Your immune system is responsible for preventing infections and keeping you healthy. But, if you have an autoimmune disease, then your immune system can be attacked by your own body. This is the case with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS attacks your nerves and destroys myelin — the protective coating for your nerves. The result is nerve pain that causes numbness or weakness. While multiple sclerosis can be treated with corticosteroids, they aren’t a long-term solution. That’s where infusion therapy can help.
What is multiple sclerosis?
Your nerve fibers have protective sheaths that help protect the messages from your brain to the rest of your body. When an autoimmune disease — like MS — attacks the myelin, it can harm your nerves and lead to permanent damage or deterioration. While there’s no cure for MS, there are treatments that help relieve symptoms and speed up recovery from an attack. The most common symptoms being:
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements
- Tremor, lack of coordination, or unsteady gait
- Partial or complete vision loss
- Prolonged double vision
- Blurry vision
- Slurred speech
- Tingling or pain in different parts of the body
- Problems with sexual, bowel, or bladder function
How does infusion therapy work?
Infusion therapy relieves symptoms for longer periods of time by distributing medicine directly into your bloodstream. Your medicine is administered by an infusion pump that drips the medication through a catheter into a syringe. The syringe is inserted into your vein and secured into place with medical tape. The treatment itself varies on time, but most patients feel relief before their appointment is even over.
Upon arrival, a physician will help make your treatment comfortable — offering heated blankets, pillows, something to drink, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities. They’ll talk through your medication, walking through possible side effects, and answering any questions you may have. Then, you can recline back, watch some tv, and begin feeling better.
Infusion Therapy Medication for Multiple Sclerosis
While the most common treatments for MS include corticosteroids and plasma exchange, both treatments can be expensive or only offer short-term support. Infusion therapy can help treat and reduce relapse rates — increasing your remission time between flareups. Plus, receiving treatments from an infusion facility — like Infusion Associates — is cheaper than visiting a hospital. The most common biologics medications offered through infusion therapy include:
Side Effects of Infusion Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
The possible side effects you may experience from infusion therapy depends solely on the medication you’re administered. Some side effects are minor, while others range to life-threatening, so you should talk to your doctor before making any decisions. They’ll be able to talk through your options and come up with the best solution for your MS. When taking biologics — such as Ocervus, Tysabri, and Lemtrada — you may experience:
- Herpes infections
- Liver damage
- Severe allergic reactions
- Weakened immune system
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Thyroid problems
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling of the throat
- Throat irritation or pain
- Hives or rash
- Increased heart rate
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-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.