Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes your body to attack your own tissues in organs. As a result, you’re left with pain and inflammation in the skin and joints. It’s also common to experience severe rashes all over your body, fatigue, and fever. The condition also affects blood cells, the heart, lungs, and brain. If a person with lupus also experiences kidney inflammation, they develop lupus nephritis. The name comes from nephrons — the parts of the kidney that filter the blood. Left untreated, it could lead to kidney failure.
What are the symptoms of lupus nephritis?
The symptoms of lupus nephritis may vary from one person to the next. However, the most common ones include:
- Swelling of the hands, ankles, and/or feet
- High blood pressure
- Blood in the urine
- Foamy urine
- Increased urination — especially at night
What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy works by administering medications through an IV line. It’s a viable alternative for people for whom oral medications have not provided relief. They are also a good option for those with an underlying medical condition that makes it uncomfortable, painful, or impossible to swallow oral medications. Another benefit of infusion therapy is that since it hits the bloodstream immediately — as opposed to oral drugs that have to be digested — patients are able to experience faster relief.
Specifically for lupus nephritis, we provide treatment with Benlysta (belimumab), Rituxan (rituximab), or Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), which have shown to significantly improve kidney function — some of them targeting specific immune cells instead of suppressing the entire immune system.
What to Expect
When you schedule an appointment at any of our Infusion Associates locations, you will first meet with one of our healthcare providers to discuss all the details of your infusion treatment. This includes information about the length and dosage of each therapy, the likelihood of side effects, and answers to all of your questions.
After the meeting, a physician or nurse will escort you to one of our treatment rooms. Private rooms are available for scheduling in advance. Upon entering, you will immediately notice that one of our main priorities is to make all of our patients feel as comfortable as possible — which is why we provide cozy armchairs, blankets, WiFi, and television. You are welcome to bring a loved one for company and/or support, as well as your favorite snacks. If you need to use the restroom, please tell one of our staff members, so that your infusion can be paused until your return.
Are there any risks associated with infusion therapy?
Yes. However, they are rare and are outweighed by the benefits. These include infections at the injection site or the IV becoming dislodged from the vein. The best way to lower these risks is to have an experienced healthcare professional monitoring the infusion throughout its duration — which is always the case in all of our treatment rooms.
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.