Which medications in the drug class Chelating agents are used in the treatment of Iron Toxicity?

Updated: Feb 04, 2019
  • Author: Clifford S Spanierman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

Chelating agents

Chelation is the mainstay of therapy. It is indicated for serum iron levels >350 mcg/dL with evidence of toxicity or >500 mcg/dL regardless of signs or symptoms.

Deferoxamine (Desferal)

DOC for iron intoxication. Freely soluble in water. Approximately 8 mg of iron is bound by 100 mg of deferoxamine. Excreted in urine and bile and gives urine a red discoloration. Readily chelates iron from ferritin and hemosiderin but not transferrin. Most effective when administered continuously by infusion. May be administered by IM injection or slow IV infusion. Does not effectively chelate other trace metals of nutritional importance. Provided in vials containing 500 mg of lyophilized sterile drug. Add 2 mL of sterile water to each vial for injection, bringing the concentration to 250 mg/mL. For IV use, may be diluted in 0.9% sterile saline, 5% dextrose solution, or Ringer solution. IM is preferred route of administration, except in hypotension and cardiovascular collapse when the IV route should be considered.


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