biologic infusions

biologic infusions
what is a
biologic infusion?
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A biologic (drug) infusion is a way of giving drugs through the vein.

Some drugs (Infliximab (Remicade, Remsimia, Inflectra), Vedolizumab (Entyvio)) always need to be given through the vein, others (Stelara) start off with a loading dose through the vein.

You may need to have an infusion if you have active IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and your doctor has prescribed these drugs.

The process of infusing drugs is very safe. Risks of the drugs themselves are discussed in the specific information sheets.

If you have private cover, iron infusions can normally be done ‘on the day’ in the infusion centre downstairs (Suite 106, RPA Medical Centre). If you have Medicare only, then an appointment can be made at Gloucester House Level 5 (a very short walk from Alfred Gastroenterology).

On the day of your infusion, you can check in with the reception staff. When you are ready, a cannula will be put in a vein in your arm. Before your infusion, a premedication is sometimes given (depending on your situation and the drug you are to be given). This is used to reduce the risk of a reaction to the drug. The infusion will typically take between ½ hour to 2 hours, but can take up to 4-5 hours in special circumstances.

Many patients will experience no side effects at all, but some may have minor infusion reactions (a feeling of heat is the most common). More serious reactions occasionally occur. You should check the specific information sheet (link) of the drug that you are to have infused for general advice or instructions.

It is normal for the doctors to want to check to see that your drug levels remain at an appropriate level following an infusion. This is often done as a ‘trough’ or ‘end of dose’ level. If your doctor wants you to have this done, they will provide you with a request form to have the day before or the day of your infusion. Routine monitoring blood tests are usually required at 3 months, but sometimes earlier or later depending on the specific needs of your case.

Alfred Gastroenterology is a Gastroenterology practice in Newtown, located at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Health Campus in Sydney, Australia.