Arthritis causes joint pain to interfere with mundane, everyday tasks. In addition to the discomfort, you have to deal with the frustration that comes from knowing that even brushing your teeth or getting dressed will be difficult. You may have tried taking prescription medications in hopes that they will alleviate symptoms, but that doesn’t always occur. So, what can you do? What are your options if the oral drugs recommended by your doctor are failing to provide you with relief?
What is arthritis?
Although arthritis is commonly recognized as a condition that causes stiffness and pain of the joints, it’s actually an umbrella term to refer to more than 100 variants of the condition. Some examples include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout. The common denominator is that they cause a person to experience pain, stiffness, swelling, and a diminished range of motion in the affected joints. The conditions are the result of having damage to the joints or by having too much uric acid in the blood.
Infusion Therapy for Arthritis
Infusion therapy for arthritis is an alternative for patients for whom traditional oral medications have failed to provide relief. It’s also a viable option for individuals who may have an underlying medical condition that makes swallowing uncomfortable, painful, or impossible. In addition, since the medication is injected via IV, it hits your bloodstream immediately — meaning that you don’t have to wait for your body to metabolize it and symptoms are relieved relatively fast.
What to Expect
When you visit any of our Infusion Associates locations, you will be greeted by a health care associate who will meet with you to discuss all the details of your treatment. This includes information about dosage, length of treatment, your medical history, and potential side effects. You may take this time to ask any questions or share any concerns you may have.
Once this initial consultation concludes, you will be escorted to one of our treatment rooms. You can request a private one in advance. You will receive the infusions while sitting in a cozy reclining chair. We also provide amenities to make your therapies as comfortable as possible. These include blankets, warm beverages, WiFi, and TV. You may also bring snacks of your choice. In addition, one of our healthcare professionals will monitor the infusion throughout its duration to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Common Medications Used to Treat Arthritis
Infusion therapy for arthritis involves administering biologic response modifiers with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. The most commonly prescribed ones include:
- Remicade (Infliximab)
- Inflectra (Infliximab-dyyb)
- Orencia (Abatacept)
- Rituxan (Rituximab)
- Cimzia (Certolizumab Pegol)
- Simponi Aria (Golimumab)
- Actemra (Tocilizumab)
As with any prescription medication, there is always a risk of side effects. These can vary from person to person and may range from mild to severe. They also depend on which type of infusion therapy you’re undergoing. The most common ones include:
- Sore throat
- Viral infections
- Sinus infections
- Skin rash
- Body aches
- Stomach pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Flu-like symptoms
- High blood pressure
- Infections of the upper respiratory tract
- Infusion-related reactions — such as itching or burning at the site of injection
If Your Doctor Has Recommended Infusion Therapy for Arthritis, 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.
If you would like to refer a patient to us or want to inquire about the treatments we offer, you can contact us by calling us at (616) 954-0600 or filling out this form.