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Ferrum H

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Generic Name: iron polymaltose
Product Name: Ferrum H

Indication: What Ferrum H is used for

Ferrum H provides a source of iron that can help to replenish a shortage of iron in patients with iron deficiency.

Ferrum H is used when dosage by mouth is impractical or contraindicated and when disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract make absorption difficult or uncertain.

Action: How Ferrum H works

Ferrum H is an aqueous, approximately isotonic solution for intramuscular injection.

When injected intramuscularly the iron polymaltose evokes a local inflammatory response and is transported via the lymphatics to the regional lymph nodes without being broken down (reactive absorption). It then enters the blood, reaching its maximum concentration in about 24 hours. The circulating iron polymaltose is taken up by the cells of the reticuloendothelial system, which slowly ionise it to Fe3+ and polymaltose. The majority of Fe3+ is bound to transferrin and transported to the bone marrow where it is incorporated into haemoglobin, the remainder is contained within the storage forms, haemosiderin and ferritin, or incorporated into myoglobin or haem-containing enzymes. Only very small amounts of iron are excreted. The conservation of body iron and the lack of an excretory mechanism for excess iron may lead to iron overload if iron intake is excessive. Polymaltose is either metabolised or excreted.

Ferrum H contains the active ingredient iron polymaltose complex. It also contains the inactive ingredients water for injections, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid.

Dose advice: How to use Ferrum H

Before you are given Ferrum H

When you must not be given it

Do not use Ferrum H if:

  • You are known to be sensitive (allergic) to any of the ingredients of Ferrum H;
  • Your anaemia is not due to a shortage of iron;
  • You have a condition known as haemochromatosis (an excess of iron in the body);
  • You have any medical conditions or health problems including arthritis, bronchial asthma, hepatitis;
  • You are in the 1st trimester of a pregnancy.

Ferrum H should not be used after the expiry date printed on the label.

If you are not sure whether you should be given Ferrum H please talk to your doctor.

Before you are given it

You should be aware that:

  • A blood test should have been carried out to ensure treatment with this medicine is appropriate;
  • If you have a history of asthma, eczema or other atopic allergies you are more susceptible to experience allergic reactions.

You must tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding;
  • You or a blood relative have the condition haemochromatosis;
  • You have a history of liver disease.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, please do so before you are given Ferrum H.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines may interfere with Ferrum H. These include:

  • Drugs that are used to treat heart disease and high blood pressure known as ACE inhibitors (e.g. captopril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril or quinalapril);
  • Iron preparations taken by mouth.

Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to avoid while taking Ferrum H.

How Ferrum H is given

Ferrum H is given in a prescribed manner into the muscle. The injection technique is well defined and must be adhered to. Failure to inject as recommended could result in persistent staining of the skin. Ferrum H should never be injected into the arm or other exposed areas. Your doctor has detailed information on the correct injection technique.

Your doctor will decide what dose and how long you will receive Ferrum H.

Ferrum H will be administered in a setting where possible allergic reactions can receive appropriate and prompt treatment.

You will be observed for about 30 minutes by your doctor or nurse after each administration.

If you are given too much (overdose)

As Ferrum H is given to you under the supervision of your doctor, it is very unlikely that you will be given an overdose. However, if you experience several side effects, tell your doctor immediately. The symptoms of an overdose may include the side effects listed in the side effects section but are usually of a more severe nature.

After using Ferrum H


Ferrum H will be stored in the pharmacy or in the ward.

The ampoules should be stored below 25°C in the original cartons. The product should not be frozen. Protect from light. Once the ampoules have been opened they should be used immediately. Ferrum H is to be kept out of the reach and sight of children.

Schedule of Ferrum H

Ferrum H is a Schedule 4 – prescription only medicine.

Side effects of Ferrum H

Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you do not feel well while you are using Ferrum H. Ferrum H helps most people with low iron levels but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not.

Ask your doctor to answer any question you may have.

Side effects that have been reported by people using Ferrum H include:

Adverse reactions can be delayed by 1-2 days after treatment with Ferrum H.

Incorrect injection technique could result in staining of the skin.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor if you notice any other effects.

For further information talk to your doctor.


  1. Ferrum H Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Melbourne VIC: Vifor Pharma Pty Ltd. June 2015. [PDF]
  2. Ferrum H Product Information (PI). Melbourne VIC: Vifor Pharma Pty Ltd. June 2015. [PDF]

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 3 April, 2018
Reviewed On: 3 April, 2018


Created by: myVMC