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Iron sucrose parenteral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Parenteral iron


Solution for injection / infusion containing iron hydroxide sucrose complex.

Drugs List

  • iron sucrose 100mg/5ml injection
  • VENOFER 100mg/5ml injection
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Anaemia - iron deficiency

    Iron sucrose injection or infusion is indicated for the treatment of iron deficiency in the following indications:

    - Where a rapid iron supply is clinically necessary.
    - In patients who cannot tolerate oral iron therapy or who are non-compliant.
    - In active inflammatory bowel disease where oral iron preparations are ineffective.
    - In chronic kidney disease when oral iron preparations are less effective.


    Dose and dosage schedule should be individually determined based on the calculation of the total iron deficit.

    The MHRA have advised that there are no clear data that an initial test dose of intravenous iron minimises the risk of hypersensitivity reactions: conversely, it may give false reassurance because hypersensitivity reactions have been reported in patients despite a negative initial test dose. The MHRA concludes that therefore, an initial test dose on first use of an IV iron product for a patient is no longer recommended.


    Total cumulative dose of iron hydroxide sucrose complex equivalent to the total iron deficit should be determined by the haemoglobin (Hb) level and body weight.
    Total iron deficit (mg) = body weight (kg) x (target Hb - actual Hb) (g/dl) x 2.4* + depot iron (mg)

    Patients up to 35kg body weight:
    Target Hb = 13g/dl
    Depot iron = 15mg/kg body weight

    Patients above 35kg body weight:
    Target Hb = 15g/dl
    Depot iron = 500mg

    *Factor 2.4 = 0.0034 (iron content of Hb = 0.34%) x 0.07 (blood volume = 7% of body weight) x 1000 (conversion from g to mg) x 10


    Not licensed for use in children.

    Alternative sources suggests that iron sucrose can be given by slow intravenous injection or by intravenous infusion for iron deficiency anaemia as follows:

    Child with body weight 67kg and over
    Calculate according to body-weight and iron deficit and consult product literature. Each divided dose should not exceed the maximum 200mg per dose.

    Child with body weight up to 67kg
    Calculate according to body-weight and iron deficit and consult product literature. Each divided dose should not exceed 3mg per kg per dose.

    Patients with Renal Impairment

    May be administered directly into the venous line of the dialysis machine during a haemodialysis session.


    By slow intravenous (IV) injection or infusion only; other routes contraindicated. Administration by intravenous drip infusion is the preferred route as this may help to reduce the risk of hypotensive episodes and paravenous leakage.

    By slow IV injection - administer iron hydroxide sucrose complex at a rate of 1ml undiluted solution per minute (i.e. 5 minutes per vial) and not exceeding 200mg (2 vials) per injection. Apply pressure to the injection site for at least 5 minutes to reduce the risk of paravenous leakage after IV injection administration. Paravenous leakage of iron sucrose may cause pain, inflammation and brown discolouration of the skin at the injection site.

    By IV infusion - administer diluted solution of iron hydroxide sucrose complex at an infusion rate of not more than 5ml in at least 15 minutes.


    First trimester of pregnancy
    Porphyria cutanea tarda

    Precautions and Warnings

    Allergic disposition
    Autoimmune disease
    Children under 18 years
    Inflammatory disorder
    Hepatic impairment
    Second trimester of pregnancy
    Severe asthma
    Third trimester of pregnancy

    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Treat and control infections prior to commencing therapy
    Do not start oral iron therapy until at least 5 days after last injection
    Observe patient closely during and immediately after administration
    Resuscitation facilities must be immediately available
    Always administer by slow intravenous injection or infusion
    Diagnosis of iron deficiency must be based on appropriate laboratory tests
    Caution with every dose of IV iron even if previously well tolerated
    Monitor for signs and symptoms of allergic reaction
    Monitor for hypersensitivity reactions for at least 30 mins after admin
    Discontinue if anaphylactoid reaction occurs
    Do not take oral iron preparations during treatment
    Advise patients that hypersensitivity reactions may be life threatening

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Iron sucrose injection is contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy and should be used with caution during the second and third trimester.

    There is no data from the use of iron sucrose in pregnant women in the first trimester. Data from the use of iron sucrose in pregnant women in the second and third trimester indicated no adverse effects on pregnancy or on the health of the foetus/newborn child.

    Later in pregnancy, any benefits of using IV iron should be carefully weighed against the risks: anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reactions could have serious consequences for both mother and foetus. Iron sucrose injection should only be used in pregnant women in whom oral iron is ineffective or cannot be tolerated and the level of anaemia is judged sufficient to put mother and foetus at risk.

    Animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to reproductive toxicity.

    Following administration of parenteral irons, foetal bradycardia may occur. This is usually due to a hypersensitivity reaction in the mother. As a result, if parenteral irons are intravenously administered to a pregnant woman, the unborn baby should be carefully monitored.


    Iron sucrose is considered safe for use during breastfeeding.

    There is limited information on the excretion of iron in human milk following administration of intravenous iron sucrose. The manufacturer states that when a small group of healthy breast-feeding mothers with iron deficiency were treated with 100mg of iron in the form of iron sucrose, the iron content of the breast milk in these women had not increased when measured four days after treatment. No differences were observed when compared to the control group.

    The manufacturer also states that non-metabolised iron sucrose is unlikely to pass into the mother's milk and therefore, iron sucrose should not present a risk to the nursing child.

    Animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects to the nursing child.

    Side Effects

    Abdominal pain
    Alanine aminotransferase increased
    Anaphylactic reaction
    Anaphylactoid reaction
    Aspartate aminotransferase increased
    Back pain
    Chest pain
    Circulatory collapse
    Cold sweat
    Extremity pain
    Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) increased
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Impaired consciousness
    Increase in lactate dehydrogenase
    Increased serum ferritin
    Influenza-like symptoms
    Injection site reactions
    Loss of consciousness (transient)
    Muscle spasm
    Peripheral oedema


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: September 2019.

    Reference Sources

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Venofer (Iron Sucrose). Vifor Pharma UK Ltd. Revised October 2019.

    MHRA Drug Safety Update September 2013
    Available at:
    Last accessed: 17 August 2019.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 17 August 2019.

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