Deferoxamine (Injection)


Deferoxamine (de-fer-OX-a-meen)

Treats iron toxicity. This medicine is an iron chelator (binder).

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not take this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to deferoxamine, have severe kidney disease, or are not able to urinate.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • . Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.Do not shake the medicine.
  • You might not use all of the medicine in each vial (glass container). Use each vial only 1 time. Do not save an open vial. Do not use the medicine if it has changed color or has particles in it.

If a dose is missed:

  • It is important that you receive each dose of this medicine on time. Call your doctor, pharmacist, treatment clinic, or home health caregiver for instructions if you miss a dose of this medicine.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine that has been mixed at room temperature and use it within 3 hours. Throw away any mixed medicine that has not been used within this time.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you take prochlorperazine (Compazine®) or vitamin C supplements.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney problems, heart failure, or any type of infection. Tell your doctor if you have an overactive thyroid or a history of seizures. Make sure your doctor knows if you are receiving dialysis treatment.
  • This medicine can cause problems with your vision or hearing if you receive high doses or use it for a long period of time. Tell your doctor right away if you have trouble seeing or hearing while you are using this medicine.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have less urine than normal, unusual tiredness, or swelling of the face, ankles, or hands. These may be symptoms of a kidney problem.
  • This medicine may cause slow growth. If your child uses this medicine, the doctor will need to check your child's height and weight every 3 months to make sure that your child is growing properly.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain or tightness or trouble breathing. These could be symptoms of a serious lung condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may turn your urine red. This is normal.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • Chest pain or trouble breathing
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fast heartbeat
  • Unexplained weight gain or swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual tiredness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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