Certain medical conditions are all-encompassing and debilitating. It may take a while to obtain a diagnosis, but you know there’s definitely something wrong, since you may be experiencing symptoms all over your body. You may be feeling extremely exhausted, and not correlate it with a subsequent ear infection or sinus problems. Or you may confuse it with having the flu. However, it’s crucial to obtain a medical evaluation as soon as possible in the event your condition may require life-saving treatment. Such is the case with microscopic polyangiitis (MPA).
What is microscopic polyangiitis?
Microscopic polyangiitis is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of blood vessels — also known as vasculitis. As a result, the patient ends up with restricted blood flow, which can damage organs and tissues. The condition can affect patients at any age. However, most cases are diagnosed in individuals in their 50s and 60s. Some of the most serious complications of microscopic polyangiitis include kidney or lung failure. It can also affect the skin, eyes, and nervous system.
Symptoms of Microscopic Polyangiitis
The symptoms of microscopic polyangiitis can vary from person to person. They also often come and go, and they may range in intensity during each episode. The most common ones include:
- Tingling or numbness
- Skin bumps
- Leg swelling
- Shortness of breath
- Unintended weight loss
- Sinus problems
- Dark-colored urine
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Ear infections
- Vision problems
Infusion Therapy for Microscopic Polyangiitis
Traditional forms of treatment for microscopic polyangiitis include oral medications designed to suppress the immune system and decrease inflammation. However, some patients fail to obtain relief. When such is the case, infusion therapy can provide a viable alternative. Treatment is crucial, since MPA can progress at a rapid pace, making effective treatment necessary to prevent organ damage or failure.
An infusion therapy that works well for MPA is Rituximab. The medication is administered through an IV, generally once a week.
Since infusion medication is administered intravenously, it reaches your bloodstream immediately. As a result, patients experience faster relief than with oral medications. In severe cases, such Rituxan may be combined with prednisone.
Are there side effects of infusion therapy for microscopic polyangiitis?
As with any prescription medication, infusion therapy for microscopic polyangiitis carries a risk of side effects. Some people may not experience any of them, but those who do may notice some of the following:
- Body aches
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Pain or irritation at the site of infection
The best way to decrease risks associated with side effects is to have a healthcare professional monitor your infusions throughout their duration. This is something that we always do at Infusion Associates.
What to expect from Infusion Therapy
When you first arrive at any of our Infusion Associates locations, you’ll immediately notice a welcoming environment. You will first meet with one of our nurses or physicians, who will discuss with you all the details of your treatment — including dosage, duration, and the likelihood of side effects. You can take this time to ask questions and address concerns.
Once the initial consultation concludes, you will be escorted to one of our treatment rooms. If you would prefer a private one, you can request one when scheduling your appointment. You may bring a loved one to keep you company, as well as your favorite snacks. From our end, you’ll notice we provide several amenities to make your treatment as comfortable as possible — including cozy armchairs, blankets, coffee, tea or water, WiFi, and TV.