Intolerance or lack of response to an oral medication may prompt referral for infusion therapy. At VISTA, we specialize in the administration of infusion therapies such as:
Hemophilia factor therapy.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
Pain management and other disease or symptom-modifying preparations.
The use of immunoglobulin in the treatment of many disorders spans over fifty years and numerous clinical specialties including neurology, hematology, immunology, nephrology, rheumatology and dermatology. In particular, IVIG is noted to have had a major impact on the treatment of neurological disorders such as dermatomyositis, Guillain–Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), myasthenia gravis and other conditions.1 Additionally, IVIG has been employed in the treatment programs for pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders (PANS and PANDAS) as well as multiple sclerosis – and its role as an anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating agent has implications for its applicability in other conditions.
The exact mechanisms of action of therapeutic immunoglobulin are complex, but over recent years there have been advances in better understanding these processes that are thought to be based on both the dosage and the disease it’s intended to treat.2
The Q&A of IVIG and infusions. The procedure for infusion therapy is quite simple: a registered nurse will place a small IV catheter into a vein (or just under the skin’s surface); the catheter is connected to a tube attached to a pump that slowly delivers the designated infusion. Our highly trained staff is always present to oversee your treatment and assist you in any way.
What is IVIG? Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a pooled preparation of normal blood plasma products (IgG) obtained from several thousand healthy donors. These products have been used for over five decades to treat many autoimmune, neuroimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Is IVIG safe? In over a decade there has not been a reported case of any disease transmitted through the use of IVIG and its safety record of is exceptional. For patients receiving IVIG prior to the COVID-19 events it was recommended that treatments continue and there have been no negative reports to date.
Are there side effects with IVIG? IVIG is historically well tolerated and any side effects experienced by a small number of patients are usually mild, consisting of some discomfort at the needle insertion site, headache and/or chills. The effects are short-lived and resolve with supportive measures such as hydration and rest. While some adverse reactions have been reported with high doses of immunoglobulin, these events are rare and not typically disabling.3
How long are the infusion treatment sessions? For IVIG, the length of each session is based on your prescribed dose and tolerance, although most treatments typically last from three to six hours.
Other types of infusions (different medications or preparations) may require less time to administer; our staff can discuss with you more about what to expect when you make your appointment.
Must I stay seated or remain still for the entire protocol? At VISTA, our ambulatory design means you can move about within the clinic, enjoy a delicious lunch or snack, read, watch movies or just relax and take a nap.
All patients receive detailed at-home instructions and additional information regarding their particular infusion therapy.