What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic disease that can manifest itself in different ways. It is an autoimmune condition, characterized by relapses and remissions that occur frequently. Lupus causes widespread inflammation, which affects organs such as the kidneys, blood cells, heart, lungs, joints, nervous system, and skin.
How is Lupus Diagnosed and Treated?
Lupus typically presents with a set of three main symptoms — fever, rash, and joint pain. Some patients also experience fatigue, muscle aches, and weight loss. Diagnosis is based on laboratory tests and an assessment of clinical findings, which leads to a focus on treatment options. For patients with more moderate-to-severe cases of lupus, doctors will recommend intravenous infusion therapy, or IV therapy, as the next route.
How Does IV Infusion Therapy for Lupus Work?
IV infusion treatment for lupus provides medication intravenously and is an option for those who are not able to tolerate oral treatment. During infusion therapy, a catheter is placed into a vein, and an infusion pump sends medication through the catheter and into the body. An IV infusion for lupus ranges in how long the medicine is administered depending on the level of treatment necessary — some can take around 25 minutes, while others are up to several hours.
Many lupus patients choose to get their IV infusion treatment through a freestanding treatment center, such as IVX Health. Lupus 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.
Lupus Therapies Administered at IVX Health
Managing Lupus at IVX Health
When patients come to IVX Health, they receive their IV infusion treatment for lupus while relaxing in comfortable, leather recliners in private suites. IVX accommodates space for guests, along with high-speed WiFi and large, flat-screen TVs.
IVX Health also understands the value of time. With flexible options for appointment scheduling – including evenings and weekends – patients can receive their lupus IV treatment around their schedule. At IVX, patients never wait as they are greeted by name and escorted immediately to their private suite. No waiting makes appointments faster and more efficient, while reducing unnecessary exposure between patients.
What to Expect During IV Infusion Treatment for Lupus
During an IV infusion treatment for lupus at IVX Health, people should expect that their procedure will be very similar to the below:
- The first step in the infusion treatment at IVX Health involves the nurse using a thin, small catheter to create the patient’s intravenous line (aka IV line). This IV line is typically placed in the arm.
- Once the IV line is in place, the nurse connects the medication to this line.
- A registered nurse or nurse practitioner will continually monitor each patient throughout the entire process.
During the infusion, patients are encouraged to relax, unwind, and enjoy themselves by catching up on a favorite show or surfing the web. If patients need assistance, they may simply press the call button and one of the IVX team members will be right in.
It is important to note that an IV infusion treatment for lupus has the potential to cause side effects. Some of these can be severe, and it may be necessary to switch the patient to a different lupus IV treatment medication to reduce the potential for an adverse event. The most common side effects of an IV infusion for lupus are an increased risk of infection, problems with liver function, ulcers or sore developing around the mouth, and allergic reactions developing within 24 hours of treatment. Any change to a patient’s prescribed treatment regimen should only be made in consultation with the patient’s referring physician.
How to Get a Referral for Lupus Treatment
Getting a referral for infusion therapy is required to be treated at IVX Health. An order, information about the patient, and clinical documentation to support the order are all required. The patient’s referring physician will need to send this information to IVX Health.
- Order information – This must include provider name, address, phone/fax information, NPI#, and provider signature.
- Patient demographics – The patient’s name, insurance information, address, and phone are needed.
- Supporting documentation – Height and weight, TB skin test results, and other lab work is all included here.
IVX Health is committed to helping providers and patients navigate the referral process. Interested in more information? Contact us, and we will be happy to help.