The role of ferric carboxymaltose in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in patients with gastrointestinal disease

Pramoda Koduru, Bincy P. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common form of nutritional anemia worldwide. Iron plays a pivotal role in vital functioning of almost every organ system. IDA affects both physical and psychological functioning of humans. Oral iron is considered as first-line therapy for the treatment of IDA due to low cost, good safety profile and ease of administration. However, the absorption of oral iron is affected by several factors and incidence of gastrointestinal side effects can lead to lack of adherence to therapy as well as poor efficacy. This has led to the emergence of intravenous iron therapy which is clearly superior to oral iron with higher increment of hemoglobin levels and rapid replenishment of iron stores. Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) is a novel non-dextran intravenous iron form which has been approved for use in patients with iron deficiency who have had inadequate response to oral iron therapy, intolerance to oral iron, or nondialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease. The safety and efficacy of using FCM for the treatment of IDA has been demonstrated in several clinical trials. One dose can provide a large amount of iron and has a very short infusion time. It should be considered as first-line therapy in patients with active inflammation like inflammatory bowel disease when gastrointestinal absorption of oral iron may be compromised. It should also be given to patients who have inadequate response to oral iron therapy. It has been shown to be noninferior to other intravenous iron formulations with a good safety profile and produced fewer anaphylactic reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016


  • anemia
  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • iron deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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