Iron Infusion Treatments
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world and can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, cold intolerance, hair loss, brain fog, and more unpleasant symptoms. It is especially common amongst people with a menstrual cycle, as they can lose significant amounts of iron each month, as well as during pregnancy since the growing baby takes a large share of the available iron, leaving little for their mom.
Oral supplements are the most common form of treatment, which can be an effective means of improving iron status; however, it can take several months, and in individuals with poor absorption or substantial iron loss (eg. those who donate blood or have heavy menstrual periods), oral supplements may fail to achieve ideal levels. In addition, iron supplements can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain/discomfort and constipation. Iron infusions, on the other hand, typically raise iron levels with a single infusion and avoid those gut-related side effects.
What is the process?
Your doctor can refer directly to Tonume Integrated Health for an infusion as long as a blood test including ferritin levels within the past 3 months is provided. That ferritin value will help determine the appropriate dosage during your 15 minute pre-iron infusion consultation.
If you do not have a referral from a doctor or you haven’t had a recent blood test, you can book in with any of our naturopathic doctors, who can review your medical history and provide a requisition for a blood test to determine if you’re a candidate for an infusion.
How many infusions will I need?
If you are not pregnant we use Monoferric iron, which may only require a single infusion. Nonetheless, follow-up blood tests will be done 4-6 weeks after the infusion, at which point a second infusion may be booked if the response is inadequate.
If you are pregnant we use Venofer 2x per week for up to 5 infusions. Similar to Monoferric, we will re-test at 4-6 weeks post-infusion.
Note: Iron infusions are contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy.
What are the costs?
It depends on the type and dose that is needed, which will primarily depend on your current ferritin levels.
Monoferric 1000mg: appointment ($230) + 1000mg dose (approximately $500) = $730.
- This may be a one time treatment provided the underlying cause of deficiency is also addressed.
Monoferric 500mg: appointment ($230) + 500mg dose (approximately $270) = $500
- One or two infusions may be needed depending on how much your ferritin levels rise after the initial treatment.
Venofer 200mg: appointment ($150) + 200mg dose (approximately $70) = $270
- This will be done up to 5 times over 3 weeks for a total of 1000mg before re-testing ferritin levels.
How long will the infusion take?
The first appointment can take about 60 to 90 minutes. Within that time, the infusion itself will take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. However, if further infusions are needed, the appointments will typically be quicker.
What are possible side effects?
Iron infusions are generally recognized as safe and effective treatments for iron deficiency, and your doctor will review the safety profile in depth and answer any questions you may have prior to the infusion.
The most common side effects include:
Low blood pressure
What do I need to do or bring in preparation for my infusion?
You need to bring a recent blood test (within 3 months) including ferritin. For reference, the cost of a blood test including a complete blood count and ferritin is approximately $55 out of pocket if not done by your MD through MSP.
Also, please ensure you’ve eaten and are hydrated before your infusion.
Are iron infusions covered by extended health benefits?
If you have naturopathic coverage, the appointment cost ($150-230) may be wholly or partly covered, depending on your insurance provider.
If you have drug coverage, the iron itself (Monoferric or Venofer) may be wholly or partly covered. Once prescribed, we will have it shipped directly to our clinic.
Dr Matthew Nagra offers IV Therapy Treatments here at Tonume Integrated Health.