Feraheme (ferumoxytol) (The James)

Feraheme (ferumoxytol)

What is Feraheme and how does it work?

Feraheme is a medicine used to treat iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is a type of anemia that can happen when you do not have enough iron in your body. Iron is an important nutrient that helps to build and maintain your blood supply and make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of your red blood cells that helps to move oxygen all over your body.

Common causes of iron deficiency anemia include:

  • Health conditions, such as gastrointestinal and kidney disease
  • Cancer or cancer treatments
  • Blood loss
  • Bleeding or inflammation in your body
  • A diet low in iron-rich foods Your doctor will order blood tests to check for anemia and the health of your blood cells.

What should I tell my doctor before I start this medicine?

Talk to your doctor about the following:

  • All health conditions you have, including:
    • iron overload
    • low blood pressure
    • kidney or liver disease
  • All allergies you have, including allergies to Feraheme or any of the ingredients in Feraheme, such as ferumoxytol and mannitol.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
  • If you have been told that you need to start a new medicine.
  • The medicines/pills you are taking, including:
    • Medicines ordered by any of your doctors
    • Herbs
    • Vitamins
    • Over-the-counter medicines

How will my medicine be given?

Feraheme is given directly into your bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) catheter. An IV catheter is a long, thin, flexible tube placed in a vein in your arm. If you have a central venous catheter (CVC), this may also be used. Your infusion will take about 15 minutes. You will receive a second infusion of Feraheme 3 to 8 days later. Your nurse will check on you during your infusion and for 30 minutes after your infusion to make sure you do not have any side effects from the medicine, such as an allergic reaction or low blood pressure.

What are the side effects of this medicine?

Every person responds differently to medicine. Some of the more common side effects of this medicine are:

  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling of your arms, hands, legs or feet

Feraheme may cause problems with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Tell your doctor if you will have an MRI within 3 months after your last infusion of Feraheme.

When should I call my doctor?

You should tell your doctor or a member of your health care team right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your tongue or throat
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

 

© August 22, 2018. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

This handout is for informational purposes only. Talk with your doctor or health care team if you have any questions about your care.

For more health information, call the Patient and Family Resource Center at 614-366-0602 or visit cancer.osu.edu/PFRC