If you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease, you understand the fear and uncertainty that comes with it. In addition to pain and discomfort, you’re left wondering whether any complications would result in your health taking an additional downturn. What caused the condition? What are the signs that your kidneys aren’t functioning properly? What is the best form of treatment? At the end of the day, you want to ensure you have as normal a life as possible. What can you expect? And, can infusion therapy help?
What is kidney disease?
Healthy kidneys filter and eliminate waste from the blood. This includes all toxins that remain in the body after digestion, taking medications, and exposure to chemicals, which are then removed from your body through your urine. Kidneys also produce hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells, as well as regulate your blood pressure and metabolism of calcium.
Kidney disease occurs when kidneys stop doing their regular functions. It could be the result of traumatic injury, inadequate blood flow, severe dehydration, pregnancy complications, sepsis, an enlarged prostate, urine backup, or an autoimmune disorder — which may cause waste products and toxins build up in your body. Symptoms that this is occurring include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen ankles
- Sleeping difficulties
Left untreated, kidney disease can lead to complications — such as renal failure. In some cases, renal failure can result in death. If you think you may have kidney disease, it’s important to seek treatment to prevent complications.
Infusion Therapy for Kidney Disease
Rituximab is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat several types of medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and chronic kidney disease. It reduces the number of white blood cells called B lymphocytes — which are responsible for creating antibodies that cause kidneys to malfunction. This reduction can last between six and nine months. Therefore, infusion therapy will be necessary periodically.
It may take several weeks for your body to respond to the medication. Therefore, your doctor will recommend blood and urine tests a few days after your first infusion treatment to detect your level of antibodies.
Side Effects of Infusion Therapy for Kidney Disease
As with any prescription medication, Rituximab carries the risk of side effects. The most common ones include fever, chills, tremors, shortness of breath, rash, and low blood pressure. If your healthcare provider notices any of them, the medication is slowed or stopped until all symptoms are gone. The infusion treatment can then be infused at a lower dosage rate.
Less common side effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, muscle spasms, abnormal heart rate, or infection at the site where the IV is inserted. The best way to ensure your wellbeing is to have a healthcare professional monitor the infusion throughout its duration — which is always done at Infusion Associates.
What To Expect From Infusion Therapy for Kidney Disease
When you visit one of our Infusion Associates facilities, you will first meet with an experienced healthcare professional who will explain what to expect from each infusion therapy. This includes information about duration and possible side effects. You can also take this time to ask questions and address any worries you may have about your treatment.
Upon entering our infusion room, you’ll notice that we make it a priority to ensure all our visitors feel as welcomed and comfortable as possible. You will receive infusions in cozy reclining chairs, and we make several amenities available — including blankets, Wi-Fi, television, coffee, tea, and hot cocoa. If you’d prefer, you can bring your own snacks and beverages.
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.