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FAQ – San Mateo Rheumatology
Q. What is infusion therapy?
A.

Infusions are medications that are given intravenously (through an IV) by a nurse. These medications are formulated to go directly into the blood stream of a patient.

Q. What are complex biologics?
A.

Complex biologics are highly selective medications that act on one specific part of the immune system to regulate its activity. These medications do not permanently alter the immune system.

Q. Who can benefit from biologic medications?
A.

Many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions can be successfully treated with biologic medications. If your physician has recommended biologic therapy for your condition, we can help you get your medication safely and comfortably.

Q. What infusion medications do we offer?
A.

We offer a wide variety of infusion medications to treat various autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

Q. What injectable medications do we offer?
A.

In some cases, an injectable medication needs to be administered by a health care provider in a medical setting. We offer injectable medications for many inflammatory conditions and to treat osteoporosis.

Q. What are the benefits of infusions and injections over oral medications?
A.

In some cases, patients are unable to tolerate oral medications for their condition or do not respond to oral medications. In these situations, injectable medications or infusions are ideal options. In other cases, there is no available formulation of a medication other than through an infusion or injection.

Q. How long will my treatment last?
A.

The time you will be in the infusion suite varies based on the time needed to administer your medication. These infusion times are determined by the drug manufacturer and are based on results of clinical trials of the medication. In some cases, you will need to stay a short while after your treatment for monitoring. Your scheduling specialist will inform you of how long you should expect to be in our infusion suite.

Q. Is infusion therapy safe?
A.

Infusion therapy is very safe, as you will be in a health care setting and being constantly monitored by your nurse. In addition, our physicians are always on site and can be called to see you if needed.

Q. Is infusion therapy painful?
A.

Infusion therapy is not painful. Other than the minor discomfort that some patients experience when starting the IV, there is no pain at all during treatment. Our nurses are extremely skilled at painlessly starting your IV.

Q. What can I expect during my treatment?
A.

You can expect to relax in a comfortable environment while getting your treatment. Our friendly nurses are available to assist you with whatever you need. We have WiFi, television, and magazines to entertain you, and beverages and snacks if you get hungry!

Q. How often will I need my treatment?
A.

How often you need to get your treatment depends on the recommended frequency of administration by the drug manufacturer. In some cases there is a range of administration frequency allowed. In these situations, your referring doctor will decide how often you get the treatment.

Q. Are there any side effects from getting infusion therapy?
A.

All medications have potential side effects. The possible side effects of your medication will be discussed with you by your referring doctor. You will also meet with one of our physicians to ensure that you understand all the potential benefits and risks of your treatment.

Q. Can anyone get infusion therapy?
A.

There is no age or health restriction which prevents infusion and injection therapy. Your referring provider will decide whether a particular infusion or injection medication being considered is right for you. San Mateo Rheumatology infusion therapy center treats patients age 16 and older.

Q. Will my insurance pay for infusion therapy?
A.

Insurance companies approve infusion therapy when it is determined to be the best option for a patient by his or her physician. As with other medications, you may be responsible for some copayment costs. However, there are many patient assistance programs that help with patients’ out of pocket costs. Our scheduling specialists will work with your insurance company to obtain approval for infusion therapy and help you get the maximum copay assistance available.

Q. What should I bring to my appointment?
A.

You are welcome to bring a family member or friend with you to your appointment. However, due to space limitations and privacy concerns, we ask that any visitors wait in the waiting room while you receive your treatment.

Q. Can I bring food with me to my appointment?
A.

Yes! You may bring snacks to your infusion appointments. A refrigerator is available to store your food if needed. We also offer light snacks and beverages if you do not bring food with you but become hungry.

Q. Do you have WiFi?
A.

Yes. We have free WiFi and you are welcome to bring your own laptops and mobile devices. A large flat screen TV and magazines are also available.

Q. Do you have pillows and blankets?
A.

Yes, we provide pillows, blankets and recliner chairs. Patients can feel free to nap during their appointment.

Q. Can I eat before my treatment?
A.

Yes, you should eat and take your medications as you normally do.

Q. Do I need someone to drive me home?
A.

In most cases, no. You will not be impaired or groggy unless you have been given Benadryl, which is not routinely used. We will notify you ahead of time if you will be given something sedating.

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