Thyroid UK
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Iron infusion question

Hi everyone, I wanted to explain the situation with my ferritin/iron supplementation in a different post to the first one I have put up about my thyroid results and symptoms. Because of my concerns I wanted to dedicate this post to anything ferritin/iron related and leave everything thyroid/hypo/Hashimoto's/B12/vitamin D related to my first post if that's ok.

My ferritin has been low for a while and my GP has referred me for an iron infusion. I have a few questions regarding this because I am a bit unsure and worried about how to prepare and what to expect.

I have the infusion next week so do I need to be back on iron supplements or not if it's just in a week's time?

I've read that people with history of asthma and eczema develop allergic reactions to the infusion. I don't have asthma but I have a history of infantile eczema so would that put me at risk for an allergic reaction?

How long will I be in the hospital for? I have read that I will get a specific amount of iron given to me depending on my weight and haemoglobin level. My haemoglobin level is bang in the middle so I'm not sure what will happen.

T4 needs to be taken 4 hours away from iron so does that mean I go without the T4 for 4 hours either side of the iron?

I understand that iron needs to be kept away from things like calcium and caffeine and I am a big tea/coffee drinker. Without sounding thick would that mean I can't drink tea/coffee/anything with milk in it when having the infusion?

I just want everything with the iron infusion to go 100% right and I want to pull out all the stops to getting my iron stores back up because my ferritin has been low for ages and I am sure it has been affecting my job performance at work.

I appreciate your comments. :)

6 Replies

In hospital would normally carry on iron supplementation until infusion. After iron infusion usually put iron supplementation on hold for 7-10 days (ask the nurses who do your infusion). Do you normally take levothyroxine first thing in morning, what time is infusion booked for? Suggest taking T4 first thing (or in middle of night if you wake up). Any patient can develop an allergic reaction so they monitor you really carefully for the first 15 minutes and see how you go and then if OK give you the rest of the infusion. There is a calculation for them to work out how much iron to give you based on weight, haemoglobin level at present and haemoglobin level aiming at. Assume if you are in the middle then they will aim at the upper end of normal. If you have any further questions suggest you contact the nurses where you are going to be having the infusion as they will probably have the answer. At our hospital the nurses will do several iron infusions each day so they will have probably had the question before.

All the best with it.


Hi there and thank you for getting back to me. The iron infusion is booked for 2:30pm but the hospital have since called me and said this might change to a morning appointment instead.

I take the T4 in the evening before bed but I take T3 in the morning upon waking.


Hi there I had an iron infusion and if I remember right I had either tea or coffee during the infusion, I was only at the hospital for a few hours. Wishing you well


Thanks denvajade, I am hoping it goes ok when I have it done. I need it done really because my ferritin is terribly low, my periods drain me when they've finished (last one drained me straight away) and leave me looking white.

Once I have it done I am sure it will really improve things for me.

1 like

If you are going to be tested for anything iron-related, or anything that might change as a result of higher iron levels (such as haemoglobin or RBC), then you should stop iron for 5 - 7 days before the blood is taken for the test.

Also, food can have an impact on some iron-related measures.

Iron blood test

Iron blood tests are usually taken in the morning before you eat anything. You should also avoid taking iron pills or tablets for 24 hours before your test. Your body absorbs iron very quickly from food or pills, so this can raise your iron levels and affect the test results.

Iron blood tests help diagnose conditions such as iron deficiency anaemia (lack of red blood cells caused by low iron levels).

Source :

For iron, we learned to be off for 5 days based on information from the Iron Institute, i.e. to see what we are “holding onto”.

Source :

As you can see there is some disagreement about how long we should stay off iron. I usually stay off for a week.

Since your iron infusion depends on blood results, you should at least get tested when you haven't artificially increased your levels with iron tablets (in my opinion).


Hello Plantinum

This isn't a reply, I'm sorry, but a question for you if you wouldn't mind. I've tried looking for your previous post but can't find it, what level is your ferritin at in what range?

I'm asking because mine is 15 in a range of 12 - 300 and my daughter says the GP has prescribed ferrous supplementation as a placebo in the hope that it will keep me out of the surgery! There's a good chance daughter is right from the look on GP's face when she sees me, so I'd find it helpful to know if yours is far lower than mine.

Best of luck in your recovery.


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