Abbi Tucker’s simple wish is to be a normal teenager and enjoy playing music, but when she was 13, severe migraine headaches and terrible stomach aches, that resulted in a 50-pound weight loss, derailed her hopes for a while. After numerous tests and consultations with doctors she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. Her life is back on track now that she receives infusions of therapy treating chronic inflammatory disorders at Option Care Health’s Troy Infusion Suite.

“Once I started getting treatment, my life changed,” says Abbi, now 16, of Marysville, Mich. “I gained the weight back and could finally focus on school and having fun again.”

When Abbi started experiencing severe health issues, she and her family were frightened and she was miserable. Her symptoms caused her to miss at least one day of school a week and she found it difficult to keep up with her studies. She couldn’t hang out with her friends, play or teach piano, and even lost her appetite.

Now with a treatment plan in place, she’s back to her activities, including band practice as a junior drum major, spending time with friends and playing music at her church. Eating is also gratifying, although she stays away from greasy and spicy foods as well as popcorn.

Abbi originally received her one-hour therapy every seven weeks at the hospital. When insurance issues arose necessitating a switch to an infusion company, she and her family selected Option Care Health and couldn’t be happier with their choice.

“I LOVE the nurses there,” she said. “I have a hard time getting my blood going for blood draws, which made them painful. One of my Option Care Health infusion nurses made me a heating pad and I use it every time I get my blood drawn. It’s amazing.”

Antonette, the receptionist at the facility, calls to remind her family about upcoming appointments and the staff knows to look for her dad’s red truck when she gets dropped off. He’s a fireman and paramedic with a medical background, which puts her family at ease.

She likes getting her care at the infusion suite instead of at home because she occasionally has had adverse reactions. She takes Benadryl and a steroid before every treatment, which helps, but she’s comforted to know that Option Care Health nurses are nearby if she starts having issues. She also appreciates the privacy of the suites.

“The staff always makes me feel right at home and that my health is their number one priority,” said Abbi. “Infusion therapy really has been lifechanging and now I can do what a typical 16-year-old would do every day.”


Adverse drug events and autoimmune diseaseNEW ORLEANS — Adverse drug events (ADE) were rare — and serious ADEs nonexistent — in a retrospective two-year study of nearly 1,900 home and alternate treatment site (ATS) infusions of infliximab for patients with autoimmune disorders.1 The research was presented today by Option Care, a leading provider of home and ATS infusion services, at the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) Annual Conference & Exposition.

“Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that home infusion administered by a high quality provider is safe and effective, “ said Kendra Curry, PharmD, corporate director of Option Care Specialty Infusion Programs. “Patients prefer to receive their infusions in the comfort of their home and Option Care is dedicated to delivering exceptional care and comprehensive support, which improves clinical outcomes and is significantly more cost effective. “

The study included 291 Option Care patients who received 1,866 infusions of infliximab, an immune system suppressant used to treat a variety of autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

  • None of the infusions were associated with a severe ADE
  • 13 (0.7 percent) of the infusions were associated with a moderate ADE, such as fever or hives
  • 65 (3.48 percent) of the infusions were associated with a mild ADE, such as nausea or headache
  • 4.2 percent overall rate of ADE
    • Consistent with the range for ADE rates reported in published infliximab infusion studies of patients treated in various settings, including the home, ATS, hospital and medical office2-4
  • All patients included in the Option Care study were managed at home or the ATS during their infliximab infusions.

The study included (adult and pediatric) infliximab infusions occurring between May 1, 2012 and May 31, 2014:

  • 1,441 (77.2 percent) occurred in the home
  • 410 (22 percent) at an ATS such as freestanding infusion clinic
  • 15 (fewer than 1.0 percent) occurred in an unspecified location (either home or ATS).

Option Care’s specially trained registered nurses and pharmacists provide high-quality, high-touch clinical support to patients treated for complex conditions such as autoimmune disorders. The Option Care nurse stays with and observes the patient throughout every infliximab infusion, monitoring the patient’s vital signs (e.g. pulse and blood pressure) and for any adverse drug events or signs and/or symptoms of an infusion-related or hypersensitivity reaction.

“Our patients benefit from the personalized, high-touch care provided by our extensively trained registered nurses who follow research-based best practices and protocols backed by years of experience, “ said Brenda Wright, vice president of Clinical Services for Option Care. “In the rare case a patient begins to have a reaction, the nurse can swiftly and proactively manage the issue and prevent it from developing into a serious adverse event. “

Option Care has a staff of more than 1,800 clinical experts, including pharmacists, more than 1,200 infusion nurses and more than 100 registered dietitians. This multidisciplinary team of specially trained clinicians provides individualized patient care plans, clinical monitoring of each infusion and comprehensive patient and caregiver education.

About Option Care

Option Care Enterprises, Inc. offers clinical care provided by specially trained infusion nurses, pharmacists and dietitians who treat patients with a wide range of acute, chronic and rare conditions. As one of the nation’s largest providers of home and alternate treatment site infusion services, Option Care has 92 infusion pharmacies and 110 alternate treatment sites across the country. Learn more at

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  1. Smith S, Curry, K, Rout T, et al. Adverse drug events in infliximab patients infused in the home care setting: a retrospective chart review. Poster presented at the National Home Infusion Association Annual Conference and Exhibition; 2016 March 21-24; New Orleans, La.
  2. Kelsall  J,  Rogers P,  Galindo G,  De Vera MA. Safety of infliximab treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a real-world clinical setting: description and evaluation of infusion reactions. J Rheumatol.  2012 Aug;39(8):1539-45.
  3. Breynaert C, Ferrante M, Fidder H, et al. Tolerability of shortened infliximab infusion times in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases: a single-center cohort study. Am J Gastroenterol.  2011 Apr;106(4):778-85
  4. Ducharme  J,  Pelletier C,  Zacharias R. The safety of infliximab infusions in the community setting. Can J Gastroenterol.  2010 May;24(5):307-11.


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Lauren Kotarski