Drug-specific hypophosphatemia and hypersensitivity reactions following different intravenous iron infusions

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Intravenous (IV) iron infusions have been associated with hypophosphataemia (HP) and hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs). No studies have compared the side effects of ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) with those of isomaltoside 1000 (ISM). This study aimed to describe the occurrence of HP and HSRs following the administration of either FCM or ISM.


Data on 231 outpatients treated with IV iron infusions, between November 2011 and April 2014, were collected. During that period, the department made a switch from FCM to ISM and then back to FCM. Of the 231 patients, 39 received both FCM and ISM during the period. The prevalences of HP and HSRs were compared between the two drugs.


We found more HP events when FCM was given (64 vs. 9; P < 0.01). In contrast, more patients had mild HSRs when ISM was given (2.5% vs. 10.7%; P < 0.01). A comparison of the two drugs in the subpopulation who received both drug types (n = 39) revealed a difference in phosphate decrease (P < 0.01), with the most marked decrease occurring with FCM. Nine patients who had HSRs were exposed to both drugs. No potential HSR crossover between the two drugs was found.


We found a higher risk of HP with FCM administration when compared to ISM administration. Conversely, we found a higher risk of mild HSRs with ISM administration when compared to FCM administration. The impacts of the two types of side effects should be considered when choosing an IV iron drug.

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