If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition, finding something to relieve your symptoms can feel like throwing darts at a corkboard. There are so many directions you could take to find relief — but some are expensive, while others come with life-threatening side effects — and you just can’t seem to find the bullseye. Just when you’re ready to accept that your new life consists of living with pain and other symptoms, your doctor suggests infusion therapy. What is it? What are the risks? And, will it actually relieve your symptoms?
What is Infusion Therapy?
Also known as IV or intravenous therapy, infusion therapy makes it possible to receive treatments that are not available in oral or pill form. Instead, the medicine is administered using an infusion pump and IV catheter to drip fluids directly into your veins. The process is relatively painless and quick when completed at an outpatient center like Infusion Associates.
How It Works
Before making an appointment at an infusion facility, you will need to talk to your doctor to find out if infusion therapy is right for you. If they think it’s the best option, they can refer you to a facility — such as Infusion Associates. Upon arrival, you’ll be taken to a room where the infusion will take place (some private rooms may be available) and get comfy in a recliner chair while you wait for treatment. To ensure you have everything you need to feel at ease, amenities are available for you to enjoy — including blankets, pillows, drinks, TV, and Wi-Fi to make your stay more comfortable.
A professional staff member will inform you of any potential side effects before beginning your treatment. Once your treatment starts, an infusion pump will drip the solution through a catheter that’s inserted into your veins. Depending on the medication being given, you may begin feeling better during the infusion but often it will take days to weeks for you to start feeling better.
Examples of Common Infusion Therapy Treatments
Infusion therapy can treat a variety of conditions — from life-threatening to life-changing. The most common treatments are for:
- Dehydration caused by vomiting, pregnancy, or other applicable medical conditions
- Autoimmune disorders – including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis
- Neurological disorders – including multiple sclerosis and ALS
- Enzyme deficiencies or genetic disorders – including Pompe disease, Gaucher disease, and Fabry disease
- Immune deficiencies
- Osteoporosis, bone disorders, or hypercalcemia
- Iron deficiency or anemia
- Anemia of chronic kidney disease
- Infections – including cellulitis, bacteremia, osteomyelitis, UTI, pneumonia, MRSA, and other bacterial, fungal, or viral infections
Risk of Infusion Therapy
The risks of your infusion treatment depend on the medicine you’re receiving. The process for implementing infusion therapy is routine — just one small pinch when inserting the catheter into your vein. But, each medication comes with its own set of side effects. You should talk to your doctor or a trained infusion professional about the side effects and risks of your infusion treatment before making any decisions.
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 and Medical Provider 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.