Objective: To compare the efficacy and safety of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) with first-line oral ferrous sulfate (FS) in pregnant women with iron deficiency anemia (IDA).
Materials and methods: Pregnant women (n=252; gestational weeks 16–33) with IDA were randomized 1:1 to FCM (1000–1500 mg iron) or FS (200 mg iron/day) for 12 weeks. The primary objective was to compare efficacy; secondary objectives included safety and quality of life.
Results: Hemoglobin (Hb) levels improved at comparable rates across both treatments; however, significantly more women achieved anemia correction with FCM vs. FS [Hb ≥11.0 g/dL; 84% vs. 70%; odds ratio (OR): 2.06, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07, 3.97; P=0.031] and within a shorter time frame (median 3.4 vs. 4.3 weeks). FCM treatment significantly improved vitality (P=0.025) and social functioning (P=0.049) prior to delivery. Treatment-related adverse events were experienced by 14 (FCM; 11%) and 19 (FS; 15%) women, with markedly higher rates of gastrointestinal disorders reported with FS (16 women) than with FCM (3 women). Newborn characteristics were similar across treatments.
Conclusions: During late-stage pregnancy, FCM may be a more appropriate option than first-line oral iron for rapid and effective anemia correction, with additional benefits for vitality and social functioning