a much more dangerous way to do it.  If you search the internet, they dont even list it as an option.

 

Lisa R.
on 6/3/12 9:20 am - CA
 I had 12 infusion, from March to May, every Monday.

Ask for Benadryl (spelling).  I always got a bit of it right into my IV before the medication.

What med do are they giving you?  I got Infed and it made me flush, made my nose itch and sometimes gave me a HUGE head ache.  Getting the Benadryl stopped all that.  You can also buy it yourself and just take if after the infusion.

I was 147 when I started infusions, now I am 150-155 depending on the day.  I asked my doctor if it was the infusions, he said maybe since we have NO iron when we begin which decreases our blood volume and muscle mass.  In any case, I did gain but it did not effect my cloths or anything,  I think it was a good gain.

I feel 1 million times better now that I am normal again.  Just has my last infusion last week.  Side effects or not, it is the best thing EVER to feel good again.

Good Luck
  
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. ~ Ayn Rand        
rbb825
on 6/4/12 5:15 am - Suffern, NY
infed is iron dextran which causes much more allergic reactions than venifor which is iron sucrose. You might want to talk to your doctor.

I have never heard of them injecting the benedryl into the IV - premedications are supposed to be taken ahead of time so they are in your system and have a time to kick in before the IV iron gets into your system.

I take major premeds because of allergic reactions I had years ago - I take the follow meds at 24 hours prior, 13 hours prior and 1 hour prior

40mg prednsone, 50mg atarax (like benedryl) 300mg zantac

 

Lisa R.
on 6/5/12 9:32 am - CA
 They give me the Benedryl in the IV right before I get the iron. It works great....with out it I get flushing, itchy nose and headaches.  

I would never take prednosone!  OMG!  That stuff makes me gain weight as well as boost my appetite feel like eating my arm off.  I would rather suffer the side effects then take that drug.  

The Infed worked wonders for me.  WONDERS!  I am back to normal and my infusion are over...for now at least!
  
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. ~ Ayn Rand        
rbb825
on 6/6/12 1:42 am - Suffern, NY
I take the prednisone for 3 doses - 24 hours before 13 hours before and 1 hour before and along with Atarax (like benedryl but stronger) and very high dose zantac (used for allergic reactions in high doses) - when taken like this, the prednisone doesnt make me hungry or make me gain weight.  When I used to take it for my asthma and I had to take it for 5 days, yes it made me want to eat the entire world but taking it this way works differently.  You say you would never take Prednisone - if it was the only way you get the IV iron, you would take it especially if you needed it to make sure you were able to breathe.  It is easy to say to never.  Be glad you have no breathing problems, sometimes it cant be avoided.

When I took IV iron 10 years ago, I had such trouble breathing, I almost stopped breathing - I had to be admitted and was hospitalized for 3 days and ended up on high dose IV steroids, breathing treatments and IV benedryl and who knows what else.  It was terrible.  I was so iron deficient that I had to do it 3 times over the next 6 months anyway  (They gave it in much higher doses then - 1 gram and now they only give 200mg at a time - so 5 times the dose) even though I was so allergic.  They gave me the same premeds as I take now but the same thing happened but they did it in the hospital and it was done with my allergist and my pulmonary doctor present so they could treat me as the problems arose.


Then I didnt need it until now, 10 years later but my current hematologist was so affraid to do it that he started me on a miniscule dose of 50mg first and then 100mg, then 150mg.  I was okay with those so this Thursday I get to have a normal dose of 200mg for the first time but the premeds are absolutely necessary.  It is worth some prednisone to avoid 3 days in hospital.

I was also told that when people are allergic to one brand, they are supposed to be switched to the other brand.  Years ago, I reacted to both Infed (iron dextran) and Venofer (iron sucrose).  This time, they are using venofer since it causes much less allergic reactions.    They have actually considered taking Infed off the market since it causes so many severe reactions.

 

M M
on 6/3/12 10:12 am
 Could be -- I feel like I have the flu when I get iron infusions.  
Brittany M.
on 6/3/12 1:36 pm

Yup - I was always very fatigued for about a day after my infusions (I had 8 last year).  It also too****il probably the 6th weekly infusion to feel any different, so hang in there!

    
Paatyn-Den
on 8/3/14 7:40 pm
On June 2, 2012 at 10:04 PM Pacific Time, datorres wrote:
 Does anyone know if fatigue,  terrible gas and bloating is a normal side effect of iron infusions. I had my second one yesterday and all I could do today was lay around and dose off. I am so bloated that I'm up 3 pounds from yesterday. I feel terrible, I thought this was going to help my energy level.

This has happened to me many times that I do not want to go back to the doctor to get the infusions.  The doctor cannot explain why I am so tired at a greater level than when my iron is at a low level.  I become so tired like kryptonite is holding me down that I have to go to sleep where ever I am.