Offering infusions such as Remicade, Entyvio, Stelara, and Iron
We offer several different infusions at North Shore Gastroenterology: Remicade® (infliximab), Entyvio®, Stelara®, and iron. Both Remicade and Entyvio are used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, Stelara is used to treat Crohn’s disease, and iron infusions are used to treat iron-deficiency anemia.
You are welcome to bring books or portable electronic devices to your infusion appointments since you will be here for several hours. All of these infusions are offered at our conveniently located Westlake office on an outpatient basis.
Remicade is a medication used to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Remicade helps decrease inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis. For Crohn’s disease, Remicade can help in decreasing symptoms and achieving remission in patients who have not adequately responded to other medical therapies.
During the infusion, one of our nurses will set you up with an IV drip that contains the proper dosage of Remicade. As with all medications, allergic reactions, while rare, may occur during administration of your infusion. At North Shore, we are equipped to deal with these reactions should they occur.
Remicade infusions generally take 3 hours to administer.
Prior to your infusion, please be sure to disclose to your physician all medications you are currently taking, and be sure to notify your doctor if you have had any of the following:
- Infections (like TB, blood infections, pneumonia)—fever, tiredness, cough, flu, or warm, red or painful skin or any open sores. Remicade can make you more likely to get an infection or make any infection that you have worse.
- Lymphoma or any other cancers in adults and children
- Skin cancer—any changes in or growths on your skin
- Heart failure—new or worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles or feet, or sudden weight gain
- Reactivation of HBV—feeling unwell, poor appetite, tiredness, fever, skin rash and/or joint pain
- Liver injury—jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), dark brown urine, right-sided abdominal pain, fever, or severe tiredness
- Blood disorders—fever that doesn’t go away, bruising, bleeding, or severe paleness
- Nervous system disorders—numbness, weakness, tingling, changes in your vision or seizures
- Allergic reactions during or after the infusion—hives, difficulty breathing, chest pain, high or low blood pressure, swelling of face and hands, and fever or chills
- Lupus-like syndrome—chest discomfort or pain that does not go away, shortness of breath, joint pain, rash on the cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun
- Psoriasis—new or worsening psoriasis such as red scaly patches or raised bumps on the skin that are filled with pus
Any of these conditions can lead to complications if you receive Remicade infusions.
For more information, please visit the Remicade website.
Entyvio is a new option that works to block important contributors to the chronic inflammation that is a well-known symptom of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Entyvio is given intravenously and takes approximately two hours to administer. While your doctor will determine how often you require infusions, they are typically scheduled every 8 weeks.
It is important to keep in mind that it may take several weeks or even several treatments for your symptoms to improve, and you need to communicate any changing symptoms you experience throughout your treatment with your physician.
To ensure Entyvio is safe for you, tell your physician if you have:
- An active or recent infection
- Tuberculosis (or if you have close contact with someone who has tuberculosis)
- Signs of infection such as fever, cough, or flu symptoms
- Open sores or skin wounds
- Weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine)
- Received any recent vaccines or are scheduled to receive a vaccine
For more information, please visit the Entyvio website.
If you have tried Remicade® or Entyvio® with little to no success, your doctor might recommend Stelara, another medication used to treat moderate to severe Crohn’s disease in adults. Stelara specifically targets two proteins thought to be associated with gastrointestinal inflammation in Crohn's disease.
Treatment with Stelara begins with an IV infusion and is followed up with maintenance injections given under the skin every 8 weeks, or six additional treatments throughout the year. You may come to our office for the injections or you can administer them yourself, with proper training.
Studies have shown that more than half of patients who receive a Stelara infusion experience symptom relief after 6 weeks, while the majority of those who continue with the injections are in remission by the end of the year.
For more information, please visit the Stelara website.
Like other medications, Stelara may cause side effects and serious complications, which your doctor will discuss with you. Be sure to tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and any other medications you are taking.
You may need Iron infusions if you have iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Feeling cold, mainly in your hands and feet
- Infections that are caused by problems with the immune system
Others who may benefit from iron infusions include those who:
- Do not absorb iron well in the gastrointestinal tract
- Suffer severe iron deficiency or chronic blood loss
- Are receiving supplemental erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates blood production
- Cannot tolerate oral iron
Intravenous (IV) iron is delivered into your vein through a needle and may take up to several hours. Your doctor may recommend several rounds of infusion based on your iron levels. Side effects are minimal with IV iron, but be sure to report any changes or abnormalities you experience to your doctor.