We are thrilled to announce that Mind Body Soul Integrative Clinic is now offering and administering safe and effective iron infusions, including both Iron Sucrose (Venofer) and Monferric Iron. This is done under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Jordana Aziz, ND and Dr. Emina Jasarevic, ND. When Dr. Aziz had her first Iron Infusion one year ago – it was life changing. Read more about her experience here.
IV Infusions & Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency can be caused by a variety of conditions, including pregnancy, heavy or irregular menstrual cycles, GI illness, cardiac issues, cancer and more.
While not everyone may be a candidate for IV Iron Infusion therapy, if you have struggled with Iron Deficiency Anemia and oral iron supplementation has been ineffective or is poorly tolerated, then this may be the treatment for you. No one should have to feel exhausted or in poor health from chronically low iron. We are here to help you change that!
Iron infusions are generally prescribed by doctors to treat iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is typically treated with dietary changes and oral iron supplementation. In some cases, iron levels remain quite low despite these efforts, and stronger therapeutic action is needed to bring iron levels up. In these cases, doctors may recommend iron infusions instead.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional disorder. It affects 1-2% of adults and is most prevalent among preschool children and women. IV iron infusions may reduce the need for blood transfusions and can produce a more rapid rise in hemoglobin compared to oral iron salts.
Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is very common and can be caused by a variety of conditions such as:
- Diet (Vegetarian or not eating enough iron rich foods)
- Inability to absorb iron through the stomach, ulcers or GI bleeding
- Heavy or irregular menstrual cycles
- Colon Cancer
- Other medical conditions
Signs and Symptoms of Low Iron
Possible signs and symptoms may include:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Shortness of breath with exertion
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Pale skin and pale overall appearance
- Feeling cold
- Sleep difficulties
- Easy bruising
- Hair loss
- Poor focus and concentration
What to Expect from IV Iron Infusions
Before your iron infusion, appropriate bloodwork will be reviewed to ensure you are a candidate for the infusion. If you do not have recent bloodwork or you do not have a family doctor, we encourage you to book an initial naturopathic consultation first. An IV iron infusion visit will then ensue within 1-2 weeks.
At the time of your IV Iron appointment, your blood pressure, heart rate and temperature will be measured by our doctor or nurse. Your IV will then proceed, with a possible dose test to determine if an allergic reaction may occur.
During the Infusion, you will be continually monitored. If you feel any pain or swelling, itchiness, dizziness or shortness of breath, inform the nurse or doctor immediately. There may be a chance of allergic reaction in a small percentage of people receiving iron infusions.
Mind Body Soul Integrative Clinic is currently set up to accept referrals from both family physicians and specialists, on the premise that a medical workup for anemia, including appropriate blood work, has been completed. In the event that bloodwork hasn’t been completed, please book an initial naturopathic visit.
Speak to your healthcare provider to see if Iron infusions are the right treatment option for you.
Please see below for the downloadable referral form necessary to complete this process by your physician or specialist.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is iron?
Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, a component of blood which carries 4 oxygen molecules from the lung to the rest of the body.
What is an iron infusion?
An iron infusion is a procedure in which iron is delivered to your body intravenously, meaning into a vein through a needle. This method of delivering a prescribed medication or vitamin/mineral cocktail is also known as an intravenous (IV) infusion.
How long does an iron infusion take?
Initial infusion appointments, excluding workup and diagnostic lab review, take anywhere from 1-4 hours depending on type of iron used. There may be rare circumstances where an infusion might require more time.
Do I need a referral for an iron infusion?
We accept referrals from your primary physician or specialist with updated bloodwork within the previous 2 months. Please email your blood test results to [email protected] with the Subject line: Iron Infusion Referral or fax us at 250-869-4927. If you do not have recent bloodwork or a referral, no problem. You can still get an Iron infusion at the clinic, once you have completed an Initial Naturopathic consultation with one of our physicians. You will be sent for the appropriate lab work, and will then be prescribed the iron if they feel it is indicated for you.
When can I expect to feel better?
Typically, initial improvements are noted about 1 week after the infusion, with more noticeable improvements occurring 2-3 weeks post infusion. Follow up bloodwork will be performed 6 weeks after your infusion to see where your current levels are at.
How long do iron infusions last for?
This varies on an individual patient basis. After your 6 week follow up blood work, the doctor will decide if another dose is warranted. Usually one dose of Monoferric is sufficient and patients don’t require more. Iron sucrose on the other hand, may require up to 4 individual doses depending on bloodwork. At that time, the doctor will decide the dosage schedule.
How do I prepare for the infusion?
We ask you to be well hydrated in advance of you appointment to ensure easy access to your veins. Dress in comfortable clothing as you will be sitting for roughly 1-4 hours dependant on type of iron used. We also recommend that you have something to eat prior to your appointment.
Do I need to keep taking my iron supplements after my infusion?
Unless specifically instructed by your doctor, we don’t recommended continuing on oral iron supplements after your infusion.
How much do iron infusions cost?
There are two costs associated with iron infusions: the cost of the iron product and the cost of the IV administration.
Our iron infusion products are dispensed and provided by local pharmacies. Monoferric and Venofer are PharmaCare benefit medications with Special Authority. Your local pharmacy can assist with Special Authority applications if requested.
They submit claims directly to PharmaCare and private insurance for patient convenience and to reduce patient out-of-pocket costs. A full course of 1000 mg costs approximately:
- Monoferric $560
- Venofer $365
The IV administration fee includes the cost of healthcare staff, IV materials, and clinic equipment. This may be covered by patients’ private insurance plans. Patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their eligibility. IV infusion costs are $220 for 1 infusion.
*Prices may be subject to manufacturer price changes
Are there any side effects of IV iron infusions?
It is not common to experience any side effects, however some patients may experience a slight flushing sensation or mild rash during their infusion. This is mitigated by stopping or slowing the infusion as needed.
There is a small chance that a patient has an allergic reaction, and if that is the case, we don’t recommend further iron infusions for that patient. The physician or nurse is always on site at the time of the infusion, and all necessary emergency precautions and supplies are on hand for your safety.
Some patients may experience a mild flu like sensation for a few days after the infusion, which should resolve on its own, along with other symptoms of a darker urine colour. If you do experience any other symptoms or concerns after your infusion, do not hesitate contact the administrative staff at the Clinic.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any other questions you may have.