Understanding the TEPEZZA Infusion Process
Chapter 1: Introduction
Hi, my name is Stephanie Cooper and I'm a nurse practitioner. I work at an infusion center and I’m an expert at administering infusion medicines like TEPEZZA. Over the course of this video, I’m going to walk you through the infusion process for TEPEZZA, step-by-step. We’ll go over what the inside of an infusion center is like, what you can expect on infusion day, and more. So, let’s get started.
Chapter 2: Infusion and Infusion Centers
TEPEZZA is a special type of medicine called an IV, or intravenous medicine. This means TEPEZZA is given through a needle placed in your arm. The process of delivering an IV medicine into the body is called an infusion.
There are many kinds of medicines that are infused to treat a variety of conditions. And infused medicines may be more common than you think. In fact, some antibiotics are infused. Infused medications are also used to treat autoimmune conditions like Thyroid Eye Disease, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and others.
Because TEPEZZA is an infusion medicine, it is often given at a specialty clinic called an infusion center. An infusion center has the right equipment and skilled staff who specialize in administering infusions.
During your time at the infusion center, your main point of contact will likely be an infusion nurse, like me. My job is to infuse TEPEZZA and make my patients feel as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
Some infusion centers may seat patients in the same room. While others, like this one, may have private rooms for each patient. An infusion center is just one of many places you might go to get your TEPEZZA infusion.
Depending on your doctor, and your insurance provider, you may be able to receive a TEPEZZA infusion at your doctor’s office, a hospital, or at home.
Chapter 3: Getting Your TEPEZZA Infusion
When you arrive at the infusion center, the first thing you’ll do is check in at the front desk. After checking in and before starting the infusion we will check your weight and vitals.
Then, you’ll be taken to an infusion chair. The infusion chair is a lot like a recliner.
Once you sit down, you’ll want to go ahead and make yourself comfortable.
When it’s time to put in the IV, you’ll be asked to roll up your sleeve. As the IV goes in, you may feel a slight pinch. Once the IV is in, all you’ll have to do is sit back, relax, and let the medicine do its job.
Your infusion nurse may check in on you from time to time to monitor your vital signs like your temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. They’ll also be checking to make sure you don't have any reactions to the medicine. If there is anything you need during your infusion, don’t hesitate to ask.
Chapter 4: Preparing for Your TEPEZZA Infusion
While your first 2 infusions will take about 90 minutes each, the total time you’ll spend at the infusion center may be between 2½ to 4 hours. This includes the time it takes to check in, as well as the time it takes for the infusion staff to prepare the medicine and monitor you for any reaction to your infusion of TEPEZZA.
Infusions 3 to 8 could be faster, taking about 60 minutes each, depending on your reaction to the infusion. Which means the total time you’ll spend at the infusion center may be between 1½ to 2½ hours.
Keep in mind that these are just estimates, and every patient’s experience is different. Your total time at the infusion center could be shorter or longer.
To help your TEPEZZA infusion go as smoothly as possible, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare, like confirming your appointment date, time, and address. Scheduling rides to and from your appointment, especially for your first infusion. Arriving about 20 minutes before your appointment to give yourself plenty of time to check in and take care of any details.
Packing an infusion care bag with things you may need to stay comfortable, like a book, movie, or music player to help you pass the time. Wearing a loose-fitting shirt that allows your infusion nurse to easily access your arm to take your vitals and insert the IV. And completing the “Before Infusion Reminder List” so you know you have all the details covered.
Chapter 5: After Your TEPEZZA Infusion
After 90 minutes, you’ll have finished your first TEPEZZA infusion. But before you leave the infusion center, there will be just a few more steps to take care of.
For starters, your infusion nurse will remove the IV. It will just take a second. Next, you’ll be monitored for a short time to make sure you don’t have a reaction to the infusion.
You can use this time to complete the “After Infusion Reminder List.” It will help you stay on track with treatment.
Once your infusion nurse gives you the OK, you’ll be cleared to go. Before you leave, schedule your next infusion for 3 weeks later.
Chapter 6: The Importance of Getting All 8 TEPEZZA Infusions
A full course of TEPEZZA treatment is 8 infusions. Each infusion is given once every 3 weeks. That means your treatment with TEPEZZA will take about 5 months.
Once you start to see results with TEPEZZA, it may be tempting to stop treatment. But for the best results, it’s recommended that you receive all 8 infusions as prescribed by your doctor.
Now that you know what to expect, I hope you’re feeling more comfortable with the TEPEZZA infusion process. Stay tuned to hear about support services available once your doctor has prescribed TEPEZZA. And don't forget to watch the important safety information at the end of the video.
CHAPTER 7: TEPEZZA Resources
Once you’ve been prescribed TEPEZZA, you can get one-on-one support by connecting with a Patient Access Liaison, or PAL for short. PALs can help you navigate the insurance process, explain cost assistance options, and help coordinate your infusions.
You can also sign up to get TEPEZZA and Thyroid Eye Disease resources that are right for you by visiting TEPEZZAsignup.com.
And for helpful ways to stay on track with your infusions, visit TEPEZZAresources.com.
INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
TEPEZZA is a prescription medicine used to treat Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), no matter if you’ve had TED for months or years.
What is the most important information I should know about TEPEZZA?
Infusion reactions can happen during or within 24 hours after your infusion of TEPEZZA. If you have a reaction while receiving TEPEZZA, your doctor or nurse will slow or stop your infusion and treat your reaction. If you have a severe infusion reaction, your doctor may stop your treatment completely.
Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms during or after your treatment with TEPEZZA:
- High blood pressure
- Fast heartbeat
- Redness of the face/Feeling hot
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
If you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, TEPEZZA may make your IBD symptoms worse. Symptoms of worsening IBD may include: an increased number of loose stools with stomach pain or cramps, and blood in your stools. After each TEPEZZA infusion, tell your doctor right away if you have worsening IBD symptoms.
TEPEZZA may cause an increase in your blood sugar. Before starting treatment with TEPEZZA, tell your doctor if you are currently being treated for diabetes, know your blood sugar is high, or have been diagnosed with diabetes. It is important for you to take your treatments and follow an appropriate diet for glucose control as prescribed by your doctor.
TEPEZZA may cause severe hearing problems including hearing loss, which in some cases may be permanent. Tell your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of hearing problems or changes in hearing.
Before receiving TEPEZZA, tell your doctor if you:
- Have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis).
- Are currently being treated for diabetes, have been diagnosed with diabetes, or know your blood sugar is high.
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. TEPEZZA may harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant or suspect you are pregnant during treatment with TEPEZZA.
- Women who are able to become pregnant should use an effective form of birth control (contraception) prior to starting treatment, during treatment and for at least 6 months after the final dose of TEPEZZA.
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if TEPEZZA passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to feed your baby during treatment with TEPEZZA.
- Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, dietary and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
What are the possible side effects of TEPEZZA?
The most common side effects of TEPEZZA include muscle cramps or spasms, nausea, hair loss, diarrhea, feeling tired, high blood sugar, hearing problems, taste changes, headache, dry skin, weight loss, nail problems, and changes in menstruation.
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Tell your doctor or treatment team about any side effect you may have.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please visit TEPEZZA.com for more information.