Since the late 1990s, significant advances in molecular biology and immunology have resulted in new medicines to treat a variety of serious systemic inflammatory diseases, among them rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These medications have revolutionized the treatment of many forms of arthritis and related diseases over the last 20 years and produced improved outcomes.
These biologic compounds made by molecular biologic techniques are administered by injection or intravenous infusion. They work by targeting specific cells and their role in the production of inflammatory mediators or are involved with bone metabolism. By controlling the underlying disease processes and inflammation, these medications can reduce pain and improve function and quality of life.
Osteoporosis, a non-inflammatory bone disease, can have devastating consequences related to bone fractures. But a biologic drug developed specifically for this disease can reduce the risk of fractures. Non-biologic infusions called bisphosophonates also can treat osteoporosis. This includes a once yearly infusion of Reclast.
The Infusion Center of the Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center in Fruita works in association with the Arthritis Center of Western Colorado to administer medications on an outpatient basis to treat these diseases.
Many of these complex diseases require a more aggressive approach with injection and infusion treatments, especially if other treatment options have failed or have only been partially successful.
A comprehensive history and physical and review of laboratory and imaging results are performed during an initial visit. The Infusion Center works with physicians to help provide optimal care that improves outcomes, including managing such additional factors as diabetes or high blood pressure. Rheumatologists can recognize multiple autoimmune diseases occurring in the same patient and optimize care.
Offering these service in a comfortable office setting allows providers to direct treatment, educate and improve compliance to ensure the best experiences for patients.
The Infusion Center administers such medications as Actemra, Benlysta, Boniva, Cimzia, Entyvio, Krystexxa, Prolia, Rituxan, Simponi Aria, Solumedrol and Stelara.
Those medications could be considered appropriate to treat such conditions as psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, dermatomyositis, gout, lupus, osteoporosis, Paget’s disease, plaque psoriasis, undifferentiated connective tissue disease, uveitis and vasculitis.