We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Infusion Chemotherapy?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Infusion chemotherapy is intravenous medication delivered slowly to treat cancer. The medication is provided in the form of a liquid suspension which acts as a vehicle to deliver it to the bloodstream. The process may take several minutes or hours, depending on the medication. Including testing before an infusion session and monitoring afterwards for bad reactions, the process may take several hours or a whole day.

A number of chemotherapy medications need to be delivered directly into the bloodstream, for a variety of reasons. Some would break down in the stomach if delivered orally, or could cause irritation to the mouth and throat. Direct delivery into the bloodstream also allows for more fast-acting medications, as the body doesn’t need to metabolize the medication to get it into the bloodstream. Some infusions may include a blend of medications, depending on the treatment plan.

The first step in an infusion chemotherapy appointment is a patient intake. Several vials of blood can be drawn to check the patient’s blood counts while the patient is interviewed by a care provider. Patients with active infections or other issues may not be able to safely receive infusion chemotherapy, and could need to wait for a treatment. Once clearance is provided, a care provider can start delivering the drug through an intravenous line. After the medication circulates, the patient is monitored for signs of allergy.

Some chemotherapy patients have a port or catheter placed for easy venous access. This can be helpful for patients who need to receive frequent infusions, as needle sticks to draw blood and place an intravenous line can be uncomfortable. With a port or catheter, care providers just need to expose the device to take blood and deliver medications. Patients may also be given anti nausea drugs before infusion chemotherapy to mitigate some of the side effects and keep them more comfortable.

Concerns with infusion chemotherapy can include the risk of an allergic reaction to the medication, which might cause acute distress, and general discomfort. Some medications cause a burning or tingling sensation and others may actually raise blisters if they come into direct contact with the skin. Care providers are cautious about placement to make sure the medication is delivered into the bloodstream and does not seep into the surrounding tissue. The medication will attack the tumor and may cause the patient to feel unwell at first. Several rounds may be needed to provide complete treatment.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.