IV iron supplementation does not help with fatigue in regular blood donors
Intravenous (IV) iron supplementation may help boost concentrations of ferritin and haemoglobin in repeat blood donors with low iron stores, a recent study has found. However, there seems to be no impact on fatigue and general well-being.
The researchers enrolled blood donors who were randomly assigned to receive either a single IV dose of 800-mg iron carboxymaltose (n=203; mean age, 42.1±12.2 years; 46.3 percent female) or placebo (n=202; mean age, 42.2±12.3 years; 46.0 percent female). The primary study outcome was self-rated fatigue over the past 7 days. Secondary outcomes included well-being and blood parameters.
Six to 8 weeks after treatment, the self-rated mean fatigue score in the iron supplement group was 3.9±1.8, which was only marginally lower than that in the placebo arm (4.0±2.2; mean difference [MD], –0.04, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], –0.41 to 0.32; p=0.813).
However, researchers observed that at the same time point, serum ferritin increased significantly more in the iron supplement arm than in their placebo comparators (142.6±54.5 vs 28.6±61.3 µg/L; MD, 114.2 µg/L, 95 percent CI, 103.1–125.3; p<0.0001). The same was true for haemoglobin (142.7±10.9 vs 137.2±12.0 g/L; MD, 5.7 g/L; 95 percent CI, 4.3–7.2; p<0.001).
Patients who received IV iron supplementation also had a greater burden of adverse events (52 vs 29; p=0.019), though the proportion of participants who developed an adverse event was not significantly different between groups (20.2 percent vs 13.9 percent; p=0.09). No serious side effects or unexpected adverse reactions were reported.