The US Food and Drug Administration has approved oral ferric maltol to treat iron deficiency in adults. The product, Accrufer, is manufactured by Shield Therapeutics. Oral ferric maltol is already approved for treatment of iron-deficient adults in the European Union and Switzerland, where it is sold as Feraccru. 

Ferric maltol is a non-salt formulation of ferric iron that is well tolerated, easily absorbed and linked to fewer gastrointestinal-related side effects than is typically seen with salt-based formulas. The product’s formulation also allows the body to draw from the product only as much iron as is needed. The recommended dose is 30 mg twice daily and it’s best taken one to two hours after a meal. Typically, 12-week treatment is required, according to the product’s prescribing information.

Treatment with ferric maltol “might remove the need for patients to progress to intravenous iron therapy, leading to a change in the current paradigm for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia,” Shield Therapeutics noted in a prepared statement.

Iron deficiency is among the most common causes of anemia in the elderly. Low iron can cause tiredness and weakness, headaches, dry skin and brittle nails, heart palpitations and shortness of breath. It also increases the risk for infection, confusion, dizziness and falls.