What Is Infusion Therapy?

Infusion therapy is a procedure in which medication is administered intravenously through a catheter or needle, states the National Home Infusion Association. Infusion therapy is prescribed when a patient's illness cannot be treated sufficiently by oral medications.

Infusion therapy may also involve other methods in which medications are administered through other non-oral routes such as intramuscular injections and epidural procedures. Patients with chronic or rare diseases can benefit through infusion therapy where specialty infusion medicines are effective, adds the National Home Infusion Association. Specialty infusion therapy is when specialty infusion medicines are used, and it is a term that reflects the highly specialized care and services that infusion pharmacies provide to their patients. Intravenous antibiotics are the major home infusion therapies prescribed.

Cancer and cancer-related pain, gastrointestinal disorders or diseases, dehydration and infections that do not respond to oral antibiotics are treated with infusion therapy. Crohn's disease, congestive heart failure, hemophilia and multiple sclerosis are among the many conditions that infusion therapy treats. Infusion therapy results in decreased inpatient time, reducing medical costs and allowing patients the ability to stay with family or friends, states Mayo Clinic Health System. Technological advances have enabled safe and effective use of infusion therapy treatment at home.