Intravenous, or IV, infusion therapy can be used to successfully treat numerous conditions. An infusion is different from an injection, and the experts at Rheumatology Solutions have discovered many patients have questions about our infusion services. Here, we describe why we might suggest infusion therapy, what you can expect during the treatment, and what to expect in the hours and days after the infusion.
Most everyone knows what an injection is. We’ve all had shots. An IV infusion is different in that the medication is distributed directly into your veins, rather than into one of your muscles or beneath the surface of your skin as an injection does. If you’ve stayed in the hospital, you’ve likely had an IV. Infusion therapy is much the same.
Infusion therapy can be used to get nutrients, medications, or hydration into your body, bypassing your digestive system. Digestion can interfere with some medications, making infusion therapy a preferable alternative.
Chemotherapy is a type of infusion therapy with which many people are familiar. Infusion allows the medication to be delivered directly into your bloodstream and allows your doctors to combine medications. In chemotherapy, for example, doctors often combine an anti-nausea medication with the chemotherapy drugs.
At Rheumatology Solutions, we may suggest IV infusion therapy for several different conditions, including:
You can expect to be seated in a comfortable, reclining chair in a soothing environment during your session. Our infusion center is staffed by highly trained registered nurses, who are knowledgeable about and experienced in providing infusion therapy.
You should also be prepared for a needle stick as the IV is inserted. Some people who have infusions often have special ports put in so that they don’t have to have a new needle stick each time. That’s a highly individual medical decision, though, and something your doctor will suggest if it seems like the right option for you.
The length of your treatment depends on several factors. Some infusion sessions last less than an hour; others take several hours. Once the infusion is underway, you can simply relax. Our nurses are attentive and monitor your situation.
If you need to use the restroom, you can take the IV pole along with you so that the treatment continues. Your nurse can help you or let you know anything else important about moving around.
The possible side effects of your infusion depend on the medication you receive. Having a headache isn’t an unusual side effect, and you may experience some fatigue or redness at the injection site.
Some people have symptoms of an allergic reaction such as hives or redness. We give you instructions about what to do if you believe you’re having an allergic reaction.
If you have chest pain, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, fever, chills, or nausea following your IV infusion therapy, you may be having a more serious side effect, and you should get in touch with us.
Infusion therapy can be an effective treatment for several diseases that are often difficult to treat. Often, infusion therapy is the best method to administer drugs that may slow the course of your disease.
If you have questions about our infusion services or what to expect during or after your first session, schedule an appointment, or simply give us a call.