Iron Infusions A Solution for Iron Deficiency

Iron Infusion is a treatment that can restore iron levels to your blood. Our specialists explain more about this service.


In the UK, it is estimated that 3% of men and 8% of women have iron deficiency anaemia; women being the higher percentage as they lose blood during menstruation. We spoke to our Iron Infusion Specialists, Dr Ravi Rao Baikady and Professor Toby Richards, about what an iron infusion is, and how it can benefit those who are iron deficient.

What is an iron infusion?

Iron is an essential nutrient for our body. It is an important part of haemoglobin (Hb), the red pigment which gives blood its colour and which carries oxygen around your body. An iron infusion is a quick and efficient way of replacing body iron stores. It is done through intravenous drip. A small needle will be placed in a vein in your hand or arm. The total dose of iron will be given through a drip which takes approximately 15 to 45 minutes.

Why might you need an iron infusion?

Iron infusion is an efficient way of restoring iron stores in the body. We need iron so our body can make new haemoglobin and red blood cells to carry the oxygen your body requires. Therefore, it’s very important to have enough iron in your blood. Iron deficiency can cause symptoms such as tiredness, fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, headaches, and a fluttering heart. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to get a blood test to check your iron levels. In addition to treating iron deficiency, iron infusions are also used for people who have chronic health conditions that make it difficult to absorb iron from food.

How are Heavy Periods and Anaemia linked?

Iron deficiency anaemia is more common among women than men, as one of the main contributing factors to anaemia is heavy periods. As women are losing blood each month, they are also losing the iron that is in their blood.

It’s not always clear whether you have heavy menstrual bleeding, as some women may lose quite a bit of blood during their period, but don’t realise it, and other women may think that they have heavy periods, but actually lose a normal range of blood each month. If you feel like you are experiencing heavy periods, along with symptoms such as tiredness, or dizziness, contact your GP.

What are the key benefits of an iron infusion?

There are multiple benefits that you can receive from taking an iron infusion:

  1. Faster Iron Increase: Compared to oral iron supplements, iron infusions deliver iron directly into the bloodstream. This results in a much faster and more significant increase in iron levels, which is crucial for addressing severe anaemia. Oral supplements can have lower absorption rates and take longer to replenish iron stores.
  2. Improved Energy and Reduced Fatigue: Anaemia caused by iron deficiency can lead to extreme tiredness and fatigue. As iron infusions raise iron levels and haemoglobin production in red blood cells, you may experience increased energy levels and a reduction in fatigue within a few weeks of completing the treatment.
  3. Effective for Conditions Limiting Oral Iron Absorption: Certain medical conditions or digestive issues can hinder the absorption of iron from oral supplements. Iron infusions bypass the digestive system altogether, making them a viable option for individuals with these limitations.
  4. Regulation of Iron Content: For individuals who experience regular blood loss, such as during menstruation, iron infusions can help regulate iron content in the body. This can be particularly helpful in preventing future iron deficiencies.

Iron infusions are not without potential side effects, so consulting a doctor to determine if they’re the right course of treatment is crucial. Iron overload can be a concern, so monitoring iron levels is essential during and after treatment.

Written by Dr Ravishankar Rao Baikady

Dr R Rao Baikady is a key opinion leader across the world anaemia management for major surgery and oncology. Dr Rao Baikady lead the service in hid NHS practice. Founder member of the iron clinic which specialises in Iron deficiency management with intravenous iron infusion for various medical conditions. Over the years Dr Rao Baikady has contributed to management of anaemia with clinical research, national and international guidelines, delivering education with lectures and poster presentations, developing unique anaemia services in NHS practice and continuing research/quality improvement programmes in anaemia and Iron deficiency management