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Types of IV Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is most often given by IV infusion, through a flexible tube placed in a vein. The most common types of IV treatment are:

  • IV push (IV bolus). This is given over a few minutes. This type of infusion is often done in an outpatient setting. This may be in a hospital, at a clinic, or at your healthcare provider’s office. Sometimes it’s done at home with the help of a visiting nurse.

  • IV infusion. This is given over 30 minutes to several hours. It is often done in an outpatient setting, but you may need to stay overnight for 1 or more days at the hospital. In some cases, IV infusions may be given at home.

  • Continuous infusion. This type may last for days or weeks at a time. The medicines are given by a portable pump that can be worn at home. This lets you have chemotherapy and continue your normal activities at the same time.

Man reading while having chemotherapy infusion.
Chemotherapy is often given in an outpatient setting. This means you don’t stay in the hospital overnight.

Getting ready for your treatment

Depending on the type and number of medicines, the length of your IV treatment may range from hours to days. To make this time more pleasant, wear comfortable clothes. You can also read or listen to music.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
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