Iron replacement in inflammatory bowel diseases: an evolving scenario

  • Fabiana Busti
  • Giacomo Marchi
  • Domenico GirelliEmail author

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) represents the most common extra-intestinal complication in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) [1, 2]. Iron deficiency (ID), even without anemia, negatively impacts on patients’ quality of life, and is associated with the development of various comorbidities and an increased risk of hospitalization [3]. Thus, timely correction of ID, before anemia develops, is a major goal in IBD patients.

Historically, oral iron salts (typically ferrous sulfate) have been generally considered the standard first-line therapy for IDA, especially when anemia is mild and/or paucisymptomatic. The recommended daily dose for adults with ID is 100 to 200 mg of elemental iron. Although oral iron salts are safe, relatively inexpensive and widely accessible, their use is associated with several gastrointestinal adverse effects (AEs), such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain that can arise in up to 30–70% of patients [4]. Such AEs are...


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Conflict of interest

FB and GM declare that they have no conflict of interest. DG declares fees for participation in advisory boards for La Jolla Pharmaceutical, Silence Therapeutics, and Novartis, and has received lecture fees from Vifor Fresenius Medical Pharma.

Statement of human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Medicina Interna (SIMI) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabiana Busti
    • 1
  • Giacomo Marchi
    • 1
  • Domenico Girelli
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Section of Internal MedicineUniversity of Verona, EuroBloodNet Referral Center for Iron Metabolism Disorders, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata VeronaVeronaItaly

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