Safety of rapid infusion of iron polymaltose: Comparative study in 300 patients

Patricia T.Y. Chan, Carmela E. Corallo, Michael J. Dooley, Susan G. Poole, Peter R. Gibson

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Background: Iron polymaltose is the most cost-effective and convenient intravenous (IV) iron formulation available in Australia for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in hospital inpatients. However, in the ambulatory setting, the requirement for administration over several hours has been a major limitation. Although there is some data on the safety of using a faster infusion rate, further information was required with respect to the administration of higher doses. Aim: To compare the incidence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) due to fast infusion of iron polymaltose with that reported for slow infusion. Method: The study was carried out in a 500-bed major tertiary referral teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia. A rapid iron polymaltose infusion protocol was implemented, i.e. 75 min for <1500 mg iron and 100 min for ≥1500-2000 mg. Patients who received iron polymaltose as a standard slow infusion served as the control group. Data included: dose of iron; rate of administration and volume of infusion fluid; haemoglobin and iron studies; pre-medications; and ADRs. Serious ADRs were defined as those leading to treatment discontinuation. Results: Data were available for 300 patients. The incidence of infusion-related ADRs was similar for the fast and slow infusions, 18 of 171 (10.5%) and 10 of 132 (7.6%), respectively, p = 0.42. ADRs occurred in 1.8 and 2.3% of cases, for the fast and the slow infusions, respectively, p = 1. Conclusion: Rapid infusion of IV iron polymaltose for doses up to 2000 mg does not result in any increase in ADRs compared with the standard slow infusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Australia
  • Cost minimisation
  • Guidelines
  • Intravenous infusions

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