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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1996;34(5):485-9.

Benefits of parenteral deferoxamine for acute iron poisoning.

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  • 1University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.



To review the benefits of deferoxamine for the treatment of iron poisoning.


Both the basic science and clinical literature on deferoxamine were reviewed by comprehensive computer literature search. This was supplemented by references identified from bibliographies of pertinent articles and books.


The basic science literature supports deferoxamine as an attractive antidote for iron poisoning. There were no dose response studies in the human or animal literature. There were no randomized controlled trials or case controlled studies of patients with toxicity (serum iron concentration > 500 micrograms/dL). All data were descriptive and anecdotal. Therefore fundamental parameters such as indications for administration, dose, route and duration of therapy are unclear and efficacy is unproven.


Deferoxamine is attractive for the treatment of iron poisoning despite the lack of knowledge for its optimal use and remains the drug of choice for the treatment of significant iron poisoning.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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