Injectafer is a brand name for ferric carboxymaltose, an iron-replacement medication that is given as an intravenous injection to treat iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in adult and pediatric (1 year of age and older) patients. Iron deficiency anemia is a type of blood disorder in which patients have significantly low red blood cell (RBC) counts due to insufficient iron in the body.
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It was first approved by the FDA on July 25, 2013. Injectafer is only available via doctor’s prescription and comes as a solution in a single-dose vial that is administered into the vein.
Is There a Generic for Injectafer?
There is no generic version of Injectafer available in the market. However, other versions of iron replacement products are available and may be used as an alternative, depending on the individual’s specific needs and the recommendation of their healthcare provider.
What Is Injectafer Used To Treat?
Injectafer is typically prescribed for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in adults and pediatrics (1 year of age and older) in the following cases:
- Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are not on dialysis.
- Patients who do not show any improvement in their condition after taking oral products (iron supplements).
- Patients who have documented intolerance to oral iron products.
How Does It Work?
Injectafer contains an active drug called ferric carboxymaltose that works by increasing the iron levels in the body.
Typically, when a person has iron-deficiency anemia, their body does not have enough iron to produce sufficient hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells to the rest of the body. This decrease in hemoglobin leads to a reduced number of red blood cells and a decrease in the amount of oxygen carried to the body’s tissues. Injectafer helps to correct this by providing a concentrated source of iron directly into the bloodstream, which can then be used by the bone marrow to produce hemoglobin. This increases the number of red blood cells and the amount of oxygen in the body.
How Long Does Injectafer Take To Work?
Injectafer takes 15 minutes to release iron in the bloodstream, which is then taken up by the RBCs. Compared to oral iron supplements, it provides more iron in less time.
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Dosage Form and Strength
Injectafer is a single-dose vial with a concentration of 50 mg iron/ml (which means each ml delivers 50 mg of iron). There are three available sizes: 2 ml, 15 ml, or 20 ml.
The dose of Injectafer depends on the patient’s body weight. In general, the recommended dose for adults and pediatric patients according to their weights are:
- Adult IDA/pediatric patients who weigh more than 50 kg: Two doses of 750 mg, with each dose taken at least 7 days apart for a total of 1,500 mg.
- Adult IDA/pediatric patients who weigh less than 50 kg: Two doses of 15 mg/kg, with each dose taken at least 7 days apart.
How Is Injectafer Given?
Injectafer is given intravenously (injected into the vein) by or under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
The dose can be either given as a slow intravenous push, or it can be given as an IV infusion mixed with a saline solution that lasts 15 minutes.
Is Injectafer a Form of Chemotherapy?
Injectafer is not a form of chemotherapy, but an iron replacement product used to treat IDA.
Possible Side Effects
Injectafer is generally well tolerated, but like all medications, it can cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Hypophosphatemia (low levels of phosphorus in the blood)
- Rash, pain, or itching around the injection site
Some serious and less common side effects that Injectafer may cause include:
- Symptomatic hypophosphatemia (muscle or bone pain/weakness, confusion, irritability)
- Allergic reaction to the component of Injectafer
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
It is important to note that not all patients will experience these side effects and that the severity and frequency of side effects may vary among individuals. If patients experience any severe or persistent side effects, they should seek medical attention immediately.
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You should inform your healthcare professional of any allergies or medical conditions you have prior to receiving Injectafer, as well as any other medications or supplements you are taking, to minimize the risk of side effects and ensure the safe and effective use of the product. Some precautions to be taken while administering the medication include:
- Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any known allergies to iron or any of the components of the medication.
- Anemia: Injectafer is used to treat iron-deficiency anemia. It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you have any other types of anemia.
- Heart and blood pressure: Injectafer may cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Your healthcare provider should monitor you during the administration of the drug.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: It is unknown whether this medication is safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
- History of previous iron overload: It is important to tell your healthcare provider about your previous condition, as iron buildup may cause harmful effects.
- Other medical conditions: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any other medical conditions, such as kidney disease or liver disease.
- Multivitamins and other medications: Notify your provider if you are taking multivitamins, herbal supplements, or over-the-counter medicines.
It is highly recommended to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions while taking Injectafer.
The wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of an Injectafer single-dose vial solution (with 750 mg/15 ml strength) is about $1,282.71; however, the price may vary depending on medical insurance coverage or available patient assistance programs. Contact us to learn more.
- US Food and Drug Administration: Injectafer prescribing information. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2020/203565s009lbl.pdf
- What is Injectafer? | INJECTAFERÂ®. (n.d.). https://injectafer.com/about-injectafer/what-is-injectafer
- Bregman, D. B., & Goodnough, L. T. (2014). Experience with intravenous ferric carboxymaltose in patients with iron deficiency anemia. Therapeutic Advances in Hematology, 5(2), 48–60. https://doi.org/10.1177/2040620714521127
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Dr. Samantha Kaeberlein, PharmD was born and raised in Canton, OH. She received her pharmacy degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) in 2020. The most rewarding part of her job is providing medical guidance so patients can make informed, well-rounded decisions regarding their healthcare. Her areas of expertise are geriatrics and long-term care. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and hunting for the best cup of coffee in America.