Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a challenging journey, but advancements in medicine are making it easier to manage the condition. Your MS treatment plan may include intravenous (IV) disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). Unlike prescription drugs that you’d inject or take by mouth at home, you’ll typically need to go to an infusion center to get infused DMT medications. Finding the right place to get an infusion is a common topic of discussion on MyMSTeam.
“They closed the infusion center I’ve been going to,” one member wrote. Another said, “My first two infusions were at a hospital in San Francisco. I don’t want to go there again, so I’m waiting on authorization for a different one.”
Read on for tips on how to find an infusion center where you can get your DMT medications.
Your neurology specialist or MS center should be your first point of contact when you’re looking for a place to receive your first infusion, or if you need to switch infusion centers. Explain your preferences to the prescribing physician, including your ideal location, hours of operation, and other features.
They can share the pros and cons of different locations, explain what others have said about their experiences at those centers, and suggest ways to feel more comfortable about getting an infusion.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five DMTs for treating MS via intravenous infusion, each of which is administered on a different timeline. This means the frequency with which you’ll be visiting the infusion center will depend on the specific drug your neurologist prescribes.
You can reach out to the manufacturers of the drug you’re planning to take to find out where it’s being administered near you.
Alemtuzumab, sold under the brand name Lemtrada, is administered over a five-day period, followed by another three-day round a year later. To find a list of health care facilities that administer this medication, the drug’s manufacturer (Sanofi) offers an online Lemtrada facility locator.
Sold under the brand name Tysabri, natalizumab is given every four weeks. Biogen, which manufactures this medication, provides an online locator where you can look for an infusion center near you.
Sold as Briumvi, ublituximab is administered once every 24 weeks. TG Therapeutics, which manufactures ublituximab, provides a resource website with patient care information and contact numbers so you can find an infusion site near you.
Mitoxantrone, sold under the brand name Novantrone, is given once every three months. The drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, provides details and contact phone numbers online.
Ocrelizumab is sold as Ocrevus and is infused once every six months. You can check information from the drug manufacturer (Genentech) about how to find an infusion center near you.
Several organizations provide resources for people with MS who are interested in finding DMT infusion centers. You can refer to these organizations, among others, to locate a medication administration site near you.
If you need to travel to an infusion center that isn’t near your home, keep these tips in mind before you go.
Read more about copay assistance and MS infusion costs.
Once you have found potential MS infusion centers, you may want to figure out which one is the best fit. This research may include checking online reviews, speaking with the center’s staff or other patients, and making sure that they offer the specific type of infusion or treatment that you need.
MyMSTeam is the social network for people living with MS and their loved ones. On MyMSTeam, more than 197,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with MS.
Have you received an infusion treatment for MS? Did you find this article helpful? Share your experience in the comments below or on MyMSTeam. Your story may help others learn more about how to find an infusion center.