This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Deferoxamine was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 24, 1968. It has been used for several decades to treat iron overload conditions. 

Mechanism of Action of undefined

The mechanism of action of Deferoxamine involves chelation, a process by which the drug binds to excess iron in the body. It forms stable complexes with free iron ions, particularly the trivalent iron, creating water-soluble compounds. These iron-deferoxamine complexes are then excreted primarily through the urine, effectively removing the excess iron from the bloodstream and tissues. By reducing iron levels, this medication helps to prevent iron-related oxidative damage to organs and tissues, mitigating the risk of organ dysfunction and other complications associated with iron overload conditions such as thalassemia, hemochromatosis, and chronic transfusions. 

Uses of undefined

This medication is used to treat iron overload in the body. It belongs to a class of drugs called iron-chelating agents. Iron overload diseases are thalassemia, hemochromatosis, sickle cell disease, myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic transfusions and iron poisoning. Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder causing abnormal hemoglobin production and anemia. Hemochromatosis is a hereditary condition with excessive iron absorption, leading to iron overload in organs. Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder affecting red blood cell shape, causing pain and organ damage. Myelodysplastic syndromes are blood disorders affecting the bone marrow, leading to abnormal blood cell production. Chronic transfusions are required for severe anemia or blood disorders, leading to iron overload. 

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Healthcare professionals typically administer Deferoxamine in a hospital or clinical setting. The medication is given as an injection, depending on the treatment condition and the healthcare provider's instructions. Before administration, the healthcare professional will assess the patient's patient's medical history, current health status, and any known allergies or sensitivities.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Some patients may experience visual disturbances, such as blurred vision or hearing problems, hearing loss or ear ringing. Deferoxamine can affect kidney function, especially in patients with pre-existing kidney problems. Rarely, it has been associated with lung-related side effects, such as interstitial lung disease or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This medication is used to treat iron overload conditions, but it can also lead to iron deficiency if not appropriately managed. Some individuals may experience dizziness, headache, or other side effects that could impair driving ability. It can cause low blood pressure (hypotension) in some patients. This effect may be more pronounced in individuals susceptible to low blood pressure. This medication can lead to fluid loss and changes in electrolyte levels, especially prolonged use. It may increase the risk of infections due to its iron-chelating properties, which can impair the ability of the immune system to fight off certain pathogens. 


If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention. If you notice any changes in your vision or hearing while taking Deferoxamine, inform your healthcare provider. Regular monitoring of kidney function is essential during treatment to detect any kidney-related issues. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Regular monitoring of iron levels is necessary to maintain a proper iron balance. Appropriate dosage and monitoring are crucial, especially in pediatric patients. Use caution when driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you. Healthcare providers will monitor fluid balance and electrolyte levels, particularly in patients with heart failure or kidney problems. Patients with compromised immune systems or chronic infections should require close monitoring during treatment.

Side Effects

Deferoxamine may cause various side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects include gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Injection site reactions like pain, redness, or swelling are also common. Some individuals may experience dizziness, headache, or mild allergic reactions. Less frequently, this medication can lead to visual and auditory disturbances, skin reactions, and low blood pressure.

Word Of Advice

You must inform your healthcare provider about any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, or medications you are taking to avoid potential drug interactions or contraindications. Regular monitoring of iron levels, kidney function, and blood counts is crucial during treatment to ensure appropriate dosing and promptly detect any adverse effects. See immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of allergic reactions, visual or hearing changes, difficulty breathing, or severe skin reactions. Take caution while driving or operating machinery, especially if you experience dizziness or headaches. Abrupt medication discontinuation may lead to a rebound increase in iron levels, potentially exacerbating iron overload. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should discuss the potential risks with their healthcare provider before initiating treatment. Finally, adherence to the prescribed treatment plan and close communication with your healthcare team will help optimize the safety and effectiveness of deferoxamine therapy.

Frequently Asked Question


  1. KD Tripathi, Essentials of Medical Pharmacology, Haematinics and Erythropoietin, 7th edition, 2013, 606.
  2. Goodman & Gilman's, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, Environmental toxicology: Carcinogenesis and heavy metals, 12th edition, 2011,1875.
  3. Novartis Pharmaceuticals U.K. Ltd, Electronic medicines compendium (EMC), [Revised on June 2020] [ Accessed on 28th July2023],
  4. Novartis, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, [ Revised on Nov 2007] [Accessed on July 28 2023],


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice; it is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.