What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that over time can cause some of the bones in the spine to fuse. This fusing makes the spine less flexible and can result in a hunched posture. If ribs are affected, it can be difficult to breathe deeply.
How is Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosed and Treated?
Your doctor will be looking for signs of inflammation, tenderness, and limited range of motion in your spine and other joints. X-Rays and MRIs are also two common imaging tests used to help diagnose ankylosing spondylitis.
There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but treatments can lessen symptoms and slow progression of the disease.
How Does IV Infusion Therapy for Ankylosing Spondylitis Work?
IV infusion for ankylosing spondylitis involves administering medication through an infusion pump that drips the medication into a catheter to a syringe and through a hollow needle into the patient’s bloodstream. IV infusion therapy options for ankylosing spondylitis include Simponi Aria and Remicade.
Some therapies, such as Cimzia, are administered via injection. Healthcare providers will use a needle to inject the drug subcutaneously into the front of the thighs or the abdomen. The initial doses are done in pairs every two weeks. Following the initial doses, maintenance doses are typically one injection every two weeks or two injections every four weeks.
Many ankylosing spondylitis patients choose to get their IV infusion or injection treatment through a freestanding treatment center, such as IVX Health. Ankylosing Spondylitis patients often choose IVX Health as their preferred site of care because of its unique, patient-centered amenities, including private suites, its industry-leading 1:3 nurse-to-patient ratio, flexible appointment scheduling, and lower cost when compared to the hospital.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Therapies Administered at IVX Health
Ankylosing Spondylitis Management at IVX Health
Each IVX Health patient receives excellent care from Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) and Registered Nurses (RNs).
The benefits of receiving infusion treatments for ankylosing spondylitis at IVX Health include:
- Private suites
- Comfortable, leather recliners
- Enough room and plenty of seating for guests
- A friendly clinical staff
- Personalized service
- High-speed internet
- Complimentary beverages and snacks
- Flat-screen television sets provide a way for patients to stream their favorite movies and watch the shows they love
- Flexible scheduling options (including evening and weekend appointments)
What to Expect During IV Infusion Treatment for Ankylosing Spondylitis
Using a thin, very small catheter, one of IVX Health’s nurses creates the patient an intravenous line (aka IV line) into the patient’s arm vein.
*For Cimzia, a subcutaneous injection, one of IVX Health’s nurses will inject the patient with the treatment typically in the front of the thighs or the abdomen. No IV line will be used.
After placing the IV line, the nurse connects it to tubing that leads up to the medication. The medication is then dispersed into the patient’s bloodstream over a specified period of time.
During treatment, patients are continuously monitored by one of IVX’s nurses. If a patient requires assistance, he or she just needs to press the call button.
There are times when a patient experiences a reaction to the medication he or she is receiving; therefore, patients need to recognize the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
Signs of a potential allergic reaction include developing a headache, feeling nauseous, difficulty breathing and developing a rash. Patients experiencing these symptoms need to contact their nurse right away.
How to Get a Referral for Ankylosing Spondylitis IV Infusion or Injection Treatment
Every referral must be accompanied by an order for treatment.
Patient information should include:
- Current address
- Home and mobile phone number
- Insurance information
Information the physician must include on the patient’s order for IV therapy to treat TED include:
- Patient’s name and DOB
- Order date
- Physician’s name and NPI#
- Office address, phone, and fax numbers
- Provider’s signature
Supporting clinical documentation from the physician should include:
- Results of a recent tuberculosis (TB) skin/lab testing
- Patient’s current weight and height
- Clinicals to support that the patient has active ankylosing spondylitis
- For Remicade: Hepatitis B status and date
Due to the complexity of treatment, prior authorization is often required. Prior authorization is the process of getting approval for treatment from the patient’s healthcare provider before beginning treatment. It’s important to check in with your healthcare provider to see if a prior authorization will be needed for your infusion or injection treatment at IVX Health.
If you have ankylosing spondylitis, and you would like to learn more about the IV infusion or injection therapy for ankylosing spondylitis available at IVX Health centers, contact us today.