Risks and Benefits of Infusion Therapy


What is infusion therapy?

Infusion therapy is the delivery of medications or fluids either intravenously (into a vein) or subcutaneously (into the tissue between the skin and muscle). Infusion therapy may be used when a person cannot take oral medication, if an oral formula of a medication is not available, or when a medication needs to be delivered at a controlled pace.

Risks of infusion therapy

As with any treatment, certain risks can occur with infusion therapy. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Scar tissue, especially if multiple infusions are needed
  • Collapsed veins
  • Infection
  • Phlebitis (inflammation of the vein)
  • Air embolism (air bubble entering into the vascular system)

Additional risks associated with infusion therapy include the side effects of the specific medication being administered.

Benefits of infusion therapy

Infusion therapy can be very beneficial. Benefits include the following:

  • Alternative to oral medication
  • Delivers medication directly into bloodstream (fast-acting)
  • Can deliver multiple medications through one port
  • Can use a semi-permanent port for multiple treatments
  • Controlled
  • Can be used for a wide variety of treatments
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