Receiving a prescription for infusion therapy can be confusing. And, when you’re already dealing with an underlying medical condition, the last thing you need is something else to worry about. What is it like? Will it hurt? How long will each session take? All of these questions are understandable. Answers are important for your peace of mind — as well as to provide some sense of comfort to your loved ones. So, what, exactly, is infusion therapy? And, what can you expect from it?
What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy — also known as IV therapy — involves administering medications intravenously. This is done by injecting a needle directly into the patient’s arm. It allows for much more efficient treatment of chronic illnesses since it delivers medicine, antibiotics, and/or hydration directly into the bloodstream. As a result, there’s a higher absorption rate and you can obtain relief faster.
IV therapy is used to treat a long list of chronic conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDDs)
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Magnesium deficiency
- Multiple sclerosis
- Opioid and alcohol dependence
- Post-operative hydration
Why undergo infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy is ideal for patients who — due to their chronic condition — it becomes difficult, uncomfortable, or impossible to take medication orally. It provides faster hydration for individuals who recently came out of surgery and have lost a significant amount of fluids. Infusion therapy is also a good option for people who have been unresponsive to oral medications.
Are there any side effects?
While rare, side effects would depend on the medication cocktail. Some of them may include:
- Muscle Stiffness
- Itchiness at the injection site
Prior to starting your infusion therapy, one of our healthcare professionals will review your prescribed medication and discuss all possible side effects with you.
Other risks include infection at the injection site where the IV needle is inserted. The needle could also become dislodged, causing the solution to enter the surrounding tissues. To lower these risks, each infusion is monitored by either a physician or a registered nurse.
What to Expect
The infusion is administered by injecting a needle attached to a small tube directly into one of the patient’s arm veins. This tube is connected to an IV bag containing the prescribed medication. Once attached to your arm, the solution slowly drips into your bloodstream.
The duration of each session depends on the medication being administered and your specific needs. Regardless of how long it takes, at Infusion Associates, our staff is fully committed to making sure the experience is as comfortable as possible. You can bring a book or magazine, and receive infusions in a reclining chair. We provide blankets and free Wi-Fi, and you can listen to music or watch a movie. You can also have the peace of mind that comes from having either a doctor or nurse practitioner monitoring the transfusion.
Another benefit is that our therapy rooms are more welcoming and cozier than a sterile hospital environment. In addition, costs are typically lower at an outpatient facility than at a hospital. And, you don’t have to worry about scheduling, since we are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Can you go to the bathroom during an infusion treatment?
Yes. If you need to use the restroom once treatment has started, let the physician or registered nurse know. Your infusion will be stopped for several minutes to allow you to take a bathroom break. Depending on the medication, you may need assistance to stay steady on your feet. If you suffer from incontinence, you may want to wear disposable underwear to prevent accidents.
Can you bring a loved one?
Yes. You are more than welcome to bring in a family member or a friend for company or support. This is part of our unwavering commitment to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We also require that all minors be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Can you eat or drink during infusion treatment?
Yes. You can bring your own snacks or drinks. We also provide hot beverages — such as coffee, tea, or hot cocoa — to make you feel at home.
Are there private rooms available?
Yes. When scheduling an appointment with us, let our team members know that you would prefer to receive treatment in a private room.
How to Prepare for Infusion Therapy
At Infusion Associates, first and foremost, we want you to feel at ease. To ensure your treatment goes smoothly:
1. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Some infusions require a patient to hydrate prior to treatment. Others may require a particular diet or taking medication prior to the infusion. Before referring you to our clinics, your doctor will let you know what you need to do to best prepare for your infusion therapy.
2. Write down all of your concerns.
Prior to commencing therapy, make a list of all your questions. We’ll be happy to discuss them with you. We’ll explain the entire process, the risk of side effects — and what those side effects are — as well as any additional matter that may be making you anxious.
3. Make a list of medications you’re taking.
Regardless of whether you’re taking prescription medications or over-the-counter painkillers, let our team members know. This is essential to ensure that you don’t experience an adverse reaction from mixing items that don’t work well together.
4. Wear comfortable clothes.
This serves a dual purpose. First, it’s practical — one of our healthcare professionals will take your vital signs — and wearing loose-fitting clothes will make this process easier. Second, while we’ll make sure you’re in a comfortable environment, what you wear can help make you feel more relaxed.
5. Clear your schedule.
You’ll want to have time to rest after each infusion treatment. Your body may either need the time to fully recover, or you may need time off if you experience side effects. Do not stress yourself out thinking that you have to rush to get to work or run other errands.
Accepted Insurance Plans
We accept all major forms of insurance, as well as participating PPO, HMO, POS, and managed care plans. These include:
- United Healthcare
- Priority Health
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- Physicians Care
If Your Doctor Has Recommended IV Therapy, Let Infusion Associates Help You
At Infusion Associates, we provide medically-prescribed infusion therapy for patients with chronic conditions in a welcoming and friendly environment. Our team of healthcare professionals is fully committed to making the experience as comfortable as possible for you or your patients. We always inform patients of any potential side effects and answer all their questions before starting treatment. In addition, we have a Registered Pharmacist on-site to make the process as seamless as possible.