There are more than 100 different types of arthritis — and while they all affect the joints, they have different causes, risk factors, and affect each person differently. One of the most common types is gout, which is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. It typically occurs in the feet — mostly affecting the base of the big toe. It’s more likely to affect men and post-menopausal women — as well as people with diabetes, poor kidney function, and other underlying health conditions. Gout has no cure, but can be managed with medication. However, for some patients, oral medications have not provided the expected relief. When that occurs, hydration therapy provides a safer alternative.
What are the symptoms of gout?
Symptoms of gout can come and go. When you experience a long period of time without any discomfort, you are in remission. However, when the condition is chronic, it can lead to more severe arthritis. Symptoms of gout include:
- Intense pain
- Swelling of the joint
- The skin feels warm to the touch
If you’ve been taking oral prescription medications but are still experiencing chronic flare-ups — more than once a year — your gout is uncontrolled, and you may need more effective infusion medication, such as Krystexxa.
What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy involves inserting an IV line into a vein in your arm to administer medications. It can be taken to treat symptoms of a current gout attack as well as reduce the risk of future flareups and/or complications — such as developing tophus.
When you take medication orally, you have to wait for it to go through your digestive tract before you start experiencing relief. Since infusion therapy is inserted directly into a vein, the medication reaches your bloodstream immediately. This provides a higher absorption rate and faster relief.
Infusion therapy is an ideal alternative for patients for whom swallowing medication is difficult, uncomfortable, or impossible — often due to their chronic health conditions. It’s also a good option for patients who have been unresponsive to oral medications.
What To Expect
When you show up for your appointment for infusion therapy, one of our healthcare providers will discuss all potential side effects, as well as answer all of your questions. Once you feel comfortable with the information, you’ll be taken to one of our comfortable infusion rooms — with big-screen TVs, WiFi, and noise-canceling headphones, to name a few amenities. A physician or nurse will inject a needle attached to a small tube directly into your vein. This tube is connected to an IV bag with the prescribed gout medication. Once inserted into your arm, the medication slowly drips into your bloodstream.
The duration of each session will vary depending on your specific medical condition and circumstances. You are welcome to bring a book and/or a loved one for support and to help pass the time. You can also bring snacks, drinks, and a blanket — although we offer blankets, coffee, hot cocoa, and tea to our visitors.
If you need to go to the bathroom, let one of our staff members know. Your infusion will be paused until you return. The entire transfusion will be monitored by one of our healthcare professionals.
Are there any risks associated with infusion therapy?
While there are some risks, they are minor and are far outweighed by the benefits. Specifically, you could have an infection at the injection site where the IV needle is inserted. In addition, the IV could become dislodged from the vein — causing the fluids to enter the tissues surrounding the vein. A simple solution for this latter complication involves a healthcare professional reinserting the IV correctly and providing you with a warm compress to prevent or reduce swelling. At Infusion Therapy, you will always have a nurse monitoring your treatment to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
If Your Doctor Has Recommended Infusion 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-staff 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.