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A Rheumatologist Answers FAQs About Infusion Therapy for Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. It makes your immune system attack healthy tissue because of its hyperactivity. Lupus is a rare condition, and if it does not receive treatment, it can be life-threatening. Its treatments include going through infusion therapy. If you want to understand how infusion therapy helps Lupus patients, here are some common questions and their answers.
How does infusion therapy work?
Lupus medications are available through the intravenous (IV) route. This is possible for patients who cannot take oral medication. Through infusion therapy, medications enter the patient’s body through the veins. In Lupus patients, infusion therapy disperses the medications in a quicker way. The medication reaches the patient’s bloodstream within a shorter period.
Doctors use the vein in the patient’s hand or arm. The doctor will control the delivery of the medication. That way, the Lupus patient receives the dosages based on tolerance level. This and the care of the infusion team can make the treatment comfortable for the patient.
What are the medications for Lupus infusion?
Biological medications are the medications of choice for autoimmune diseases. Patients should discuss the medications and the side effects of each. The patient’s medical history can help determine the right Lupus medications. The most common medications are cyclophosphamide, rituximab, and belimumab.
What are the common side effects of Lupus infusion therapy?
The side effects that patients have from infusion therapy depend on the medication. Ulcerations around the mouth and skin infections are common side effects. Doctors can change the Lupus medications if the present medications are causing discomfort. Patients and doctors should watch out for allergic reactions. Allergy symptoms usually appear during or a day after the Lupus infusion treatment.
How long does it take for an infusion therapy session to finish?
The patient’s stay for an infusion therapy session depends on the medication. The treatment can last for half an hour to five hours. Patients should know the type of medication and how long it will take to administer. That way, they can prepare for the treatment day.
What is the science behind infusion therapy?
Biologics are infusion medications that have a biological target. Taking medications through injections can hurt a lot. Patients can have infusion therapy instead. With this therapy, the variability of absorption in subcutaneous injections disappears. It skips the absorption of the medications through the gastrointestinal tract.
One example of Lupus medications is bisphosphonates. It is difficult to give bisphosphonates via the oral route. This medication’s absorption is not easy through the gastrointestinal tract. The patient would have to take a pill and then stand up for 45 minutes every week. Infusion therapy makes it more comfortable for patients to get bisphosphonates.
Lupus patients can get the most out of medications with infusion therapy
Some medications are often difficult to absorb via the gastrointestinal tract. They may even take hours to administer. Lupus medications become more absorbable through infusion therapy. This method is faster, easier, and more comfortable for patients. Discussing your medications with your doctor can help you prepare well for your infusion therapy.
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