This Is What Happens During A Remicade Infusion (Part 2)
Last updated: May 2021
Check out Part 1 of Katy's story, This Is What Happens During A Remicade Infusion.
Step 4: More waiting
Remicade infusions involve a lot of waiting. Next, I wait for the medicine to be made and delivered from the pharmacy. This usually takes around an hour. I read, work on my laptop, or listen to music during this time. Sometimes, I nap! This time, I put in my earpods and listened to some calming music.
Step 5: Infusion
This is the reason I am here! Luckily, this step is the easiest. After an hour, the Remicade is brought over from the pharmacy. The nurse hangs the bag of medicine on the IV tower and connects it to my IV with tubing. The medicine runs through a pump, through a filter, and into my vein.
The steps leading up to the infusion are the hardest parts. The actual infusion is quick and easy. The infusions are done in an hour. I spend this time working on my laptop and listening to music.
I do not feel anything while getting the infusion. Occasionally, it feels cold going into the vein but not this time. I could not tell that anything was happening, other than watching the pump work. I have never experienced a reaction to the medication or an IV so I do not have inflamed or irritated skin. Each spot where the nurse tried to start an IV did bruise but that is my only reaction. If I have any serious reactions to the medicine, I would let my nurse know right away!
Step 6: Leave!
When the bag is empty, the IV machine beeps loudly to let the nurse know. The nurse comes over to check the machine and medicine. This time, the bag had a little bit of medicine left, so the nurse shook the bag and hung it up again.
When the bag is actually empty, my nurse removes the IV and uses a cotton swab to stop the bleeding. Then she bandages the wound. She measures my blood pressure again to make sure I did not have a severe reaction to the medication. Then I am free to leave! I go downstairs, collect my car from the valet and drive home.
Step 7: Side effects
People often ask me about the side effects of Remicade. Luckily, I do not experience any severe side effects. If you are concerned about possible side effects of Remicade or side effects that you have already experienced, please talk about this with your doctor or health care team.
I usually feel hungry, fatigued, and worn out for about 24 hours after an infusion. This time, I ate as soon as I got home and took the rest of the day to sleep and relax. I take the entire day off work to give my body time to heal and process the medication.
Remicade is powerful medicine and infusions can be intense, but I am no longer afraid of them. I actually find them boring now. The good news is, I think the Remicade is starting to make a difference with my HS. I have not experienced a severe HS flare in the past 8 weeks. I have noticed that the inflammation and flares are better. This gives me hope for this treatment. I hope to continue the infusions and see more progress.
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