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NZ Formulary

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Deferoxamine (injection)


What does it do?

Deferoxamine is used to treat conditions where there is too much iron or aluminium in the blood.

How is it given?

Deferoxamine is given as an infusion under the skin or into a vein, or an injection into a muscle.

What if you forget a dose?

Keep your appointment for your deferoxamine injection. If you are unable to attend contact the clinic staff as soon as possible.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with deferoxamine including:

  • prochlorperazine
  • supplements containing aluminium (e.g. Alu-Tab®), iron (e.g. Ferro-Tab®) or vitamin C (e.g. Centrum®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Symptoms of allergy including: skin rash, itching, swelling, trouble breathing

Fast or irregular heartbeat

Reduced number of blood cells that help your blood to clot - symptoms include: easy or unusual bruising or bleeding

Changes in vision

Hearing loss, ringing in the ears

Tell your doctor immediately


Fever, flushing

Joint, muscle or bone aches and pains

Irritation or pain at injection site


Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Deferoxamine may turn your pee a red-brown colour – this is harmless.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. October 2020

For more general information about this sheet annd its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed