We are delighted to introduce a significant stride in Naturopathic care here at Okanagan Integrative Health: the inclusion of Intravenous Iron Therapy to our comprehensive range of treatments. Addressing iron deficiency with precision and efficacy, this advanced therapeutic modality stands as a cornerstone in our commitment to elevating patient well-being.
Benefits of Intravenous Iron Therapy
1. Infusion > Oral: Oral iron is not always tolerated and does not have the best compliance rates due to common side effects (Ie. Constipation). It can take 6-12 months to get iron levels up to normal and that’s only if you are able to solve the reason for the deficiency in the first place. Chasing optimal iron levels can be very frustrating for a lot of people. Infusions are a safe and effective way to get iron levels up typically with a single infusion for people who can’t effectively take oral iron.
2. Improved Symptom Relief: Patients often report a more rapid and pronounced alleviation of symptoms associated with iron deficiency, such as fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Intravenous administration allows for a direct and potent impact on symptom relief.
3. Enhanced Tolerance: For individuals who may struggle with GI side effects from oral iron supplements, Intravenous Iron Therapy offers an alternative route that bypasses thedigestive system. This can lead to improved tolerance, minimizing common issues such as nausea or abdominal discomfort and constipation.
4. Tailored Treatment: Intravenous administration allows for precise dosing and customization of the treatment plan based on individual needs. This personalized approach ensures that patients receive the optimal amount of iron to address their specific deficiency, promoting more effective outcomes.
5. Effective in Chronic Conditions: Intravenous Iron Therapy is particularly valuable for individuals with chronic conditions that contribute to ongoing iron loss or malabsorption. Conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, or certain gastrointestinal disorders can benefit significantly from the sustained and targeted iron supplementation provided by this therapy.
We understand that you may have questions about this innovative therapy. Visit our frequently asked questions (FAQ) section to gain a deeper understanding of Intravenous Iron Therapy, its benefits, and what to expect during and after treatment.
Iron IV FAQ
1. What would the process be to get an IV?
Your doctor can refer directly to our clinic. The referral must include a CBC and ferritin result from the last 3 months below a certain level that determines the dosage. You would be a candidate for at least one IV ironinfusion if your ferritin level is below 100.If you don’t have a doctor’s referral (or it’s missing a ferritin lab value), Dr. Rachelle can provide you one, and the cost is ~$50. After that, we would book you in for your Pre Iron IV 15 minute consultation.
2. How often and what types of iron infusions do you provide? Are they single dose, or recurring?
Dr. Rachelle uses either Monoferric or Venofer. Monoferric (1,000mg) if ferritin is <30 ug/L, and Monoferric (500mg) if ferritin is >30 ug/L. Most will only need one infusion, but we would confirm 4-6 weeks after your first infusion with follow-up lab work (which we will provide) and book a second infusion if needed at that point. Venofer (200mg) twice/week, usually completing up to 5 treatments (1,000mg total), and re-testing 4-6 weeks after the first series to confirm if further infusions are needed.
3. What are the costs for each type of infusion?
Monoferric 1,000mg (if ferritin is <30): infusion ($225) + 1,000mg dose (~$600) = ~$825. This is likely a one time treatment unless the underlying cause of iron deficiency is not corrected. Monoferric 500mg (if ferritin is >30): infusion ($225) + 500mg dose ($320) = ~$545 once OR twice, depending on how high your levels rise after the first. Venofer 200 mg (if pregnant and ferritin is <50): infusion ($150) + 200mg dose ($125) = $360 up to five times, totalling 1,000mg, before retesting.
4. How long does it take?
Be prepared to spend up to 90 minutes in the clinic on your first visit. Your initial visit and first infusion(s) will be done more slowly, and once accustomed, any further infusions will be quicker. The infusion itself will take 20-60 minutes within that time.5. Is it safe?IV Iron is a safe and effective treatment for iron deficiency. Your doctor will discuss the safety profile with you before your infusion.
6. Are there any Side Effects?
The most common side effects are:
- Joint Ache
- Metallic taste
- Low Blood Pressure
7. What would I need to bring in with me? How recent of blood work would you need, and which items are you looking for?
Recent blood work covering a full hematology panel (CBC), including ferritin. This costs about $50 out of pocket, if not done by your MD through MSP.
8. Is this covered under extended benefits?
If you have naturopathic coverage, the infusion may be wholly or partly covered depending on your insurance provider. You can contact your insurance provider to determine your coverage before your visit. If you have drug coverage, the dose (Venofer or Monoferric) may be wholly or partly covered.
9. When do I re-check levels after the IV?
4-6 weeks after your infusion is the optimal time to get labs re-checked. When re-checking we just look at the CBC and ferritin (~$50)