Last update Dec. 24, 2018



Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

An iron and aluminum chelator that increases the elimination of both metals from the body.
Used over short periods to treat acute poisoning from these metals and, over longer periods, to treat chronic iron overload, hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis from repeated transfusions due to thalassemia major or other chronic anemias.
Administered subcutaneously, intramuscularly and intravenously.

At least three cases have been reported of infants of mothers suffering from thalassemia major who were treated with deferoxamine and breast-fed without any problems for the infant or in the iron metabolism of the milk (Pafumi 2000, Surbek 1998).

Its low percentage of protein binding makes its excretion in milk possible, but its practically zero oral bioavailability prevents its transfer to the infant’s plasma via ingested breast milk, except in premature babies and the immediate neonatal period in which there may be increased intestinal permeability.

According to expert authors, the possible presence of deferoxamine in breast milk is unlikely to have harmful effects in the infant (Briggs 2017, Pafumi 2000, Jensen 1995) so there is no reason to stop breastfeeding during treatment.
It may be advisable to control the infant’s serum iron levels.


We do not have alternatives for Deferoxamine since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Deferoxamine is also known as

Deferoxamine in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Deferoxamine in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. < 2 %
Molecular weight 659 daltons
Protein Binding < 10 %
VD 1.33 l/Kg
pKa 8.39 -
Tmax 0.5 hours
2 - 6 hours


  1. Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Towers CV, Forinash AB. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk. Wolters Kluwer Health. Tenth edition (acces on line) 2015
  2. Noridem. Deferoxamine. Drug Summary. 2012 Full text (in our servers)
  3. AEMPS. Deferoxamina. Ficha técnica. 2011 Full text (in our servers)
  4. Pafumi C, Zizza G, Caruso S, Todaro AM, Pernicone G, Bandiera S, Farina M, Russo A. Pregnancy outcome of a transfusion-dependent thalassemic woman. Ann Hematol. 2000 Abstract
  5. Surbek DV, Glanzmann R, Holzgreve W. Pregnancy and homozygous beta thalassemia major. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Abstract
  6. Surbek DV, Glanzmann R, Nars PW, Holzgreve W. Pregnancy and lactation in homozygous beta-thalassemia major. J Perinat Med. 1998 Abstract
  7. Jensen CE, Tuck SM, Wonke B. Fertility in beta thalassaemia major: a report of 16 pregnancies, preconceptual evaluation and a review of the literature. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1995 Abstract

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