Infusion therapy is the delivery of medication through a needle or catheter. Infusion therapy may be used when a patient's condition is severe and unresponsive, or when the administration of oral medication is ineffective in treating the condition. This type of treatment may be required for patients suffering from the following conditions:
- Gastrointestinal conditions
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart failure
Infusion therapy does not always involve intravenous drug administration. Depending on the type and severity of a condition, infusion therapy may refer to intramuscular or epidural injections. The solution administered during treatment may contain nutrients, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs or other medications. A doctor customizes the infusion-therapy program based on each patient's condition.
In the past, patients undergoing infusion therapy were required to stay in an inpatient facility throughout the process, making treatment costly and time-consuming. Infusion therapy is now given at home, or in a hospice or other convenient setting, eliminating the need for travel or an extended hospital stay. A patient can wear a portable infusion pump to self-deliver medications. Even when infusion therapy is given at home, the patient must be monitored by a doctor.