IDA or iron deficiency anemia is common during pregnancy. Treating pregnant women with iron supplements is a viable option to reduce or cure the anemia and prevent negative side effects on the pregnancy, fetus and mother. Certain iron supplements, including iron dextran, have been phased out due to potentially fatal allergic reactions and iron sucrose used in place of the dextran with good success.
Researchers in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Manipal University in India compared the effect of iron sucrose and oral iron therapy in a recent study published in the Indian Journal of Community Medicine.
The randomized study involved women between 14 and 36 weeks pregnant. All women tested positive for IDA. Increases in serum ferritin, reticulocyte count and hemoglobin were markedly better in the iron sucrose group compared to the oral iron group – though both groups experienced increased total hemoglobin. There were no side effects in the iron sucrose group, but the oral iron group experienced stomach discomfort in some cases.
Conclusion: Iron sucrose improved iron stores more effectively than oral iron without any potentially negative side effects.
Source: Neeru S, Nair NS, Rai L.Iron sucrose versus oral iron therapy in pregnancy anemia. Indian J Community Med. 2012 Oct;37(4):214-8. doi: 10.4103/0970-0218.103467.