What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune cells to attack the protective sheaths (i.e., myelin) on the nerves. Myelin protects the messages a nerve sends to the brain. Once the myelin is compromised, these messages are interrupted. Furthermore, since the myelin is no longer present to protect the nerve, permanent damage and deterioration may result.
Common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include blurry vision, partial or complete loss of vision, prolonged double vision, dizziness, fatigue, coordination issues, numbness in the limbs, tingling, electric-shock sensations, and issues with bowel or bladder function.
How is MS Diagnosed and Treated?
Multiple sclerosis is diagnosed using magnetic resonance images (MRI) of the brain and spinal tap.
Treating Multiple Sclerosis
While a cure for multiple sclerosis has yet to be found, treatment is available. Treatment usually focuses on slowing the progression of the disease and managing the symptoms. For some, the symptoms associated with MS are very mild, and no treatment is necessary.
Treatments to Help Modify the Progression of MS
Since the majority of the immune response seen with MS occurs during the early stages of the disease, aggressive treatment early on can be highly beneficial. Aggressive treatment slows new lesion formation. In addition, treatment reduces the risk of disability accumulation and brain atrophy. Multiple sclerosis treatment options include physical therapy, injectable medications, oral medications and infusion medications.
How Does IV Infusion Therapy for MS Work?
Since IV infusion therapy distributes the medication directly into the patient’s bloodstream, it can work faster and may continue to work longer than the other methods used.
IV infusion for MS 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.
Many multiple sclerosis patients choose to get their IV infusion treatment through a freestanding treatment center, such as IVX Health. MS 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.
Multiple Sclerosis Therapies Administered at IVX Health
Multiple Sclerosis 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 MS 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 MS
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.
After placing the IV line, the nurse connects it to tubing that leads up to the MS medication.
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 Multiple Sclerosis IV Infusion 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 multiple sclerosis 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:
- The patient’s tuberculosis test result (i.e., TB skin test)
- His or her height and weight
- Clinical information to support the patient’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis
- Results of the patient’s most recent tests (e.g., lab work, MRIs)
If you have multiple sclerosis, and you would like to learn more about the IV infusion therapy for MS available at IVX Health centers, contact us today.