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My sister, who is 73 y.o., has been advised by her hemotologist to start iron infusion treatments for anemia. She has 2 serious health issues that she's been dealing with for years: lupus and polymyositis. One of the problems as a result of the poly is gastrointestinal; bouts of diarhea and constipation, vomiting. This past year she was hospitalized twice for severe dehydration. While there, diagnosed as being anemic & malnourished. Hematologist says iron supplements won't help at this point. Thank you.

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I had to have iron infusions due to anemia. Pills would not have worked as quickly... after the 2nd treatment, my kidney issues stabilized, iron went up in blood tests, fatigue went away. I hate the medical costs issued with it, but it worked for me. It was easy..I went to a clinic, sat in a recliner, let them but the iv in, drank my tea and read my book, and an hour later, walked out. Good luck....
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NYDaughterInLaw May 24, 2020
Do you know which one you were given?
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Another quote from the NPR report that I want to share:

"...An analysis of private insurance claims conducted by the Health Care Cost Institute, an independent research group funded by insurers, found that in 2017, private health plans paid $4,316 per visit, on average, if a patient received Injectafer infusions. Feraheme, the next most expensive infusion drug, cost private plans $3,087 per visit, while the other three on the market were considerably cheaper. Infed was $1,502, Venofer $825 and Ferrlecit $412, the institute found, in an analysis for Kaiser Health News...."
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Tothill May 24, 2020
Those price ranges are insane. 10x more from the most expensive to the least.
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Before you agree to the iron infusion, check this out about iron infusions being under scrutiny:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/08/01/746360190/-2-733-to-treat-iron-poor-blood-iron-infusions-for-anemia-under-scrutiny
"...'When there's a financial incentive ... that might move the physician away from the choice the patient would optimally make, we might be concerned,' says Aditi Sen, a health economist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who is researching how doctors prescribe and are paid for intravenous iron treatments. The example of iron infusions, she adds, suggests 'a clear financial incentive to prescribe more expensive drugs...'"

Sadly, the report confirms my suspicions that doctors and hospitals treat Medicare and private insurance plans as cash cows and don't really care what's right for the patient as long as it's right for their bank accounts.

I want to reiterate that a registered dietician can be extremely helpful. I worked with an RD when I, the caregiver to my inlaws, got sick. She reviewed my labs and interviewed me about my eating habits, likes and dislikes. She prepared a nutritional plan for me that used at the grocery store to plan seasonal meals as well as meals around always available frozen vegetables. I believe that were it not for her I would not have recovered my health.

Check out Floradix Floravital Liquid Iron and Vitamin Formula, which is made in Germany. A bottle costs less than $30. I took it for about a year while I was healing.
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Though she has been through a bunch, she makes a good example that infusions can work for many different reasons when other methods (like pills and liquids) aren't a viable option.

As for side effects, she hasn't had any from the iron infusions. She actually feels much better after each one as the fatigue dissipates. Constipation can be a side effect but she hasn't experienced it. That might have something to do with her unique inside configuration. :-) The biggest obstacle is the time it takes to them.

Personally, I am required to take iron but am unable to take pill supplements. To avoid having to have infusions, I was put on ferrous sulfate liquid that is special ordered from the pharmacy. It works where the standard supplement doesn't. You might check with the doctor about something similar.
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Thank you.
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Look into home infusions. There are nurses who specialize in it.

I also would get her a consult with a registered dietician. They know which foods trigger inflammation.
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peace416 May 20, 2020
Thank you. Yes, I wondered about home infusions. I'll tell her about this option.
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Yes it’s very common. Without iron the body can’t make red blood cells.
The infusion usually takes 3-4 hours And she’ll probably receive it in an infusion clinic where she can sit in a recliner while getting the infusion. The infusions are usually given 2 weeks apart in a series of 3 doses.
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peace416 May 20, 2020
Thanks so much for this information.
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Yes...my mother has had them for years. What would you like to know?

My mother is a walking, talking miracle. She is a 7 time cancer survivor (age 5 was her first diagnosis and 2 years ago her last) and if it can be taken out without killing, she has had it removed. She has no stomach, female parts, bowel, gall bladder, appendix -- you get the idea. She has a list of medical issues pages and pages long in addition to the cancers. She had a bone marrow graft and it only partially worked so they put in a port and she has to have iron infusions thru her port every 6 months. They also give her monthly B12 shots as it is needed for her body to utilize the iron.

If I have any answers, I'll gladly give them to your specific questions.
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peace416 May 20, 2020
Thanks AinSeattle. To say your mother has been through alot, is an understatement! My only other question is what were the side effects (if any) after the infusions?
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