Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter. It is prescribed when a patient’s condition cannot be treated effectively by oral medications. Typically, “infusion therapy” means that a drug is administered intravenously, but the term also may refer to situations where drugs are provided through other non-oral routes, such as intramuscular injections and epidural routes (into the membranes surrounding the spinal cord).
Until the 1980s, patients receiving infusion therapy had to remain in an inpatient setting for the duration of their therapy. Heightened emphasis on cost-containment in health care, as well as developments in the clinical administration of the therapy, led to strategies to administer infusion therapy in alternate settings. For individuals requiring long-term therapy, inpatient care is not only expensive but also prevents the individual from resuming normal lifestyle and work activities.
- "US FDA/CDRH: Brochure - Home Healthcare Medical Devices: Infusion Therapy - Getting the Most Out of Your Pump". www.fda.gov. Retrieved 2008-10-25.