Questions & Answers
Helpful to know...
Q: Why is my doctor prescribing Venofer (iron sucrose injection, USP)?
A: Your doctor may prescribe Venofer to help manage your iron deficiency anemia—a low amount of red blood cells (RBCs)—caused by CKD. For dialysis patients who are receiving erythropoietin (eh-rith-roh-POY-eh-tin), or EPO, a therapy to increase red blood cell production, your body needs iron to help make enough healthy RBCs to carry oxygen throughout your body. Without enough iron, your body cannot completely correct anemia.
For patients new to dialysis and used to taking iron by mouth, an oral iron may no longer be enough to help your body make
all the healthy RBCs you need. If you are on an EPO and you are not getting enough iron, your doctor may recommend Venofer.
Q: Is being treated with Venofer safe?
A: Venofer has been used worldwide for over 60 years. Since 1992, over 13 million people have been successfully treated. All of which means Venofer has an excellent safety record, even in patients who had reactions to other injectable irons. However, there are important safety issues to be aware of some of which have been life threatening and resulted in death:
- Venofer is not for patients with high iron levels, a known allergy to Venofer or any of its inactive components, and anemia
not caused by iron deficiency
- Serious hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions have been reported in patients receiving Venofer
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) has been reported in patients who receive intravenous iron whether or not they are on dialysis
- Side effects may include hypotension, taste disturbance, swelling, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, dizziness, and hypertension
- You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch,
or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or Fresenius Medical Care Customer Service at 1-800-323-5188.
Q: How often will my blood get tested for signs of iron deficiency anemia?
A: Your doctor will regularly order laboratory tests to check the health of your RBCs and see if you have enough iron. This will help your doctor determine how many doses of Venofer you will need to get your iron and hemoglobin levels back to normal and keep your anemia in check.
Q: Are there reasons my iron levels keep changing?
A: Iron levels often go up and down, which is why your doctor may check them and tailor your dose of Venofer if you have:
- Missed a dialysis session or treatment
- Had blood taken for lab tests
- Given blood at a doctor's appointment
- Lost blood due to:
- —Dental procedure
- —GI bleeding
- Had a cold, infection, or other illness
- Changed medicines
- —Added or stopped drugs for other conditions
- Changed dietary habits
- —Drinking alcohol
- —Eating foods with salt
- —Eating less or more