What is the treatment for iron deficiency anemia?

Updated: Sep 07, 2019
  • Author: James L Harper, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Treatment of iron deficiency anemia consists of correcting the underlying etiology and replenishing iron stores. Iron therapy is as follows:

  • Oral ferrous iron salts are the most economical and effective form

  • Ferrous sulfate is the most commonly used iron salt

  • Better absorption and lower morbidity have been claimed for other iron salts

  • Toxicity is generally proportional to the amount of iron available for absorption

  • Reserve parenteral iron for patients who are either unable to absorb oral iron or who have increasing anemia despite adequate doses of oral iron

  • Reserve transfusion of packed RBCs for patients who are experiencing significant acute bleeding or are in danger of hypoxia and/or coronary insufficiency

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

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