Video Q & A:

Biologics

Question:

What's the difference between infusion therapy and subcutaneous injections?

Expert:   Betty Keller, MD, FACR, Board Certified Internal Medicine & Rheumatology »

Biologic injections or biologic infusion therapy-- the choice is hard to make. What should a person with rheumatoid arthritis choose? Watch this to learn how tho choose between injections or infusions for RA.

Transcript: Biologics come in two forms—as a self- INJECTION and as an intravenous INFUSION given in a doctor’s office, hospital or infusion center. Only ONE biologic, Orencia, is available in both formulations. The others, such as Enbrel, Rituxan, and Actemra are only available in one form. When a person with rheumatoid arthritis is given the CHOICE between injectables and infused biologics, lifestyle plays a BIG factor in which they choose. Injectable biologics are self-administered frequently—from once a week to daily. Infusions are done every 3 to 8 weeks. But the injection only takes a FEW minutes, while an infusion can take up to 2 hours. Fear of self-injection may also influence the decision about which form to use. Both methods can cause: bruising, rash, itching and pain where the medication goes into the body. And an allergic infusion reaction triggers flu-like symptoms. Premedication with ANTIHISTAMINES or acetaminophen may minimize these reactions. Both methods also suppress a person’s immune system—that’s how biologics slow the progression of RA. No matter which formulation you choose, know that biologics are your best chance for preventing joint damage and living an active and full life. More »

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