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Length of IV Chemotherapy

Man reading while having chemotherapy infusion.
Chemotherapy is often given in an outpatient setting.
Chemotherapy is most often given by IV infusion (through a flexible tube placed in a vein). Depending on the type and number of medicines, the length of your IV treatment may range from hours to days.

Your IV experience

To make this time more pleasant, wear comfortable clothes. You can also read or listen to music. Following are the most common types of IV treatment:

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

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

  • Continuous infusion may last for days or weeks at a time. The medicines are delivered by a portable pump that can be worn at home. This allows patients to receive chemotherapy and continue normal activities at the same time.

Online Medical Reviewer: Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: LoCicero, Richard, MD
Last Review Date: 1/6/2016
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