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How Infusion Therapy Can Treat Osteoarthritis
Infusion therapy is a great alternative option that many people consider to treat various health conditions. When traditional methods of treatment, such as medication or physical therapy, do not work, it is best to turn to a rheumatologist for help. A rheumatologist specializes in the therapy of rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis. One treatment option they offer up is infusion therapy. Ready to learn more?
Infusion therapy for osteoarthritis
Below is an overview of infusion therapy and how it can be used to treat osteoarthritis. This information can be helpful to review when looking into alternative ways to manage the pain and dysfunction that comes with osteoarthritis.
What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy is the injection of medicine and fluids into the veins. A special medical infusion pump is used to administer the fluid intravenously or subcutaneously. The two most common options for infusion therapy is done as an intramuscular injection or epidural administration.
Infusion therapy is used for a variety of conditions ranging from arthritis to Chron's disease. Other conditions that it can be used for include immune deficiencies, psoriasis, asthma and gastrointestinal diseases.
Osteoarthritis can be treated through a few rounds of infusion therapy. A rheumatologist will administer 1000mg of rituximab in one session and then 15 days later, a second infusion of 1000mg will be administered. Depending on how the patient responds to the infusion therapy, the rheumatologist will be able to undergo another session six to nine months later. If the response is well, infusion therapy sessions can continue on until the patient no longer experiences symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Rituximab targets the CD20 antigen, which occurs on both normal and malignant B-cells that are found throughout the body. After an infusion therapy session takes place, the cells are less inflamed, which results in fewer symptoms of osteoarthritis. Long-term, patients are likely to find permanent relief so that they can function normally, with little to no discomfort.
How the process works
When undergoing an infusion therapy session to treat osteoarthritis, patients should expect to commit up to five hours to one session. The sessions can take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the severity of the symptoms, as well as the rheumatologist's recommendation. Everyone responds differently to infusion therapy, which means the experience may vary. However, it is relatively simple and painless after the initial poking and prodding to locate a vein. After the catheter is inserted into the area that requires therapy, the fluids will begin to enter the bloodstream. The entire session can be pretty boring, which is why it is recommended to bring a book, music or movie.
Learn more today!
Osteoarthritis can be difficult to live with, which is why undergoing infusion therapy is worth considering. Working with a rheumatologist is the best place to start, as they perform an evaluation to get the process going. Reach out today to learn more or to get started.
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