Which Illnesses Can Infusion Therapy Help Treat?

Which Illnesses Can Infusion Therapy Help Treat?

Patients who are very sick may not be able to eat, let alone take medicine by mouth. Infusion therapy can solve this problem by giving treatment directly through a needle or catheter. Infusion therapy only used to be done in hospitals, but now it can be done at outpatient infusion therapy clinics or even in your own home by trained nurses. 

At Quality Life Services Home Health, we provide infusion therapy in the comfort of your home. We know that you may have questions about infusion therapy, and we’d like to help! 

Continue reading to learn more about infusion therapy and what to expect from this procedure. 

What is Infusion Therapy & Why is it used?

Infusion therapy is an alternative to oral treatment that involves administering medicine via a sterile needle or catheter (usually intravenously).

Other types of infusion therapy include:

  • Epidural
  • Intramuscular
  • Subcutaneous

Infusion therapy is also used when drugs can’t be taken by mouth because they lose effectiveness through the digestive system. Infusion therapy can be used if there isn’t a similar oral treatment or if you can’t take pills by mouth. 

Infusion therapy can also be used to give nutrients and a variety of medications, such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antiemetics
  • Antifungals
  • Antivirals
  • Biologics
  • Blood factors
  • Chemotherapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Growth hormones
  • Immunoglobulin replacement
  • Immunotherapy
  • Inotropic heart medications

Infusion treatment is also utilized often since it permits regulated dosage. Some forms of chemotherapy, for example, must be gently dripped into the bloodstream. Other drugs, in life-or-death situations, must reach the bloodstream quickly, such as:

  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Heart attack 
  • Stroke 
  • Poisoning

What Conditions Can Infusion Therapy Be Used To Treat?

Chemotherapy is commonly used to treat many different types of cancer. While certain chemotherapies may be taken orally, many must be delivered through an IV. Chemotherapy medications are sometimes injected into the spine or another body part.

Chemotherapy drugs are delivered straight into your circulation via infusion therapy. It also allows you to get anti-nausea and other medications without needing further needles.

However, infusion treatment isn’t just for cancer patients. It’s also used to treat:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Immune deficits
  • Dehydration
  • Infections that aren’t responsive to oral drugs

It can deliver powerful medications for conditions such as:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Lupus
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

What Can You Expect From Infusion Therapy?

IV treatments are often given in hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities, or infusion centers. Some forms of infusion treatment can be administered at home by healthcare professionals.

Each IV session requires a fresh needle stick. If you need more than one IV treatment, your doctor may suggest something other than a standard IV line. Central lines can be put into your chest, arm, neck, or groin and remain in place for a lengthy period.

Another option is to surgically insert a port beneath the skin. In the future, the needle can be placed into the port to reach the vein without sticking you. After you have finished all your treatments, the port will be surgically removed.

Nurses or other trained medical personnel give IV treatment in any situation. If the procedure is likely to take more than a few minutes, there is normally some control mechanism linked to the line to ensure correct distribution. Infusion treatment is always accompanied by regular or remote monitoring.

Are There Any Risks Involved With Infusion Therapy?

The insertion of an IV needle is usually painless (although it might be difficult), especially if you have small veins.

If you require frequent infusions, scar tissue may build over time, causing damage to your veins. 

IV treatment has the following risks:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Infection
  • Phlebitis
  • Air embolism

A needle can sometimes become dislodged, allowing medicine to enter nearby tissues. This can be harmful with some drugs.

Other dangers are dependent on the medications you’re taking. Any new drug might create a powerful reaction in your body. If you are going to have a response, it is usually the first time you receive a certain therapy.

Your doctor will go through your therapy’s possible hazards and warning signs. 

The signs of Infusion reaction typically include:

  • Cough
  • Flushing of the face
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles
  • Nausea
  • Hives or a rash
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Hand, leg, ankle, or foot swelling
  • Enlargement of the tongue, lips, or eyelids
It’s critical that you inform your doctor about all drugs you’re taking, as well as nutritional and herbal supplements, before starting infusion therapy.

Infusion Therapy in Cincinnati, Ohio

Quality Life Services Home Health (QLS) helps people who need home health care with special services like Infusion Therapy. We hire private nurses who are qualified, caring, and have special training in giving infusion drugs and keeping lines in good shape. If you’d like to obtain more information on our home health services, schedule an appointment or contact us at (513) 860-1481.