My new PCP. Has anyone here ever had an iron infusion?

on 1/15/13 6:26 pm

I saw my new PCP yesterday.  He is wonderful!  It feels so good to have a doctor that is willing to listen, take time to understand your health issues, and prescribe appropriate medication!  His staff from the front desk to his nurse were all so nice and efficient as well. 

The last few days have not been good pain-wise for me.  My chronic back/hip condition are inflamed again (from physical therapy on Sunday) and I haven't slept in the last few days for more than 3 hours a night because of it.  I'm walking crooked again, and moved up my chiropractor appointment by one day (today I go) which will hopefully help.  The PCP gave me Flexerill, some Vicoden, and a script for a topical ointment that the local pharmacist here on Nantucket compounds himself that my new doctor uses personally.  I got the 2 scripts for pills filled and last night finally got some rest!  The topical I have to wait on because its not covered under insurance and costs $75 which right now, isn't in the budget as we weren't allowed to work for 3 weeks (2 before Christmas and one after) because of the increased holiday business (we work for a merchandising company at the local grocery store here).

I'm still waiting for my lab results that I had taken over a week ago.  Yesterday, my new PCP said they'd get the results as they are affiliated with the hospital here where they were drawn.  I have anemia (I had it prior to wls also) and judging by the way I feel (tired, pale, and freezing cold all the time) I'm sure my iron has taken a nose dive again even though I am taking prescription iron (I take a vitamin c chewable with it too).  My new pcp mentioned an iron infusion which I'm more than willing to do at this point just to get some relief from the fatigue.  Has anyone here experienced an infusion?  I know its an IV treatment but not much else. 


on 1/15/13 7:37 pm - Brighton, IL

It's great to hear that you found a new doctor who will listen and prescribe appropriately to help you get pain relief. I have RA that does not show up in bloodwork and had to go through 4 rheumatologists to find one who would treat me even though I had no cartilage in my knees. He has been great and is still my doctor today. I don't know anything about iron infusions but I'm sure someone who does will chime in.



on 1/15/13 8:18 pm, edited 1/15/13 9:28 pm

Infusions for me were a blessing. I felt much better after. I'm a little concerned mine has dropped again, but it may be ok and I'm just tired because of everything going on.

If needed get them done it is not bad to do and should give you a boost of energy.

Proximal RNY Lap - 02/21/05

 9 years committed ~  100% EWL and Maintaining


on 1/15/13 8:47 pm

I have never received an iron transfusion but I give them to people a lot at work.  There are a couple of types of iron that our docs prescribe.  Iron Dextran (Infed) is given most often.  With the initial dose, we give a test dose over 15 minutes to make sure your body will not have a reaction to it.  If you feel fine throughout the test dose and a 15 minute wait time after the test dose, we give the remainder over 1 hour.  Some people get a little bit of solumedrol or benadryl before the infusion to help decrease the risk of reaction to this medication. Premeds are prescribed for people who have a lot of medication allergies.  We do not give the premeds to everyone.   Most people do very well and have few side effects.  I think the main side effect I hear from our patients is a mild headache afterwards.  Most of our patients have great results and love getting the infusions since they know they will feel much better afterwards.  Hope this helps!  

on 1/15/13 9:32 pm

I've had both Infed and Venefor.  My heme gives the Infed (I've heard it's cheaper), when my PCP ordered the infusions and I went to the hospital they gave me the Venefor IV Push.  I actually felt better quicker with the Venefor, however, it cost me an arm and a leg in cost.  I can get the iron infusions at my heme's office for a $30 co-pay for each infusion.

Do you mind sharing your experience with the Venefor (if you have an opinion)?

Proximal RNY Lap - 02/21/05

 9 years committed ~  100% EWL and Maintaining


on 1/15/13 11:27 pm, edited 1/15/13 11:31 pm

I personally love giving venofer over infed for one reason... not as much risk of an anaphylactic reaction.  I am always on pins and needles giving infed to a person for the first time.  I keep a watchful eye on them especially for the test dose.   Although, in the 11 years that I have been working @ this clinic, it has only happened to two of my patients.  Most people do very well.

One of our docs prescribes venofer for a patient if that patient could not tolerate the Infed infusion for some reason (reaction to med or increased side effects).  Venofer can be given IV push, but we usually run it over 15-30 minutes @ our clinic.  Patients tend to tolerate it better that way.  There is not as much of a chance of an anaphylactic reaction with the venofer as with the infed infusions.  Venofer usually needs to be given more often than infed.  Our patients that are just starting venofer  for the first time come weekly for 5 weeks vs. patients *****ceive infed will usually just have the one dose to increase their hemoglobin/ferritin levels/iron levels.   Once the initial 5 week course of venofer is given, it is not always necessary to give a 5 week cycle when the patient needs add'l transfusions in the future. 

After the first cycle of  their iron infusion(infed or venofer) is completed, the patients labs are monitored and add'l infusions will be given as needed.  I do not know much about cost/insurance with the meds because that is all handled before I ever see the patient in our infusion room.  But, I don't doubt that venofer is more expensive because it is the newer than infed  (as is the case with most new meds).  

This information is only based on what I have experienced as a nurse giving patients these infusions.  I am sure there are lots of differing opinions out there. 


artroxy blue
on 1/15/13 9:54 pm - MA
RNY on 08/14/12 with

Just wanted to say congratulations on the new PCP! :) Glad you were able to find someone on the island instead of traveling to Hyannis. 

As for the infusions, I haven't had any yet, but they were mentioned to me if my iron stays too low. I'll find out when I get blood work done next month (hopefully). 


Citizen (USA & Brit) Kim
on 1/15/13 10:48 pm - Castle Rock, CO

I've had two infusions in the last 8.5 years and they made a huge difference.   I hope you have good medical coverage because they are spendy if not!!!!

I'm about due for another (timewise), but feel ok, so I'm hoping this whole menopause thing is working out for me - my next check is February!!!

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist

on 1/15/13 11:03 pm

Kim did you get the Infed infusions?  For some reason I'm feeling very tired and sluggish lately (especially the last 5-7 days) and may try to get my iron checked again before May.  As I mentioned above I found the Venefor made me feel much better quicker than the Infed did and it keep me peppy for a LONG time. 

Not sure if the Infed didn't work as well for long term or what is up.....just curious what others infusion type was and how they reacted from it.  I know we are all different I just hope mine isn't crashing quicker than it did last time.

Proximal RNY Lap - 02/21/05

 9 years committed ~  100% EWL and Maintaining


Citizen (USA & Brit) Kim
on 1/16/13 5:34 am - Castle Rock, CO

I've always had Infed and thankfully have never had any problems.   I feel tons better day by day afterwards and tickedy boo in about 7 days.   I had 18 months between my first and second (should have had the second 6 months earlier) and I am now 18 months out from my last one but I actually feel pretty good.   My ferritin was 55 in August, so we'll see where I am next month!

I think Venofer is a bit of a Cha Ching for the doctor with all those lovely co-pays - mine costs me $30 each time so each Infed is $30 period and I think it's easier to just get it over and done with in the one morning ...

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist

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