Infusion Therapies

One effective treatment for rheumatoid diseases and other autoimmune disorders is infusion therapy. Infusion therapy provides patients with medication administered by IV. It is a safe and effective alternative when a patient’s condition is severe and oral medication is not an option or has not worked. Infusion therapy can take place at the doctor’s office, hospital or outpatient facility, and is managed by a doctor and specially trained nurses.

There are several conditions that can be treated with infusion therapy:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Gout

Before you start therapy, you will be given pre-infusion instructions. Remember to wear loose clothing so you will be comfortable. While receiving therapy, you can bring items to help you pass the time such as a book, magazine, computer, or iPod.

There are several types of medications used in infusion therapy. Depending on your condition, the medications include:

  • Actemra – Used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Actemra works differently than other treatments in that it blocks the activity of a cytokine in the immune system called IL-6. When there are too many IL-6 in the body, too many white blood cells are created and they begin to attack the body and joints, contributing to rheumatoid arthritis. Actemra is used after the use of an anti-TNF medication was not successful. For more information, visit the Actemra website
  • BENLYSTA - is a prescription medication used to treat adults with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) who are receiving other lupus medicines. It is not known if BENLYSTA is safe and effective in people with severe active lupus nephritis or severe active central nervous system lupus, and it has not been studied in combination with other biologics or intravenous cyclophosphamide. Use of BENLYSTA is not recommended in these situations. Do not receive BENLYSTA if you are allergic to belimumab or to any of the ingredients in BENLYSTA. Visit the Benlysta website.
  • Orencia – Orencia is used in the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Orencia works to improve symptoms and prevent further damage to your joints. It also reduces the symptoms in children and adolescents with juvenile arthritis. In addition to being administered by infusion therapy, Orencia has recently been approved for self-injections. For more information, please visit the Orencia website.
  • Remicade – Remicade is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s Disease. For treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Remicade is taken with methotrexate to provide quick relief of pain and swelling. When taken for psoriatic arthritis, it also provides quick relief from symptoms and helps stop further damage. For patients with Crohn’s Disease, this medication helps those who have not responded well to other treatments by reducing symptoms and inducing remission. For more information, visit the Remicade website.
  • SIMPONI ARIA® is for adults with:  Moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, used in combination with methotrexate Active psoriatic arthritis Active ankylosing spondylitis. This treatment is administered every 8 weeks for 30 minutes.
  • Rituxan is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with:
    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): with another prescription medicine called methotrexate, to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe active RA in adults, after treatment with at least one other medicine called a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist has been used and did not work well enough. Also treats ANCA-Vasculitis
  • Medicare and most insurance companies cover infusion therapy.
  • Our billing department will go over your cost share with you in order for you to fully understand your responsibility for the treatments given.

Frequently asked questions about starting an Infusion Therapy

Infusion Therapies are medications that are administered in the Infusion Department at our Smithtown and Riverhead offices.

Q: How long will it take for me to start therapy?

A: Infusion Therapies often require authorization from your insurance company. This may take additional time as the Insurance Company’s prior authorization department reviews clinical information submitted by the office. Once authorization for your medication is granted the office will contact you for scheduling.

Q: What if I cannot afford my medication?

A: Many patient assistance programs are in place to help patients who cannot afford Infusion Therapies. The Office Staff will discuss these programs with you, and will be able to provide more information regarding financial assistance.

Q:How do I schedule my First appointment ?

A: Once the Insurance approves your therapy the Nurses will contact you for scheduling, and can explain what to expect, and what to bring for your first treatment. 

If you have any questions please feel free to call the office so we can assist you.

Rheumatology Associates of Long Island

  • Rheumatology Associates of Long Island - 315 Middle Country Rd., Smithtown, NY 11787 Phone: 631-360-7778
  • Port Jefferson Station - 7 Medical Dr., Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776 Phone: 631-928-4885
  • Melville - 1895 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, NY 11747 Phone: 631-249-9525
  • Staten Island - 1200 South Ave., Suite 307, Staten Island, NY 10314 Phone:

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