What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy involves administering medication through a needle or catheter. In most cases, it is used when a patient can’t be treated effectively with oral medications. While many medicines are given orally, diseases more commonly treated with infusion therapy are dehydration, gastrointestinal diseases, congestive heart failure, Crohn’s disease, immune deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis to name a few. Infusions can also be used to give nutrition to a patient who is unable or unwilling to eat.
Is infusion therapy only done in the hospital?
Historically, infusion therapy was only given to patients in the hospital where they could be monitored during the course of the infusion. More commonly today, it is offered as an outpatient procedure. The patient can visit an infusion suite or receive this type of therapy at home. Both of these outpatient methods can help to control medical costs and give patients more flexibility in their care. Discuss with your doctor what option may be the best for you.
How long does infusion therapy take?
The amount of time that you it takes to complete the infusion depends on the type of medication that you are receiving. For example, a typical intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusion can take up to two to four hours, while some medications can range from as little as 30 minutes to several hours. The staff administering your infusion can help advise you on the amount of time you should plan for the infusion.
Is infusion therapy right for me?
There are many benefits to infusion therapy but only together with your medical provider can you determine if infusion therapy is right for you. Always discuss any questions, concerns or medical conditions with your health care provider.