The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Rush has an on-site infusion room offering Remicade (infliximab) or Tysabri (natalizumab) daily. Our infusion room can accommodate up to three clients at one time and is equipped with comfortable recliners, Wi-Fi, reading materials and a television. Appointment times are flexible and we can accommodate most schedules. At every infusion, you will be monitored by a nurse with an attending physician available if needed.
Our infusion services are located on the main Rush campus, just west of downtown Chicago. To make an appointment for infusion services, or for further information, please contact our office at (312) 942-1414. You will be directed to one of our IBD nurses to schedule your infusion appointment.
Getting Started with IBD Infusion Services
So, you met with your physician and you've decided to start Remicade or Tysabri. Like most patients you probably have a lot of questions: What preparations need to be made prior to infusing, what is the cost, what can I expect after infusing, how will this affect my work and daily schedule? Below are the answers to these and other common questions our patients have:
- What preparations need to be made prior to starting my infusions?
- Will my infusions be covered by insurance?
- How do I schedule my first infusion?
- How often will I have to come in for infusions?
- How long will my infusion appointment be?
- What else should I know?
Before infusing, it is necessary to have a skin test for tuberculosis (TB) screening. It is important for your health care team to have this information, as Remicade can reactivate latent TB in some patients. This testing is exclusive to Remicade and does not apply to Tysabri. After a negative TB test is verified, insurance authorization is obtained by your infusion site.
It all depends on your insurance. At Rush, your infusion nurse will work with your insurance company to gain authorization and a statement of coverage prior to infusing. If the out-of-pocket cost is more than you feel you can financially manage, your infusion nurse will help to connect you with a list of resources that can help carry some of the financial burden that goes along with Remicade. Once you are medically and financially prepared to infuse, you are ready to schedule your first Remicade.
Appointments can be made by calling our office at (312) 942-5861 or with your infusion nurse.
Your infusion schedule may vary depending on your needs. Typically, after the first infusion, patients receive a second infusion at two weeks, six weeks and every eight weeks thereafter for maintenance. Your physician will determine your exact infusion schedule.
Remicade is a two hour infusion and Tysabri is a one hour infusion with a one hour observation period. For both infusions one should plan about three hours, depending on your commute. It is not necessary to have someone accompany you to either infusion, but if you wish, family and friends are always welcome.
After your infusion is complete you will have the opportunity to schedule your next infusion and/or follow-up with your doctor. Your infusion nurse will discuss signs/symptoms that need to be reported to your clinical team. Post-infusing there are no restrictions and you will be able to engage in your daily activities as planned. Your infusion appointment is also good time to make sure your lab work is current, prescriptions are filled and to update your clinical team with your progress.