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

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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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!

Let Us Worry About the Fine Print So You Can Focus On Your Health

Some of the most frequently asked questions we get are in regards to insurance coverage. It’s not uncommon for new patients to be wary or hesitant about seeking treatment with ContinuumRx or another home infusion provider due to uncertainties around insurance coverage. In some cases, patients even opt for hospital-based infusion versus home infusion, thinking it’s the more insurable option.

In the early days of home infusion therapy, this might have been true. However, the industry has come a long way in the past forty years, and insurance carriers now recognize home infusion as a safe, effective, and patient-preferred care method.

According to an article published by the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA), “Typically, commercial insurers reimburse home infusion at rates that are 40–60 percent less than the cost of providing care for those same patients at hospitals.”

At ContinuumRx, you might have heard us say that we’re passionate about supporting our patients through all phases of the healthcare continuum. Insurance is part of that continuum, and ContinuumRx provides dedicated support to reduce the insurance processing stress so our patients can focus on improving their health.

Keep reading for answers to some of the most common questions we hear around insurance coverage and home infusion with ContinuumRx.

Which insurance carriers does ContinuumRx accept?

ContinuumRx accepts nearly every insurance carrier. We even accept state Medicaid for out-of-state patients in emergencies. So, as long as the patient remains in the state while receiving care, their treatment with ContinuumRx will be covered. 

At ContinuumRx, our goal is always to support patients the best we can, so while it’s uncommon, sometimes we are out-of-network for a patient’s coverage. If this situation arises and we cannot provide insured care, we still connect that patient with a home infusion provider who can benefit them.

What is the process like?

After a patient is referred to us, they are connected with an intake specialist who begins the process of gathering their insurance information. From there, we reach out to the patient’s insurance company and determine the exact benefits they have, and what their insurance will cover. The intake specialist will then break down the numbers for the patient, letting them know upfront how much will be covered and what they will need to pay out-of-pocket. We give a baseline, exact number to ensure that there are no surprises for the patient. Throughout the time of care with us, the patient will have the same intake specialist who knows their situation and whom they will have access to for any questions or concerns they may have.

“Our goal is to always serve the patient in good faith. We cut through the red tape and focus on patient advocacy. That’s what’s important, for both those we treat and our company as well.” 

Manuel Padilla, Vice President, Revenue Cycle at ContinuumRx

Advocating for patients is our business. It’s our mission to make sure that every patient feels like they have an ally in their infusion journey. While some hospitals and infusion sites make patients jump through hoops to get the information they need, at ContinuumRx, we consider ourselves more hands-on. The intake specialist will always take the patient’s call and answer their questions promptly; no hoops.

What if my insurance carrier pushes back?

While the insurance process is typically straightforward, we occasionally run into complications with insurance carriers. In this case, we will vet with the patient’s insurance carrier, relieving the burden and ensuring we are doing all we can to get them coverage. If a carrier tells us “no,” we never stop there. We make sure to advocate for our patients and always get answers to the “why” questions. 

Does ContinuumRx offer financial assistance?

Even with insurance coverage, we know that healthcare expenses can take a toll on families. That’s why we offer both copay and deductible assistance for those who need it. Within our insurance department, we have whole teams dedicated to Patient Financial Assistance. We seek out patient payment assistance groups and plans to provide our patients with every tool that is at our disposal.

When a patient onboards their therapy with ContinuumRx, they’re getting more than treatment, but a team that’s dedicated to their health. Our commitment to our patient’s experience is in every aspect of our business. The way we vet insurance carriers and simplify the process for our patients is just another way we provide optimum care.

Do you still have questions about our insurance processes? Contact ContinuumRx today to learn how we can support you in your home infusion journey. 

Corporate Office | Birmingham, AL

Two Perimeter Park South, Suite 260 East

Birmingham, AL  35243

Phone: 205-968-9500 

Business Fax: 205-991-1501 

Toll-Free Phone: 800-665-2850 

Toll-Free Pharmacy Fax: 877-438-9380

ContinuumRx Gives Patients the Tools to be Warriors Against Their Afflictions

Having an inflammatory bowel disease affects more than just what you eat. Patients can feel isolated, overwhelmed, and nervous about public appearances due to their afflictions. When you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, canceling plans and missing out on milestones with family and friends can feel like just another consequence of your disease. ContinuumRx will help you manage your symptoms and make your condition a part of your life, not the center of your life.

What are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that explicitly affects the gastrointestinal tract (GI). In a Crohn’s patient, the GI becomes inflamed and causes chronic, extreme pain. While this disease mainly affects the small intestine, patients may also report discomfort in the eyes, skin, and joints. 

The onset of Crohn’s can occur at any age, and it is still unclear why these symptoms present themselves in specific individuals. However, one hypothesis may point to it being a hereditary condition. According to CrohnsandColitis.com, up to 20% of all Crohn’s patients have a direct relative with an IBD. 

Ulcerative colitis, also referred to as colitis, is similar because it is an IBD as well. While Crohn’s can affect the entire GI tract from mouth to anus, colitis is specific to the large intestine and rectum. 

With colitis, patients will also experience pain-inducing inflammation. As opposed to Crohn’s, where the inflammation can appear in sporadic patches throughout the GI and can spread through the bowel wall, colitis patients usually have inflammation of the entire colon and intestine’s inner lining.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation estimates that nearly 780,000 Americans currently live with Crohn’s disease, while another 907,000 have colitis. There is no cure for either condition, but patients can experience relief from the symptoms and even remission with certain drugs.

What infusion therapies can help patients with Crohn’s and colitis?

Infusion therapy has been shown to improve the symptoms of Crohn’s and colitis significantly. Two types of infusion therapies that ContinuumRx uses to treat our patients from home are Remicade and Entyvio.

Remicade, also known as infliximab, is an infusion drug formulated to treat not only Crohn’s and colitis but also rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis.

Infusion patients are given Remicade intravenously every eight weeks, and treatments usually last one to two hours. Remicade works by attacking a protein known as tumor necrosis factor, which medical professionals believe to be the element that triggers inflammation in Crohn’s disease. There’s no way to tell how long after treatment patients will see relief from their symptoms, but for many, it’s within the first six weeks after infusion therapy.

Entyvio, or vedolizumab, is an infusion medication used to treat Crohn’s and colitis exclusively. Treatment with Entyvio is similar, where patients are infused every eight weeks. However, the treatment duration is only about thirty minutes. Also with Entyvio, patients will see relief from symptoms in the first six weeks approximately. 

Entyvio works differently than Remicade as well. Instead of attacking inflammation-causing factors within the body, Entyvio binds to specific molecules and blocks these inflammatory factors; this, in turn, motivates anti-inflammatory gut activity. This type of symptom relief is possible since Entyvio is an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, meaning it is a unique white blood cell clone.

What benefits does receiving these infusion treatments from home have?

As we know, infusion treatment can be life-changing, but having to undergo infusion therapy has the potential to severely disrupt life for not just the patient but their families as well. Infusion sites and hospitals can be hours from your home, and the cost for travel and time will add up significantly. 

When compared to a hospital setting, home infusion is also the more cost-effective option. In a 2016 study published by the National Library of Public Medicine, it was found that home infusion could save patients between $1,928 and $2,974 per treatment course. 

ContinuumRx offers our patients the chance to receive Remicade and Entyvio infusions from home, eliminating the need for excessive travel and costs. Our medical professionals coordinate with physicians to onboard your therapy and make sure you are set up with the right equipment, nurse, and anything else you need to receive Remicade and Entyvio from any room in your house.

Crohn’s and colitis can make you feel like life is centered around your disease as you may be forced to sacrifice time with your loved ones daily due to your symptoms. On the other hand, home infusion therapy with ContinuumRx is the most non-disruptive way to effectively treat your symptoms. Your medication provides comfort while ContinuumRx gives you back your freedom.

Are you battling Crohn’s or colitis and are interested in receiving Remicade or Entyvio infusion therapy from home? Our team at ContinuumRx can answer any questions you may have and guide you through the home infusion process. Contact us today!

heart month

Helping heart failure patients and their families feel at ease.

According to the Heart Failure Society of America, nearly 6.5 million Americans over the age of twenty have heart failure. One major study even estimates there are 960,000 new cases each year. A heart failure diagnosis can be devastating for a family. ContinuumRx allows patients to be treated at home, lifting burdens both emotionally and financially.

How does home infusion therapy help patients with heart failure?

Extended hospital stays can be pricey, lonely, and detrimental to a patient’s overall well-being. Home infusion therapy makes it possible for a patient to be treated in the comfort of their home.

However, treatment of heart failure is complex. This is especially true for Stage D heart failure patients. These patients need drugs to sustain their heart function until they are able to get a transplant. In situations where a transplant is not possible, they also need consistent care to keep them comfortable in the last few months of life.

It is crucial to choose a home infusion provider with the experience to handle such cases. This is where ContinuumRx can help.

What are some services ContinuumRx offers heart failure patients?

Our team of healthcare professionals are trained in a variety of medical services. One of our many areas of expertise is postoperative treatment for heart transplant patients.

Following a heart transplant, a patient needs constant medical support for a successful recovery. In this case, they often face a lengthy hospital stay away from family and the solace of their household. With ContinuumRx, patients can recover from heart transplants and other cardiological procedures at home. 

After your procedure is completed, you can return home and our professional staff will schedule routine check-ups with you. They will keep a close monitor on your recovery process and administer drugs prescribed by your cardiologist. 

Inotropic therapy is another area we are well-versed in. In a 2015 study published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, inotropes were found to reduce the frequency of hospitalization and improve the symptoms of some severe heart failure patients. 

Inotropic therapy is often used to either strengthen or weaken a patient’s heartbeat as needed. Milrinone, dobutamine, and dopamine are all examples of inotropes which the professionals at ContinuumRx are skilled in administering. 

ContinuumRx performs these medical services with unparalleled care and dedication to our patients. If you or a loved one has heart failure, ContinuumRx could be the right home infusion therapy provider for you.

What regimen does ContinuumRx put in place for their heart failure patients?

There are seven key items that patients should do daily to improve their condition.

  1. Take medications as instructed.
  2. Follow a low-sodium diet.
  3. Stay active or become physically active.
  4. Take notice of sudden changes in your weight.
  5. Keep your follow-up appointments.
  6. Track your symptoms.
  7. Live a healthy lifestyle.

We coin these habits as the “lucky seven” and their incorporation into a patient’s daily routine can have a positive impact on their condition.

Stay safe and cared for at home.

It’s no secret that the pandemic has made the hospital environment even more stressful for many patients. Not to mention, visits from family can be infrequent and oftentimes non-existent now due to COVID restrictions. 

ContinuumRx makes it possible for patients to undergo treatment without leaving the comfort of their home. That means less time in the hospital and more time amongst loved ones.

It’s time to choose home infusion therapy for your cardiological care. Contact ContinuumRx to onboard your therapy today!

Contact ContinuumRx TODAY!