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Questions to ask about biological therapy

The following are questions that you can ask the healthcare team about biological therapy treatment. Choose the questions that fit your, or your child’s, situation and add questions of your own. You may find it helpful to take the list to the next appointment and to write down the answers.

  • What is biological therapy?
  • What are the benefits and risks of biological therapy?
  • When will biological therapy be given? Is there a waiting list for biological therapy?
  • What type of biological therapy will be given?
  • What are the brand and generic names of the drug(s)? What is the correct spelling?
  • How is biological therapy given? How often? Over what period of time?
  • Where will biological therapy take place?
  • Does biological therapy require a hospital stay? If so, for how long?
  • Can a support person (such as a partner, parent or friend) stay during biological therapy?
  • Can any treatment be done at home? Is any special equipment or training needed?
  • What are the chances it will be successful? When will we know?
  • Is any preparation needed for biological therapy?
  • What tests are done during biological therapy?
  • Will other treatments (like radiation therapy or chemotherapy) be used at the same time?
  • Are any immunizations or vaccinations needed before biological therapy starts?
  • Will the drug(s) interact with any over-the-counter drugs (for example, Tylenol) or vitamins?
  • What are possible side effects of biological therapy? When would they start? How long do they usually last?
  • Which side effects should I report right away? Who do I call?
  • What can be done to treat side effects?
  • Is a special diet needed? Are there any foods that interact with the biological therapy drugs?
  • Are there special things that I should or should not do during or after biological therapy?
  • Will biological therapy affect usual activities? If so, for how long?
  • Will there be other treatment after biological therapy? If so, what kind?
  • When are follow-up visits scheduled? Who is responsible for follow-up after biological therapy?

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