Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral for an iron infusion?
Yes. We accept referrals from physicians, naturopaths, midwives, and other specialists. Please fax referral forms to 604-398-2628. Vitamin infusions do not require a referral.
How soon can I can book in to the clinic?
Mainline aims to offer new patients a first appointment within one week of receiving the referral.
How long does the infusion take?
First appointments, including the infusion, take approximately 1 hour 15 mins. Rare circumstances may require the infusions to run longer.
How long before I start to feel better?
Typically, clinical improvement starts 3-4 days after your first infusion and should continue until 12-14 days after the infusion(s).
How long does the infusion last for?
This varies from patient to patient. If the initial cause is addressed, most patients do not require further infusions after iron levels return to normal.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for the infusion?
No specific preparation is necessary but wearing warm, comfortable clothing and being well hydrated can help the nursing staff establish an IV.
Should I continue taking oral iron supplements if I am coming in for an iron infusion?
You do not need to continue taking oral iron supplements unless specifically instructed to by your doctor.
Are there any side effects from having an iron infusion?
The majority of patients do not experience any side effects. Some patients may get a mild rash or flushing during their infusion. This is usually resolved by slowing the infusion rate. 1 in 10 patients can experience flu-like symptoms, including muscle/joint aches up to several days post-infusion. These are benign and will resolve on their own but the symptoms can improve significantly with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Another small portion of patients may notice their urine will briefly be a darker colour. This is benign and will go away without the need for intervention. Should there be any other specific concerns the Mainline staff are available to consult over the phone.
What type of supervision is present during the infusions?
An ER physician is present in the clinic for every patient’s first infusion. Infusions are run by ER Registered Nurses.
How much do iron infusions cost?
There are two costs: the iron itself and a clinic fee for the IV administration. We offer two types of iron: Iron Sucrose (aka Venofer) and Monoferric.
The iron is a prescription medication and sold by MacDonalds Pharmacy. A full course of 1000mg Iron Sucrose (four infusions) costs $400 + dispensing fee. For the four infusions, Mainline charges a clinic fee of $500 ($125/infusion) and this covers the facility, clinical/administrative staff, and materials.
A full course of 1000mg Monoferric iron costs $500 + dispensing fee from the pharmacy. As Monoferric can be administered in one infusion, the one-time clinic fee is $235.
Does my insurance cover any of the cost?
A majority of prescription drug costs are often covered for patients with extended health benefits. MacDonalds Pharmacy is able to apply your insurance coverage immediately over the phone and patients will simply need to pay any remaining amount.
For clinic fees, patients with extended health benefits that include a “Health Spending Account” or “Out of Hospital Nursing Coverage” may be eligible to have some or all of this cost reimbursed as well. Patients should check with their provider first to confirm whether this cost is covered. Mainline will provide patients with all necessary receipts needed to submit a claim.