Overview of Infusion Therapy
Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter. It is prescribed when a patient’s condition is so severe that it cannot be treated effectively by oral medications. Typically, “infusion therapy” means that a drug is administered intravenously, but the term also may refer to situations where drugs are provided through other non-oral routes, such as intramuscular injections and epidural routes (into the membranes surrounding the spinal cord). “Traditional” prescription drug therapies commonly administered via infusion include:
- pain management
- parenteral nutrition
Infusion therapy is also provided to patients for treating a wide assortment of often chronic and sometimes rare diseases for which “specialty” infusion medications are effective. While some have been available for many years, others are newer drugs and biologics.Examples include blood factors, corticosteroids, erythropoietin, infliximab, inotropic heart medications, growth hormones, immunoglobulin, natalizumab and many others.
Sometimes when people become very ill with a complex disease, they cannot eat, let alone take medications orally. In addition, some medications cannot be given orally because the stomach acids will destroy them, and they will no longer be effective to treat your disease. There are many reasons why medications are introduced into the body other than than through the mouth.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
An alternative to oral treatment is infusion therapy: administering medication through the use of a sterile catheter that is inserted into a vein and secured. This treatment method has traditionally been used only in hospitals, but now infusion therapy can be administered in outpatient infusion therapy centers, or even in your home by specially trained nurses. These nurses have been licensed by the state board of pharmacies, meeting the strict standards and regulations set by the board and by the government.
Infusion therapy is usually employed to treat serious or chronic infections that do not respond to oral antibiotics. Cancers and the pain caused by cancers; diseases of the gastrointestinal tract; dehydration caused by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; and other serious diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, are typical examples. Additional complex illnesses that respond best to intravenous medications include: multiple sclerosis, some forms of arthritis, congestive heart failure and some types of immune deficiency disorders. Certain congenital diseases require intravenous medications as well.
Avella offers clinical expertise in meeting the unique needs of our patients using infusion therapies as part of their medication treatment plan. Our pharmacy team can collaborate with your doctor to monitor your therapy while helping you manage side effects and avoid drug interactions. While we know the process of taking your medications by infusion therapy is not easy, Avella is dedicated to making the process of managing your condition through medication as simple as possible. Infusion therapy shouldn’t be uncomfortable or frightening. Leave it to the experts.
Examples of infusion therapies include:
- Anti-Coagulation Therapy
- Anti-Hemophilic Factors
- Blood Component Stimulating Factor
- Enteral Nutrition
- Inotropic Therapy
- Pain Management
- Total Parenteral Nutrition
Do not use the information provided on this page for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Only a consultation with a licensed medical professional can offer a proper diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
Call 911 for all medical emergencies.