, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 368-373

Comparison Between Once Weekly, Twice Weekly, and Daily Oral Iron Therapy in Jordanian Children Suffering From Iron Deficiency Anemia

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Abstract

The efficacy of daily versus twice weekly and once weekly oral iron therapy was analyzed to optimize a protocol for treatment of IDM among Jordanian children. One hundred and forty-eight children aged between 6 and 60 months with Hb estimate less than 11 gm/dl were screened. They were randomly divided into three regimens of oral iron therapy for a period of 12 weeks; a group was supplemented with a single weekly dose of iron; a second group received two doses weekly; and a third group had a daily dose of iron. Hb was assayed 3 and 12 weeks after therapy, while ferritin was assayed after 12 weeks of treatment. A significant rise in Hb concentration was observed which was most significant 12 weeks after treatment. Iron supplementation after 3 weeks was similar in all treated groups, and no significant difference in Hb concentration among the three groups was noticed. By the end of the third week, the anemia had respectively resolved by 18, 11.8 and 23.4% in the daily, twice weekly, and once weekly groups. On the other hand, the percentage of recovery of anemia respectively was 78, 90.2 and 74.5% at the end of 12 weeks of iron therapy. Hb recovery percentage was comparable in the three treated groups, and no significant difference was reported between them either at 3 or at 12 weeks of therapy. Ferritin levels in the daily and twice weekly treated groups were similar after 12 weeks of iron therapy and were significantly higher than the ferritin levels of weekly treated group. Although the anemia in the three treated groups was resolved after 3 and 12 weeks of oral iron therapy, we conclude that the regimen of two doses per week is the most effective in resolving anemia with less cost and fewer side effects.

This project has been supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research, Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan.