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Entyvio is an infusion therapy that is indicated to treat:
- Moderate to severe Crohn’s disease in adults
- Moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in adults
What is Entyvio?
Entyvio (vedolizumab) is a unique gastrointestinal-focused biologic (aka GI-focused biologic). This integrin receptor antagonist is unique in that it is the only GI-focused biologic available for the treatment of moderately-to-severely active ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Adult patients receive Entyvio as a solution that is administered via intravenous infusion (aka IV infusion).
How Does Entyvio Work?
When an individual has Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, an increase in the number of WBCs within the GI tract causes inflammation, which results in the development of the symptoms associated with CD and UC. Entyvio specifically targets the gastrointestinal tract to prevent excess WBCs from entering, thus controlling inflammation and reducing the symptoms of UC and CD.
What is Entyvio Used For?
Although a physician may prescribe Entyvio for other reasons, this medication is typically used for the treatment of moderately-to-severely active Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in adults.
Entyvio Infusion Dosage and Administration
When starting Entyvio, the patient receives infusions at weeks 0, 2 and 6. After the sixth week, the patient receives infusions every 8 weeks. If a patient reaches week 14 and does not have evidence to prove he or she is benefitting from these treatments, Entyvio Infusion therapy should be discontinued.
While having an infusion of Entyvio, patients can expect the procedure to be identical to, or closely resemble, the steps below.
- A nurse carefully inserts a small, very thin catheter into one of the patient’s arm veins.
- Following insertion of the IV line, the nurse connects the tube coming down from the 300 mg bag or bottle of medication to the patient’s IV.
- After connecting the tube to the patient’s IV, the Entyvio infusion begins.
- An Entyvio infusion usually takes about 30 minutes.
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, simply press the call button, and one of the IVX team members will be right in.
Dependent on the prescribed regimen and tolerance from the patient, the nurse may initially begin the infusion at a lower concentration, slowly increasing the concentration of Entyvio as the treatment continues. On the day of their Entyvio infusion, patients may consider bringing a driver with them as the referring physician may want the patient to refrain from driving.
Following the Infusion
Since serious allergic reactions may not become evident for several hours following treatment, patients need to have an adult remain with them overnight. Symptoms that warrant immediate treatment include a fast heart rate, shortness of breath, itching/a rash or flushing.
All medications can cause side effects.
Possible side effects following an Entyvio infusion include:
- A headache
- Back pain
- Symptoms similar to the common cold
- An upset stomach
- Joint pain
- Feeling weak or fatigued
- Pain in the extremities
- Irritation of the throat or nose
This is not a complete list of the possible side effects. Individuals who are concerned about experiencing side effects need to contact their physician for medical advice.
How to Prepare for an Entyvio Infusion
As part of the preparation process for an Entyvio Crohn’s disease infusion or an Entyvio ulcerative colitis infusion, IVX Health asks patients to review their Informed Consent document.
At the appointment for their first infusion, patients are asked to sign their Patient Financial Responsibility form. IVX Health encourages all Entyvio patients to apply for the assistance program available through the manufacturer. Even if a patient has health insurance that covers the cost of this medication, the Entyvio Connect patient assistance program may reimburse the patient for his or her out-of-pocket expenses (up to $6,500 a year).
Patients must be up-to-date on all their immunizations. However, Patients should only have vaccinations/immunizations with their doctor’s consent. The doctor needs to know if the patient has had any immunizations recently. In addition, the treating physician needs details about the patient’s medical history. Especially relating to recurrent infections and diseases. (e.g., tuberculosis and cancer).
The patient must be healthy at the time of his or her infusion because Entyvio can make an existing infection worse. In addition, patients receiving Entyvio infusions are more vulnerable to contracting infections like the flu, chickenpox and measles. Patients need to avoid having contact with those who have recently received live vaccinations (e.g., the flu vaccine that people inhale through their nose).
Patients will need to inform their doctor of all the medications and products they take regularly. This list should include prescription and nonprescription medications as well as dosage amounts and frequency taken, if an individual takes herbal products and vitamins, please include these in the list as well.
Entyvio infusions should only be used when necessary during pregnancy. IVX recommends discussing your treatment plan with your referring provider if you are pregnant or nursing.
How to Get a Referral for Entyvio IV Infusions
Information IVX Health needs to ensure attaining the patient referral for Entyvio infusions is a quick and seamless process.
Each referral must have:
- The Prescription for Treatment with Entyvio
- The name of the provider and his or her NP#
- The address of the provider
- The phone number and fax number of the provider
- An electronically authenticated signature or traditional written signature
- Patient Demographics
- Patient’s name.
- Patient’s phone number (e.g., home and mobile).
- The patient’s address.
- Applicable primary and secondary health insurance information.
- Clinicals to support the patient’s need for treatment (e.g., lab tests and notes).
- The weight and height of the patient.
- The results of the patient’s recent tuberculosis test.
- Clinicals to support the patients need for treatment (e.g, lab tests and notes).
To learn more about treatment with Entyvio IV infusion, find your closest IVX Health center here.
Patients chose IVX Health to receive their ongoing Entyvio treatments because:
- ALL private suites
- Comfortable recliners, with chairs for guests
- Evening & weekend appointments
- Friendly clinical staff deliver personal service
- Big screen TVs, high-speed WiFi, free snacks