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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!

A safer and flexible option during COVID-19.

If you are currently receiving infusion or injection therapies in a hospital or physician’s office setting, now is the time to consider moving your service over to ContinuumRx. With 6 locations across Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia, including two infusion suites in Knoxville, TN, and Chantilly, VA, our commitment is to provide the highest quality of care and make patients as comfortable and safe as possible during their treatments. 

Why should you consider our home infusion or visiting one of ContinuumRx’s infusion suites?

The answer is simple: 1) reducing the chances of contracting COVID-19, 2) having flexibility and quality of life, and 3) safety.

With COVID-19 on the rise and significant space being taken up in hospitals by patients, it makes sense to reduce the risk for infusion patients as they are typically immunocompromised and fall within the “at-risk” category. Even the basic, required tasks of going through pre-screening and emergency preparedness procedures at a hospital can increase risk and exposure rates for an infusion patient.

“Infusion therapy patients are vulnerable to infections and viruses like COVID-19, and ContinuumRx is providing a critical service during the pandemic as we relieve the burden on the hospitals during the unprecedented times while working to ensure that patients who need infusion therapy receive it in the safest manner,”

Carol Sweeney, Vice President of Nursing and Clinical Compliance, ContinuumRx

Flexibility and quality of life are two additional key factors to consider. ContinuumRx’s team works with its patients and their physicians to select a customized infusion therapy based on their condition, lifestyle, and time constraints. For higher-risk patients, especially those with chronic diseases who need to stay on course with managing their treatment, home infusion and infusion suites are comfortable and convenient alternatives where personalized care is heightened, and risk-exposure is reduced. 

Last is safety. ContinuumRx follows the same Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols that hospital- and physician-based infusion centers are required to follow with the benefit of controlling the volume of patients. Below are some of the safety protocols that we follow:

General ContinuumRx Safety Protocols

  • Nursing staff has proper PPE at all times (i.e., face cover, gloves, and gown).
  • Temperature checks on all ContinuumRx staff.
  • Symptom checks on all ContinuumRx staff.
  • Quarantine and work-from-home for potentially exposed employees. 
  • Alerting nursing/warehouse + patients in the home about COVID-19 exposure. 
  • Contactless delivery.

Safety Protocols for ContinuumRx Infusion Suites

  • Facility cleaning before each shift. 
  • Suites are adequately segregated from home infusion pharmacy operations.
  • Chairs are set a minimum of 6 feet apart, and partitions are in place.
  • Suite staff is limited to essential staff to complete patient care safety.
  • Caregivers, family, friends, etc., are restricted during infusion.
  • Patients are scheduled at 50% capacity.
  • Screening tests are completed at least 24 hours prior to each visit and immediately prior to entering the suite.
  • Screenings occur prior to entering the suite to allow for decontamination as needed.
    • If a patient fails a screen, immediately cancel the appointment. Evaluate whether home infusion IS a viable alternative.
  • Ensure proper cleaning and disinfection is performed prior to and after each patient.
  • Have patients wait in their vehicles until their appointment time. Mobile

Next Steps?

The most important factor in your decision-making is to decide to put your health first. Add ContinuumRx to your New Year’s resolution list and know that you will receive the comfort, convenience, and care that you need and deserve.

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