A comparative study of efficacy, safety and compliance of oral iron versus intravenous iron sucrose in treatment of iron deficiency anaemia of pregnancy

Vidya A. Thobbi, Zeba Naz M. Bijapur


Background: Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia and nutritional disorder worldwide. Oral iron therapy and blood transfusion has many drawbacks like noncompliance and risk of transmittable infections and transfusion reaction. The modern alternative therapy is treatment with intravenous iron. Present study compares the efficacy, safety and tolerability between intravenous iron sucrose and oral iron in iron deficiency anemia during 20-36 weeks of pregnancy.

Methods: It was a randomized controlled study between December 2017 to September 2019. 200 patients attending antenatal OPD in Al Ameen Medical College, with haemoglobin levels between 7-9.9 gm/dl and serum ferritin of <15 ng/ml were enrolled. In intravenous group, 200 mg iron sucrose in 100ml normal saline was infused alternate day till the required dose was met. The oral group received 200 mg of oral iron ascorbate along with folic acid 1.5 mg per day for 6 weeks.  Treatment efficacy was assessed by Hb and serum ferritin after 3 and 6 weeks.

Results: Out of 200 patients, an increase in Hb was observed in both groups, rising from 9.7 g/dl to 10.3 g/dl and 10.9 g/dl after 3 weeks and 6 weeks respectively in oral group and from 8.6 g/dl to 9.8 g/dl and 10.8 g/dl after 3 weeks and 6 weeks respectively in intravenous group. Similar results were seen in ferritin levels. Rise in Hb and ferritin levels were greater in intravenous group than in oral group.

Conclusions: Intravenous iron sucrose appears to be a better treatment option in comparison with oral iron, without serious side effects, better compliance and improved efficacy in correction of anaemia of pregnancy.


Ferrous ascorbate, Haemoglobin, Intravenous iron sucrose, Iron deficiency anaemia, Micronutrients deficiency

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