IBJI’s infusion center treats autoimmune disease and osteoporosis by use of injection or infusion. Our injections and infusion medications are given by a healthcare team with a board-certified rheumatologist on-site. An autoimmune disease is when the body attacks itself by mistake. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis can cause joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion in joints. Our infusion center can also treat osteoporosis, which is the weakening of bones. The most common conditions we treat at our infusion center are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Various other autoimmune diseases
What is the goal of an infusion?
The goal of an infusion for autoimmune patients is to stop the progression of the disease. Medication in the infusion targets different pathways of the disease and blocks the pathway at a cellular level to treat the disease. There is no cure for autoimmune disease but it is highly treatable and allows for a better quality of life.
For osteoporosis, the goal of the medication is to strengthen the quality of the bone.
Do autoimmune diseases affect one gender over the other?
While autoimmune disease can affect both men and women, it affects women three times more commonly than men, regardless of age.
What other ways can I help my autoimmune disease and/or osteoporosis?
Treatment is not only receiving medication but also working with the physician to make sure you are getting enough rest and fluids. It is also encouraged to have an anti-inflammatory diet and exercise to help reduce joint pain and swelling for autoimmune diseases. For osteoporosis patients, weight-bearing exercises will help to build muscle mass and bone mass to strengthen bones. This includes exercise such as walking, running, yoga, and weights.
How often will I need an infusion or injection?
Autoimmune disease is a chronic illness, meaning that treatment for it will be long term. Treatment for autoimmune disease will consist of multiple appointments depending on your pain, medication and dosage. Appointments can be monthly, every six to eight weeks, every six months, or yearly. In our osteoporosis patients we routinely monitor the bone density to ensure that the drug is effective.
Will it hurt?
Treatment is minimally invasive for both an injection and infusion. An injection is a shot and an infusion is an IV, both may cause slight discomfort, but the process itself is not painful. After an infusion, you may feel tired or nauseous. Overall, the medications are well tolerated. If you’re feeling pain far before your next scheduled appointment, then the dosage or medication may need to be changed.
What is the difference between an injection and an infusion?
The difference between an injection and an infusion is the difference in offered medication and speed. Certain medication may only be in the form of an injection while others are only in the form of an infusion. An injection is a quick shot while an infusion can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours depending on the medication and dosage.
Can anyone get an infusion?
In order to receive this treatment, you must meet the qualifying diagnosis and see a rheumatologist regularly. Our rheumatologists diagnose you and see you anywhere between 3-4 months regularly to monitor your labs, blood work, and make sure you are responding to the medication.
What is the benefit of having an infusion versus oral medication?
There is less gastrointestinal discomfort with an infusion because you do not have to swallow a pill. The mechanism of action in an infusion targets the disease differently. If one medication doesn’t work then another will because it will attack a different pathway. An autoimmune patient may use pills, injections or infusions — depending on what the best course of treatment is for the individual. It’s all about finding what treatment works best for your disease.
Why choose IBJI?
IBJI’s infusion center always has a team of healthcare professionals and rheumatologists on-site. A rheumatologist is right there to address any issue that may occur to provide seamless care. Unlike other centers, IBJI has the capability of doing bloodwork in-house so we can provide a timely, accurate diagnosis and monitor treatment. We offer a wide array of medications so that we can meet the needs of every patient.
Our seven board-certified rheumatologists know our patients very well. Our excellent staff provides quality care and an uplifting environment. The environment is open, friendly and uplifting in comparison to a hospital. At a hospital infusion center, there may be many types of patients that are in there for different diseases that can be more stressful, whereas IBJI’s center is primarily for autoimmune disease and osteoporosis, so patients are all there for similar treatable conditions.
Consult a rheumatologist for an accurate diagnosis if your pain worsens or recurs in a pattern-like manner or if you are experiencing fatigue, joint abnormalities, or loss of range of motion and joint function.
Kelsey Koziel is a Marketing Communications and Public Relations Specialist at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute.