Bring food--I always did. They might have some snack stuff there--really depends on where you are having yours done. I did mine in a hematology/oncology office so I was usually the only having iron . . . most were getting chemo. My husband came with me each time and I usually sent him out for lunch. He usually brought it for the nurses, too.
They will do a test dose of the iron first to watch for any reactions. They always gave me tylenol and iv benadryl first to help avoid a reaction. I did have an adverse reaction to iron sucrose (I do iron dextrose only now) and got about 1/2 way into it and started feeling very strange, then aches and a bad headache, and then started swelling in my fingers and hands. They immediately gave me some steroids to get it under control. Long story short, they whisked me over the hospital which was right next door and kept me overnight for more iv drugs and observation.
I am sure you will be all right. I was always tired afterwards, but perked up quite a bit days later.
The effects of iron infusions depend upon how large a dose you're getting. My doctor (a hematologist/oncologist) was very conservative and wanted to avoid anaphylactic shock--so she divided the required amount into 16 IVs, once a week. With the weekly dose that low, there was a minimal possibility of harmful side effects, and I certainly didn't have any. I then had to have another round of 16 infusions, because tests showed that I still didn't have enough iron in my system.
I took the first 16 infusions in the oncology department of our local hospital, surrounded by brave, funny, inspiring cancer patients. I took the second 16 infusions in my doctor's office, once again surrounded by cancer patients (and two chocolate labs, who hung out with the patients--and took your nice, warm seat if you went to the bathroom). Each IV took about an hour and a half; the nurses were skillful about administering them; the conversation was terrific; and I got 90 minutes a week of enforced quiet and reading. It really wasn't bad, and I kind of missed it when it was all over.
If they're giving you one or two huge infusions, there's some risk of anaphylactic shock, which is why many doctors don't like them. But they'll keep a close eye on you and watch for symptoms. And there are good, fast antidotes now, if you demonstrate any problems. Good luck!
I've had a half dozen or so Infed infusions. All but the last were in a Chemo infusion room and took about 6 hours. I always brought a lunch, reading material and a laptop since most infusion rooms have WiFi.
My last infusion (1000ml) was with a new Dr. who admitted me to the hospital; put me on a heart monitor; and treated me to a nice hospital meal. Took 10 1/2 hours!
I'm sure he was being overly cautious but I see him again next week I'll ask if this is standard for him. If so, I'll look for a new hematoligist. The best deals are in a Chemo center attached to the clinic.
Now, I'm working on controlling the bleeding so I can get by with one infusions per year and stay in a familiar clinic.
Post Edited (crohnielass) : 1/6/2010 11:22:35 AM (GMT-7)