Conditions and Treatments
Diseases and Conditions
Intravenous Drug Infusions
An intravenous infusion (IV) is a method of administering drugs and/or fluids through a needle inserted directly into a vein. Some of the rheumatoid conditions or diseases for which IV Drug Infusion is used are: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Psoriatic arthritis.
IV Cytoxan (Intravenous)
Cytoxan is an immunosuppressive medication used in the treatment of lupus. Cytoxan, the brand name for cyclophosphamide, is one of several medications that are used in the treatment of lupus. Depending upon the immunosuppressive drug used, it may be administered in pill form, weekly injections or by intravenous (IV) pulse therapy (injection given monthly).
Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues as though they were foreign substances. Immunosuppressive medications, including cytoxan, reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. In higher doses, these types of medications are also used to treat certain forms of cancer.
Cytoxan, and other immunosuppressive medications, are used to treat the severe kidney disease associated with lupus. Cytoxan is more effective, yet more toxic than other immunosuppressive medications. When given intravenously once a month for six months, it maintains kidney function in up to 80% of people with severe lupus. This benefit, together with fewer disease flares, can be maintained with less frequent treatments over one to two years. It reduces inflammation of kidneys and other affected organs.
The most serious side effects of immunosuppressants are lowered white blood cell counts and increased risk of infection. When immunity is lowered, the body is less able to defend against viral, bacterial and fungal infections such as a common herpes-type virus (cytomegalovirus [CMV]), shingles, staphylococcus, and yeast.
It is often difficult to determine the extent of synovial involvement early in the course of rheumatoid arthritis. The synovium is a membrane that covers all the non-cartilaginous surfaces within the articular capsule. It secretes synovial fluid into the joint, which nourishes and lubricates the articular cartilage. The synovium is separated from the capsule by a layer of celluar tissue containing blood vessels and nerves.
Near-infrared spectroscopy assesses the absorption of near-infrared light by specific joints, giving a characteristic ‘fingerprint’ of the properties of the underlying tissues, and assessing the levels of joint tenderness and swelling.