Your colon plays a vital role in everyday life. So, when a condition like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes ulcers to occur in your digestive tract, you tend to notice. Such is the case for people with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). It impacts the innermost lining of the large intestine and rectum — causing major discomfort. What can you do to treat UC? And, is infusion therapy a viable treatment?
What is ulcerative colitis?
Since UC causes sores to occur in your digestive tract, it can be a debilitating disease. The cause remains unknown, but some causes such as diet, stress, family history, and health of the immune system may play a role. In rare cases, it can lead to life-threatening complications. There is currently no cure for ulcerative colitis, but treatments have been found to alleviate symptoms — and can even lead to long-term remission. UC develops slowly over time and produces symptoms such as:
- Diarrhea — often with blood or pus
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal pain
- Rectal bleeding — in small amounts
- Urgency to defecate
- Inability to defecate despite urgency
- Weight loss
Medications Used to Treat Ulcerative Colitis
The most common treatments for UC include drug therapy or surgery. Doctors often prescribe 5-aminosalicylic acid, corticosteroids, and immunomodulatory drugs. But, corticosteroids can only be used short-term as it has extreme side effects. Another common treatment is biologics — as is the case with infusion therapy. Since infusion treatments can provide longer relief, many doctors are turning to this treatment plan to help alleviate discomfort for UC patients. The most common medications include:
How does infusion therapy work?
Also known as intravenous therapy, infusion treatment works quickly — with some patients feeling relief before they finish their appointment. The medicine is administered from an infusion pump that uses gravity to distribute the medicine down a catheter into a syringe. The syringe is inserted into your veins and secured with medical tape. Most appointments are quick — lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour.
Before your treatment begins, your infusion physician will discuss the side effects of your medication and answer any questions you may have. They’ll also make sure that you have everything you need to feel comfortable. This includes a variety of amenities — including blankets and pillows, Wi-Fi, something to drink, and recliner chairs. Private rooms are also available upon request.
Side Effects of Ulcerative Colitis
Side effects are based on the biologic medication that you’re receiving. While some are minor, others may be life-threatening. You should talk to your doctor before receiving infusion therapy to ensure that you are getting the best option for your UC. The most common side effects include:
- Serious allergic reactions
- Increased risk of infection
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
- Liver problems
- Reactivation of HBV
- Lymphoma and other cancers — including skin and cervical cancer
- Heart problems — including failure
- Blood disorders
- Nervous system disorders
- Lupus-like syndrome
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.