I am currently on Tysabri and used to the 2 hr infusions required. Since I am JC virus positive, I have recently been switched to Ocrevus but have been informed that my first infusion will take 5 hrs. Why is the infusion process so different? Thanks.
Every infusion therapy and protocol is different depending on the characteristics of the drug being administered. For example:
- Tysabri has a low rate of infusion reactions and can be administered quickly.
- Ocrevus, like Rituximab, has a higher rate of infusion reactions and must be administered more slowly; it also requires the administration of drugs prior to the infusion (steroids and benadryl, usually) to decrease the rate and severity of infusion reactions; this obviously takes some time. No pre-medications are required with Tysabri
- Some drugs are administered at variable rates depending on tolerability. A good example is methylprednisolone, a steroid given for relapses; some people can get this infused over an hour and others require 3 hours or more depending on side effects experienced during the infusion
- Some drugs like cyclophosphamide must be administered with a large volume of IV fluids over many hours and this lengthens the infusion time.
Hope this helps.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Clinical Neurosciences Director
University of California San Diego
200 West Arbor Dr
Medical Offices North MC 8687
San Diego, CA 92103
619-543-3500 (Clinic phone)