Several treatment options are available to help manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These options come in different forms and can be taken in various ways. Most commonly, IBD therapies are provided orally (PO), subcutaneously (SQ), or intravenously (IV). Each therapeutic option and route of administration carries its own benefits and risks. This article will discuss each of these options and why IV infusion therapy may be of particular benefit to patients.

Overview of IBD therapies and routes

IBD medications include corticosteroids, 5-ASA drugs, immunomodulatory agents, and biologics. Corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory properties, which is why they are used for quick and short-term relief of IBD symptoms. Corticosteroids can be taken by mouth, as an enema, or via an IV infusion. In addition, 5-ASA medications, also known as aminosalicylic acids, are another common class of medication indicated for IBD that come in many forms. Mesalazine, for example, is available as oral tablets. Other types of 5-ASA drugs can be supplied as suppositories, foams, and enemas. IBD can also be treated with immunomodulatory agents such as azathioprine or methotrexate. Immunomodulatory agents are available in oral or injection formulations. Finally, IBD can be treated with biologic medications that are given IV1.

Benefits of IV medication

The intravenous route of administration delivers medication directly into your bloodstream. Because it utilizes this method, a medication can enter your bloodstream and system more quickly compared with other routes. When taking a drug by mouth, your body must undergo an absorption process that takes time and usually does not absorb 100 percent. IV infusion allows your body to achieve adequate drug levels in the blood faster, causing a more rapid and sustained therapeutic effect2. Because of this, IBD patients commonly turn to IV agents instead of oral or injection medications.

In the context of IBD, common infusions therapies can include biologic medications such as Remicade (infliximab), Entyvio (vedolizumab), Stelara (ustekinumab), or Cimzia (certolizumab pegol)3 These agents are highly efficacious, thereby providing relief to many patients with IBD. These therapies have a robust efficacy profile for IBD compared with other medications that are given orally or via SQ injection. They are particularly useful for IBD cases that are unresponsive to oral medications.

As an example, consider the treatment of Crohn’s disease, which is a form of IBD. One study evaluated how Remicade compares with conventional oral treatment for Crohn’s as first-line therapy (azathioprine). Results indicated that using Remicade as a first-line treatment achieved superior outcomes compared with azathioprine therapy alone. On average, patients receiving Remicade were more likely to achieve remission, demonstrating better efficacy4.

In addition to an improved efficacy profile with IV infusion therapy, some patients prefer IV administration for convenience and safety purposes, particularly compared with subcutaneous delivery. Some patients may prefer IV administration under medical supervision as opposed to self-injecting medication themselves. This also allows for greater compliance due to the oversight of a medical professional. Additionally, IV infusions are usually less frequent, occurring every eight weeks as opposed to every one to two weeks. This can provide greater convenience for the patient5. IBD patients can receive infusion therapy at home or at a conveniently located infusion center with ContinuumRx and Continuum Health. Contact us to onboard your therapy today!

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References

  1. Medication for inflammatory bowel disease in adults. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://nyulangone.org/conditions/inflammatory-bowel-disease-in-adults/treatments/medication-for-inflammatory-bowel-disease-in-adults
  2. Routes of drug administration. (2018). https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.11099-2
  3. Infusion therapy for Crohn’s disease. (n.d.). Infusion Associates. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://infusionassociates.com/infusion-therapy/crohns-disease/
  4. Jongsma, M. M. E., Aardoom, M. A., Cozijnsen, M. A., van Pieterson, M., de Meij, T., Groeneweg, M., Norbruis, O. F., Wolters, V. M., van Wering, H. M., Hojsak, I., Kolho, K.-L., Hummel, T., Stapelbroek, J., van der Feen, C., van Rheenen, P. F., van Wijk, M. P., Teklenburg-Roord, S. T. A., Schreurs, M. W. J., Rizopoulos, D., … de Ridder, L. (2022). First-line treatment with infliximab versus conventional treatment in children with newly diagnosed moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease: An open-label multicentre randomised controlled trial. Gut, 71(1), 34–42. https://doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322339
  5. Jonaitis, L., Marković, S., Farkas, K., Gheorghe, L., Krznarić, Ž., Salupere, R., Mokricka, V., Spassova, Z., Gatev, D., Grosu, I., Lijović, A., Mitrović, O., Saje, M., Schafer, E., Uršič, V., Roblek, T., & Drobne, D. (2021). Intravenous versus subcutaneous delivery of biotherapeutics in IBD: An expert’s and patient’s perspective. BMC Proceedings, 15(17), 25. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12919-021-00230-7

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath, or the protective barrier surrounding nerves. MS can cause side effects such as numbness or weakness in limbs, issues with motor function, and fatigue. While MS has no known cure, with treatment, patients can experience significant relief from existing symptoms.

Infusion Therapy for MS

Infusion therapy is a treatment where medication is administered directly into the bloodstream intravenously (IV). Most infusion treatments for MS are disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) meaning they suppress the immune system in order to prevent further damage to the myelin sheath. With infusion therapy, some patients may experience a slowed progression of the disease.

It’s important to talk with your doctor to understand your condition and determine if infusion therapy is the best course of treatment. Not all DMTs work the same either, that’s why a physician’s expertise is necessary to determine the infusion medication that is best suited for the patient.

Infusion Medication for MS

There are various infusion drugs that ContinuumRx uses to treat MS, each with its own benefits. Today, we’re highlighting three MS infusion drugs.

Tysabri (Natalizumab)

Tysabri is an immunosuppressive drug that can subdue the immune system from attacking the nerves, thus improving MS side effects. It is given intravenously once every twenty-eight days and has been shown to reduce the formation of new active brain lesions and reduce the number of relapses in MS patients.

Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab)

Ocrevus is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. The conditions include but are not limited to the clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease. When starting Ocrevus, patients will have two initial sessions, each taking place two weeks apart. Following this, they will be given a dose every six months unless otherwise indicated by their physician.

Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab)

Lemtrada is another infusion medication that works by targeting cells thought to be damaging the myelin sheath. With consistent treatment, Lemtrada removes these cells and improves relapsing MS symptoms over time. Patients beginning Lemtrada will have 8 days of infusion spread over 2 rounds of treatment in approximately twelve months’ time. Treatment following your last infusion will vary by case.

Home Infusion Therapy

While infusion therapy can help slow the progression of MS and even grant some patients remission, the time and cost for travel to and from the hospital can impact patients beyond their bottom line. Home infusion with ContinuumRx allows patients to take back their freedom by delivering their treatment from home. This means patients can receive MS infusions with minimal disruptions to their everyday life and schedules.

If you’re interested in starting home infusion and bringing more flexibility into your life despite your treatment, then contact us for more information on our onboarding process!

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Intravenous (IV) therapy is an effective type of therapy used to treat many different conditions, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Depending on the severity of their condition, patients may choose between IV therapy and oral medication, or their physician may prescribe IV therapy when oral medication has failed to relieve their symptoms. Today, we’re looking at the benefits of IV therapy for Crohn’s and UC and some of the most common drugs ContinuumRx uses to treat our patients from the comfort of home or one of our infusion suites.

Benefits of IV Therapy

IV therapy is when a patient receives medication through a vein. While oral medications may be equally effective in some cases, a patient may opt for IV therapy out of convenience. For instance, a patient taking oral medication for their Crohn’s or UC may have to take multiple doses every day. In contrast, patients with the same condition receiving IV therapy can spread their infusions over weeks, sometimes months. When it comes to IV therapy versus oral medication, many factors go into the decision and ultimately will come down to what the physician and patient believe is the best course of treatment.

IV Therapy for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

There are many different infusion drugs our team at ContinuumRx uses to treat Crohn’s and UC, each with its own benefits. However, some are more common than others. Let’s look at the top drugs used to treat Crohn’s and UC and the benefits of each.

Stelara (Ustekinumab)

Stelara is used to treat both Crohn’s and UC; however, it can also treat other inflammatory conditions such as plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Infusion therapy with Stelara consists of a one-time initial infusion and then infusions every eight weeks after lasting at least an hour in duration. Stelara works by targeting interleukin 12 and interleukin 23, which are cytokines in the body thought to be associated with gastrointestinal inflammation.

Remicade (Infliximab)

Remicade is another drug that treats Crohn’s, UC, various arthritis conditions, and chronic plaque psoriasis. Typically, Remicade treatment is given every eight weeks, with the infusion duration lasting about two hours; however, the frequency of treatment may vary depending on a patient’s individual case. Remicade works by attacking the tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein believed to cause inflammation in Crohn’s disease.

Entyvio (Vedolizumab)

Entyvio is a treatment that specifically treats Crohn’s disease and UC by blocking inflammatory factors and motivating anti-inflammatory gut health, thus relieving symptoms. Entyvio is an IgG1 monoclonal antibody meaning it is a clone of a unique white blood cell that allows it to bind to specific molecules within the body to block those inflammatory factors. Patients receiving Entyvio will require infusion therapy every eight weeks, lasting about thirty minutes per session.

Tysabri (Natalizumab)

Tysabri is a medication that treats multiple sclerosis (MS), but it has been proven effective in treating Crohn’s disease as well. Typically, Tysabri is prescribed to Crohn’s patients whose bodies have stopped responding to anti-TNF medications. Similar to Entyvio, Tysabri is an antibody that binds to white blood cells preventing them from causing inflammation. Tysabri is given every four weeks with infusions lasting roughly an hour.

Simponi ARIA (Golimumab)

Simponi ARIA is a biologic medication used to treat UC. It works by targeting, binding with, and blocking excess tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which causes UC inflammation. Patients receiving Simponi ARIA will start treatment with two thirty-minute infusions four weeks apart. Following these initial infusions, patients will then receive infusions every eight weeks.

No matter the IV therapy you and your physician decide on, one thing is for sure; if you’re still traveling to and from the hospital then the time and cost of travel could be adding up. ContinuumRx will travel to you and administer your IV therapy, granting you more flexibility in your treatment schedule and saving you money. Patients can also receive treatment in our comfortable, affordable, and conveniently located infusion suites. Interested in learning more about the infusion treatments we offer? Contact us today!

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The transition from a hospital, doctor’s office, or infusion site-based care to home infusion is a welcome change for those struggling to manage their treatment schedules and their personal lives. However, while you may be an expert at navigating your standard infusion therapy, home infusion may bring on a slew of unexpected considerations. So, today we’re explaining what patients can expect when starting home infusion for the first time and how they can prepare.

1. Supplies

Infusion therapy always requires a lot of supplies; bags, bottles, tubes, poles, alcohol swabs, needles, the list goes on. At an infusion center, a patient would hardly notice; however, in a home, these supplies can take up a lot of space and even get lost in the shuffle. In preparation for your home infusion, consider designating an area for your infusion supplies and keep any supplies your infusion nurse doesn’t travel with in a secure space. Proper organization will help keep things in order and ensure that you are ready for your sessions.

You should also pay attention to the storage instructions listed on your medications, as some medicines need to be stored at specific temperatures. Again, this is another reason to keep your supplies organized and accounted for in your home.

2. Accessibility

For some patients, receiving your infusions at home will grant you the freedom to move around your house during sessions and accomplish other tasks. While this is a significant upgrade from being chair-bound in an infusion center or hospital, you will likely still need a pole to hold your IV. For homes with many stairs or areas that are not easily accessible, this can be an issue. So, before beginning your treatment, ensure that all areas of your home that you will need to reach during your treatment are accessible with the IV pole.

If your home is not accessible with your IV pole, consult with your physician and see if you qualify for a pump. A pump is a portable device that can administer your medication and allow you to move more freely. With a pump, patients can complete most daily tasks while receiving their treatment.

3. Infusion Nurse

A home infusion nurse will act as your guide through the home infusion process. During your first few visits, your infusion nurse will walk you through the process and monitor you for any reactions to your medication. Depending on the patient and treatment, nurses may not have to visit patients as frequently, and eventually, patients may be able to deliver their own treatment.

While you may not need the aid of your infusion nurse for long, it’s essential to know that our ContinuumRx team consists of on-call nurses, clinicians, and pharmacists that are just a phone call away in case you run into any issues during treatment. If you are not confident with administering your medication for any reason, an infusion nurse will promptly travel to your home to help.

4. Flexibility

We don’t have to tell you about the flexibility that home infusion provides patients. However, you might not consider the positive impact it can have on families. Receiving infusion therapy at a hospital, doctor’s office, or infusion center is expensive and inconvenient for most. In addition, if a family member is driving a patient to and from infusions, this can be time-consuming for everyone and impact your family’s personal lives as well as your own.

By beginning home infusion treatment, your time will feel like yours again. Rather than spending hours in a hospital wishing you had remembered to bring your laptop or tablet along, you can be comfortable at home, and your family can resume their regular daily routines.

Are you interested in home infusion? At ContinuumRx, we’ve been in the business for over twenty years, helping our patients get the care they need in the most convenient way possible. Our skilled team will travel to your home to deliver your infusion at a time that works around your schedule. Learn more about our services by clicking below!

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How a Healthy Lifestyle Can Contribute to Improved Health In Patients Receiving Infusion Therapy

It’s no secret that proper nutrition and healthy habits such as exercise can contribute to long-term health. This is true for nearly all people, especially those treated with infusion therapy. However, changing a patient’s nutritional habits and adding exercise into their routines are concepts that are often overlooked when it comes to treatment plans. While exercising and eating well can seldom reverse a diagnosis, they can work with your infusion therapy to improve overall health. Today, we’re exploring some ways you can incorporate healthy habits into your treatment plan.

Nutrition

You know the basics, five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, twenty-five to thirty-five grams of fiber per day, so on and so forth. However, these nutrition rules do not include the specific needs of certain infusion patients and, therefore, can leave them in the dark about what proper nutrition should look like for their condition. For example, while a person with no underlying conditions can include starchy vegetables in their diet, patients with diabetes should avoid starchy vegetables to keep blood sugar levels low.

All infusion patients need to know how to eat correctly for their condition, and the best way to learn is to consult one’s physician. However, patients can also research on their own through accredited nutritional sources such as The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the United States Department of Agriculture’s nutrition website. Both of these websites provide accurate and helpful information about healthy eating.

Physical Activity

According to the Mayo Clinic, most individuals should aim for thirty minutes of exercise or physical movement per day. Regular physical activity has been proven to reduce stress, improve health, and prevent disease. In addition, by incorporating physical activity into their treatment plan, patients can even lessen the severity of their symptoms. For example, as stated in an article by the Case Managers Society of America, “…breaking up sedentary time (such as screen time) further decreases the risk of pre-diabetes being converted to diabetes.”

BreastCancer.org also stated in a recent article that although exercising while undergoing chemotherapy treatment may be difficult, it can help ease some side effects like fatigue and nausea. Of course, while this is all convincing enough for one to start an exercise program, it’s important to note that beginning long, strenuous exercise is not sustainable and could harm the patient more than help. Therefore, patients should start slowly by incorporating thirty-minute walks into their day and as they gain more strength and endurance, add onto this routine.

While it may feel challenging to switch to healthier habits, making healthier choices is simple if your infusion schedule has more flexibility. At ContinuumRx, we’ll deliver your infusion therapy from home at a time that’s convenient for you. Or you can visit us at one of our comfortable infusion suites where patients are promptly infused; no waiting rooms. Contact us to find a location near you!

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How Patients Can Find Relief with ContinuumRx

When people hear the term “Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA),” they often think of a condition that affects the joints. However, RA affects various other body systems as well, including the eyes, lungs, skin, and heart. RA is classified as an autoimmune disorder, and it’s estimated that 0.24% to 1% of the global population has RA. The condition can be uncomfortable, even painful. However, oral medications and infusion therapy can significantly help relieve symptoms.

At ContinuumRx, our mission is to provide simplified, convenient care through our infusion services. So, we’re looking at RA as a whole and sharing educational information about this condition and its treatments.

What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?

RA is a condition where the immune system attacks the body’s healthy joint tissue. While the exact cause is still unknown, it is believed that an inherited gene is the likely reason. However, other factors can trigger this gene’s malfunction, such as age, weight, smoking, and infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, even gender has been thought to play a role as women are more likely than men to develop the condition.

In most cases, RA symptoms begin to present themselves around middle age. Although this is the most common, it’s important to note that RA can happen at any age. However, the previously mentioned factors can trigger RA symptoms sooner rather than later.

What Treatments are Available for RA?

When beginning treatment for RA, physicians often start patients on oral medication. However, while oral medication has been proven effective in treating RA, it’s simply not enough for some patients. In these cases, infusion therapy is often the best course of treatment. 

During infusion, RA patients will receive a biologic medication injected directly into a vein. While treatment may take some time for patients to see the benefits, patients may receive their infusion less frequently once the treatment has fully set in. The type of biologic infusion therapy received will be decided by the patient and their doctor.

How Can ContinuumRx Help?

Infusion therapy is generally considered a convenient method of care since patients have the potential for infrequent treatment versus daily oral medication. However, if patients are receiving infusion therapy in a doctor’s office or hospital, the travel costs, excessive time spent in a waiting room, and disruptions to daily life can be draining. 

At ContinuumRx, we believe infusion therapy shouldn’t feel like a burden, and with home infusion, it doesn’t have to be. Our team of medical professionals will travel to your home to deliver your infusion therapy, saving you time and money. According to a 2017 study by PubMed, “Home infusion costs were significantly lower than medical setting infusion costs, with savings between $1,928 and $2,974 per treatment course.” 

For patients who like getting out of the house but aren’t crazy about waiting rooms, ContinuumRx also has comfortable infusion suites at select locations where patients are treated immediately in group and individual settings. Our mission is to provide our patients with exceptional, streamlined care around their schedules. 

Are you interested in infusion therapy with ContinuumRx? Contact the ContinuumRx location closest to you to learn how we can treat your rheumatoid arthritis!

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Our Protocol for Continuing Treatment Through the Unexpected

According to a study conducted by HomeCare, approximately 60,000 patients rely on home infusion therapy daily. Typically, infusion nurses will travel to the patient’s home to deliver treatment conveniently. However, as hurricane season rages on and the threat of natural disasters constantly linger, it’s important for infusion patients to know the proper protocols for when unforeseen obstacles prevent them from receiving treatment.

Contact Your ContinuumRx Patient Care Representative

Contacting ContinuumRx may seem like the obvious answer, but too often, patients assume our communication systems are down, and there’s no way to reach us. Fortunately, our multiple locations act as one when disasters temporarily disable a site. Therefore, your Patient Care Representative may be able to direct you to an office unaffected by the disaster and can provide you with next-step information for your treatment.

Know the Resources Available to You

It may feel like you have no control when faced with a natural disaster, but acquainting yourself with resources already available to you can help you devise a plan for continuing care in the face of uncertainty. One preventative measure you can take right now is contacting your local hospital to find out the emergency services available for infusion patients. 

Another tip is researching your drug manufacturer and seeing if they offer helplines or resources for patients who cannot receive treatment due to unexpected circumstances. For example, some manufacturers, such as Amgen and Janssen, have direct resources available for patients in these types of predicaments.

Find Alternative Infusion Sites

If you need to evacuate your home, you will need to find an alternative infusion site of care. Again, this is something your ContinuumRx Patient Care Representative can help with as they can coordinate with an infusion provider in the area to redirect you to.

Another option is through the National Infusion Center Association (NICA). NICA is an excellent resource for finding an infusion site quickly when faced with an emergency because they offer an extensive database of infusion centers by region through their Infusion Center Locator. Simply type in your location, and NICA will provide you with a list of infusion centers in that area. You can also search by medication to ensure a center is able to treat you.

Dealing with a natural disaster can be stressful, and the last thing patients should worry about is whether or not they can receive their therapy. At ContinuumRx, your care is our priority; that’s why we encourage you to contact your Patient Care Representative and come up with a plan for if a natural disaster should prevent you from receiving your treatment.

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Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) patients require central venous catheters to provide them with nutrition. While this care method has been instrumental in giving patients the nutrients they need, catheter line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is a serious risk associated with this treatment.

Ethanol lock therapy (ELT) has been proven effective in reducing the risk of CLABSI. Yet, recent supply shortages have forced patients to switch to less effective antimicrobial solutions to fight infection. So today, we’re diving into what ELT is, its benefits, and how ContinuumRx continues to provide ELT through this national healthcare issue.

What Is Ethanol Lock Therapy (ELT)?
To understand ELT, first, we have to take a look at CLABSI. When intravascular catheters are inserted, matrices called biofilms are created. Within these biofilms, microorganisms form and can detach from the biofilms and enter the bloodstream, thus causing a CLABSI. Unfortunately, due to the stubborn nature of the biofilm microorganisms, typical antibiotic therapy is not always effective in treating CLABSI, and generally, the infection is difficult to clear.

ELT is a method of care that aims to prevent CLABSI before it starts by injecting ethanol and allowing it to dwell in the central venous catheter to kill these harmful microorganisms. However, not all methods of ELT are successful in combating infection. The most effective method requires using a 70% ethanol solution for a dwelling period of four hours daily.

What Are the Benefits of ELT?
ELT can be a life-saving treatment for a TPN patient due to the severity of these types of infections. According to a study published by the American Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (ASPEN), CLABSI is the second most common cause of morbidity in TPN patients. Another ASPEN study stated, ‘ethanol lock use has been associated with significantly lower rates of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) in children with intestinal failure.’ So, if the benefits of ELT are widely known, then why aren’t more patients utilizing it?

The initial rise in popularity around ELT stemmed from its affordability and accessibility. The price of ethanol was substantially lower than other antimicrobial solutions, and it was readily available to most medical professionals. For this reason, many physicians began prescribing ELT to their patients daily to help prevent CLABSI.

Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave an orphan drug designation to Ablysinol, a dehydrated alcohol made by Belcher Pharmaceuticals, for treating a rare form of cardiomyopathy. This patent prohibited other manufacturers from producing dehydrated, sterile ethanol, resulting in a nationwide ethanol shortage and price increase. Care providers can no longer afford to administer ELT regularly, and since it is most effective when used daily, this has led to an increase in CLABSI nationwide.

How Is ContinuumRx Helping?

“Recently many providers began workarounds to avoid providing ELT to their patients due to the extreme price increase.”

Keith Hartman, Chief Executive Officer, ContinuumRx

As a result, many patients have been forced to use alternative, less effective methods such as heparin lock therapy (HLT) to avoid infection. However, even with the alternative methods, the rate of CLABSI has risen again to the historical level it was at before ELT became common practice, according to ASPEN.

Despite the shortage, ContinuumRx continues to provide ELT to its patients at a reasonable price point. We believe that no patient should have to settle for a less effective method of care because of inflated ethanol prices. Continuing to deliver quality care no matter the circumstances is just one of the many ways we help our patients through the healthcare continuum.

If you or your loved one is a TPN patient in need of ELT, we can work with your healthcare provider to deliver your treatment at home and restore your peace of mind. So don’t wait; call us today to onboard your therapy.

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When your child requires infusion therapy, balancing school and treatment can feel overwhelming. While infusion therapy is still a convenient method of care, families may find themselves struggling to schedule time around their child’s treatment. At ContinuumRx, we’re committed to helping navigate patients through the continuum of care, so we’ve compiled a list of our top back-to-school tips for young infusion patients.

1. Collaborate With Your School Nurse

The school nurse’s office can be an excellent resource for school-aged infusion patients. It provides a comfortable and familiar environment for children to receive their infusion therapy with minimal disruptions to their academic schedule. If your school district allows it, the school nurse may also be able to deliver your child’s medication. Some school nurses are already trained in infusion therapy. However, if they are not, then a ContinuumRx infusion nurse can train them on safely administering your child’s medication until they are comfortable delivering it independently.

Unfortunately, not all school districts allow the school nurse to deliver infusion therapy for liability reasons. In this case, if it is permitted, a ContinuumRx infusion nurse can come to the school and administer the medication. Doing so will still allow your child to remain in school during infusions instead of missing a day.

2. Bring Homework to Infusion Sessions

If your child receives their infusion treatment at an infusion site or one of our infusion suites, remember to bring homework to treatment. According to a study conducted by The University of Phoenix College of Education, the average middle schooler has three and a half hours of homework a week. Since some infusion sessions can last four hours or more, bringing homework assignments can help pass the time.

Despite efforts to keep children from missing school, every parent knows that unforeseen sick and missed days are inevitable. So, by utilizing infusion times for homework and studying, your child remains organized and on track no matter what life may throw at you both.

3. Explore Advancements in Infusion Therapy

The infusion therapy industry is rapidly growing, and new medical advancements make treatment simpler and more accessible for patients. When planning your child’s return to school, see if there are any new devices or techniques that can make the transition easier.

For example, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) patients can now utilize backpacks to carry their TPN supplies and infuse while on the go. This can be great for younger TPN patients because their treatment may require daily infusions, cutting into their school time. The backpack also helps conceal their treatment and keep things compact. Your infusion provider can give you a TPN backpack, or you can find a bag of your own that works for your child’s lifestyle. When choosing a backpack, comfort and space are top priorities. Small to medium-sized hiking packs are usually ideal for this reason due to their long-wear padded straps, spacious compartments, and often include a hook for a hydration system that can be used for TPN formula.

4. Consider Home Infusion Therapy

Schedule flexibility is critical when juggling your child’s treatment and school, and sometimes hospitals, doctor’s offices, and infusion sites just aren’t accommodating enough to suit your family’s busy lifestyle. Home infusion is a solution to this issue. By choosing home infusion, you’re putting the power back in your hands and can plan your child’s infusion treatment around a schedule that works for you. 

An added step you can take is communicating with your specialty infusion pharmacy provider and finding out if they have locations in the area you’ll be traveling to. This could be useful for At ContinuumRx, we understand the importance of working with families so that children can lead normal lives outside of their infusion treatment. So, we’ll come before soccer practice, after piano lessons, during lunch, or any time you need us to deliver your child’s infusion medication. Let us handle their treatment so that they can be a kid again. Contact us today to learn how we can help!

With summer in full swing, you’re definitely dreaming about that relaxing vacation you have been waiting to take. If you’re receiving infusion therapy, your treatment shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying some fun in the sun. However, patients are often daunted by the preparation and possible issues of traveling with a medical condition; this doesn’t need to be the case. In fact, with proper planning and considerations, traveling as an infusion patient is not only possible but usually simple. Today, we’re breaking down the best practices for traveling while receiving infusion treatment.

1. Contact Your Specialty Infusion Pharmacy and Physician

One of the first steps you can take when planning a trip is contacting your specialty infusion pharmacy and physician. Communicating with your healthcare team is essential for ensuring a stress-free and safe journey ahead. In addition, by contacting your team, they can provide you with helpful travel information regarding your condition and give you contact information in case of an emergency.

2. Plan Ahead

Plan, plan, and plan some more! It’s always better to be over-prepared than to find yourself without the right equipment and having to turn back. Our team at ContinuumRx can give you a checklist of the supplies to pack, depending on how far you’re going and the length of your stay. 

Another aspect to consider ahead of your trip are special instructions for your particular treatment. For example, if your medication requires a temperature-controlled environment, then be sure to bring a cooler or any other equipment that you may need to avoid spoilage.

3. Pack Extra Supplies

As we all are well aware, anything associated with travel is not always guaranteed. Items can get lost or become damaged easily, especially with air travel. So, making sure you pack extra infusion supplies is an important step in being prepared and ultimately at ease. Ideally, you should determine the list of supplies you’ll need and pack extras of anything that won’t be readily available where you plan to go. Packing backup supplies will give you peace of mind in the event that your luggage gets lost or damaged in transit.

4. Establish an Emergency Plan

Having an emergency plan is also extremely important. An emergency plan could be something as simple as acquiring local emergency contact information and remembering to carry your medical cards and records with you at all times. 

An added step you can take is communicating with your specialty infusion pharmacy provider and finding out if they have locations in the area you’ll be traveling to. This could be useful for providing extra supplies if needed and having a place to go if complications occur with treatment. For ContinuumRx patients, if you are traveling to the Nashville, TN, Knoxville, TN, Chantilly, VA, Birmingham, AL, or Huntsville, AL areas, be advised that we have offices in all of these locations and are happy to help if any issues arise.

5. Navigating the TSA

If you’re flying, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), allows larger quantities of medically-necessary fluids, gels, and aerosols. However, you must declare these items to the TSA agent at check-in. Also, all of these supplies will need to be examined in security, so be sure all medications are clearly labeled. 

One way to streamline the security process is with TSA PreCheck®, which exempts you from removing flip flops, hats, jackets, and liquids from your luggage. It’s easy to sign up too, and your medical condition won’t limit your chances of getting approved. In fact, according to an article published by Forbes, more than 99% of those who apply for the program are accepted.

Our final tip is to arrive early and inform your TSA officer if you require transportation to your gate. Arriving early at the airport will also avoid rushing and the overall stress that often comes with traveling in general.

Don’t miss out on summertime bliss due to your infusion therapy. Call us at ContinuumRx for help in maintaining safe and effective treatment from wherever this season may take you!