Infusion: What Is It And How Does It Help Arthritis?

Some medications are not able to be taken in pill form because they are unable to treat your condition as effectively. Instead, these medications are given via infusion therapy. 

What Is Infusion?

Infusion, or infusion therapy, occurs when a medication cannot be taken orally. Medications given through infusion are typically given through an IV or catheter. Infusion allows for the medication to reach the bloodstream quicker than a pill. Infusion is also used to ensure that you have all your nutrients. For example, if someone is in a coma and unable to care for themselves and their nutrient intake, infusion is how healthcare workers get nutrients into their body. 

What Types of Medications Are Given Through Infusion?

As well as nutrients, there are a number of medications that need to be given via infusion to ensure their effectiveness.

Those medications can include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungals
  • Corticosteroids
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Growth hormones

What Is Infusion Used to Treat?

One of the most widely known conditions infusion is used to treat is anaphylactic shock, or an allergic reaction. 

Other conditions infusion treats include:

  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Crohn's disease
  • Dehydration
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

How Does Infusion Help Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that affects the skin and joints. Severe cases of arthritis cause more than just painful joints. A severe case of arthritis can cause fatigue and loss of appetite as well. Anyone suffering from arthritis who is not experiencing any relief from their normal medication can ask their doctor about infusion. Infusion can provide longer-lasting relief.

Benefits of receiving infusion for arthritis can include:

  • Pain relief
  • Reducing fatigue
  • Preventing further bone damage
  • Making day-to-day life easier to manage

What Are the Risks of Infusion?

Just like there are always benefits to healthcare options, there are always risks as well. 

Risks of infusion can include:

  • Infection
  • Collapsed veins
  • Air embolism
  • Nausea
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Rash

Where Can You Receive Infusion?

Infusion therapy must be done by and with the supervision of medical professionals. Infusion can be received at your hospital or local clinical, depending on the types of services offered at that clinic. It is also possible to have a medical professional provide infusion care in your home, but it is most common to receive the treatment in a clinical setting. 

Does Insurance Cover Infusion?

Insurance will generally cover most services that are considered medically necessary. However, all insurance plans are different. If you can't afford infusion therapy out of pocket, make sure to discuss your options with your insurance company and healthcare providers. 

For more information about infusion care options, contact a clinic that provides it, such as Idaho Arthritis Center.