The past few years I've been on the biologic medication Entyvio, which is administered as an IV infusion for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Every 8 weeks I go down to the infusion center and get my medicine.
Thankfully, after years of receiving this life changing IV infusion treatment I know what works for me and what doesn't when it comes to infusion day.
I always get lots of questions from readers about my experience with biologic medications for ulcerative colitis.
Here are some infusion day tips and essentials that will be helpful no matter which type of biologic medication you're on!
The absolute most important tip I can give you is this...hydrate really well the day before, the day of, and the day following your IV infusion therapy!
Drinking enough water will help make your veins more prominent so the nurse can easily start your IV.
It can also help to alleviate any side effects from the medication like headaches or constipation.
My goal prior to walking into the infusion center is for my urine to be pale yellow in color.
How much water you'll need to drink depends upon many factors such as your weight, diet, activity level, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and even climate.
Everyday Health has a wonderful Hydration Calculator that can help you figure out just how much fluid you should be drinking.
Dress for comfort!
You're going to be sitting in a chair anywhere from 45 minutes to multiple hours depending on which medication you're receiving, wear comfy clothes!
You'll be able to relax more and if the nurse gets a vein that squirts blood everywhere (this has happened to me), you won't have to worry that your favorite outfit just got ruined!
Also, keep in mind that you've been drinking a lot of water, which means you'll probably have to get up to use the restroom once or twice... with a needle in your arm!
So opt for clothing that will make those bathroom trips easier on you!
Are you a hard stick?
Sometimes the nurse can catch a vein on the first try, sometimes they can't.
I think we can all agree that having someone stick a needle in your arm multiple times is not only painful but also adds to the anxiety of an already stressful day.
If you, like me, can be a hard stick, I suggest bringing a heating pad with you to your appointment.
Most centers should have an outlet nearby. Simply plug in the heating pad when you arrive and place it over your arms.
The heat will help with blood flow and dilate your veins, making them easier to find and stick.
Bonus, once you no longer need it for the veins in your arm, place it on your stomach or back and get comfy!
Bring a blanket!
Most centers are cold and I don't know about you, but I get even colder once that IV gets started!
I find that bringing a blanket or wrap from home brings me comfort and keeps the chill away.
I never know how I'm going to be feeling once I sit in that chair, so I always bring a few different forms of entertainment.
A book or magazine, a journal in case inspiration strikes, and my earbuds so I can listen to music or watch a movie on my phone.
I know many people try and get some work done while getting their IBD infusion.
I find that I'm always a little tense on infusion day and trying to do work doesn't help calm me, so I don't bother. But if working helps you, go for it!
Don't forget the snacks!
It's always a good idea to bring snacks and a drink to your IV infusion treatment!
Eating fresh fruit like grapes, watermelon, or berries will help keep you hydrated.
- comfy clothes
- heating pad
These are the items I find help me most while receiving my IV infusion therapy.
I want to know, what do you bring with you on infusion day?
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NOTE: If following the SCD diet, I suggest contacting the company to verify ingredients before using any prepackaged products.