Is long-term monitoring required in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia?

Updated: Aug 04, 2019
  • Author: James L Harper, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Monitor patients with iron deficiency anemia on an outpatient basis to ensure that there is an adequate response to iron therapy and that iron therapy is continued until after correction of the anemia to replenish body iron stores. Follow-up also may be important to treat any underlying cause of the iron deficiency.

Response to iron therapy can be documented by an increase in reticulocytes 5-10 days after the initiation of iron therapy. The hemoglobin concentration increases by about 1 g/dL weekly until normal values are restored. These responses are blunted in the presence of sustained blood loss or coexistent factors that impair hemoglobin synthesis.


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