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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2005 Apr;89(1):7-13.

Oral versus high dose parenteral iron supplementation in pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi 110002, India.



To compare the effect of daily oral iron supplementation with two injections of high dose parenteral iron.


A total of 220 pregnant women with a singleton pregnancy and hemoglobin between 8 to 11 g% at 16-24 weeks gestation were identified and randomly divided into two groups. Group A was started on daily oral iron therapy of 100 mg of elemental iron. Group B was given 250 mg of iron sorbitol intramuscularly and repeated at an interval of 4-6 weeks. Blood indices were evaluated at the beginning of study and at 36 weeks to see the effect after iron supplementation in the two groups. The data were analyzed using SPSS software, version 10.1.


Definitive and comparable improvement in hemoglobin and all the blood indices (hematocrit, MCH, MCHC, MCV, Serum iron and TIBC) was observed. The absolute change in hemoglobin and hematocrit was 1.18+/-0.68 g% and 4.02+/-2.59% in oral group, 1.34+/-0.77 g% and 4.93+/-3.65% in parenteral group, respectively. Serum ferritin showed statistically significant absolute rise (10.43+/-7.92 microg/dl) after parenteral iron supplementation as compared to oral iron supplementation (9.76+/-4.78 microg/dl). Obstetric outcome was comparable in two groups.


Two treatment regimens are biologically equivalent in terms of hematological response. Two high doses of intramuscular iron can be a good substitute to meet iron requirement in pregnancy.

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