What is IV Therapy? This complete beginner’s guide to IV Therapy covers everything you need to know.
The circulatory system of the body is made up of the heart, blood vessels, and blood. Blood flows from the heart to all body tissues to supply oxygen and nutrients. Unwanted by-products are also removed from the tissues by the blood for excretion from the body.
The blood vessels which help move blood around the body are the arteries and veins. Blood flow in the artery is at high pressure because the heart pumps blood into the heart. On the other hand, the veins return the blood back to the heart at a far lower pressure. This makes the vein an excellent route for delivering therapeutic agents directly to the tissues.
IV therapy is a method of administering treatment that involves the direct delivery of medicinal substances directly into the bloodstream via a needle or cannula. The use of IV therapy in treating individuals has existed for decades.
In the 1832 cholera epidemic in London, it was recorded that “injecting a weak saline solution into the veins of the patient [had] the most wonderful and satisfactory effect…” Vitamin-laden fluids and mineral-rich fluids can be given via IV therapy.
IV therapy delivers fluids through a tiny needle straight to the bloodstream. These fluids have vitamins, minerals, or medications that hydrate or relieve unpleasant symptoms.
Since IV therapy bypasses the digestive system, cells can absorb nutrients much faster than they would otherwise. Because of this, many people experience symptom relief in mere minutes.
How does IV Therapy work?
IV therapy works by delivering vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream through a drip. Usually, this takes place in a medical office under medical supervision. But you can also receive IV therapy in the comfort of your home via a mobile provider. The process usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
A medical professional takes your medical history and performs a short medical exam. An IV is administered only after a thorough assessment has been conducted to determine the most appropriate treatment. Some relevant details that will be obtained include your age, the work you do, current symptoms you are experiencing, your medical history, medications you routinely take, previous surgeries you have undergone, known allergies, relevant family history, and your diet. The assessment also involves a brief examination to check your heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen levels, temperature, and blood pressure. All this information will guide the choice of fluids and add-ins that will suit your body’s needs.
The professional inserts a tiny needle into one of your veins and secures it. A tube connects the needle to the IV drip. The drip consists of saline, vitamins, and minerals customized to each patient’s symptoms.
While receiving IV therapy, your vital signs are regularly monitored to make sure the IV drip flows at the correct rate until the treatment is complete.
Once the treatment has been administered, it is removed carefully, and pressure is applied to the site to prevent bruising or bleeding.
What Happens to Your Body When You Get an IV Drip?
After receiving an IV drip with vitamins, your body will feel the effects within minutes. This includes hydration, wound healing, damaged cell repair, electrolyte replacement, and improved joints, muscles, and bodily functions. Additionally, various medications can be added to IV drips to relieve pain, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms.
What conditions benefit from IV therapy?
- Dehydration: Dehydration affects the body leading to headaches, body aches, weakness, and reduced stamina. It impairs kidney function. Whether you’re dehydrated from sports-related training, illness, or hangover, the saline solution administered via IV therapy will rehydrate your body and help your kidney to excrete any toxins in the blood.
- Nausea: A hangover, motion sickness, or a side effect of your medication may cause nausea and vomiting, making it difficult to keep water or medicine down. As IV fluids bypass the digestive system, they can work to alleviate nausea and vomiting more rapidly. Also, Zofran, a medication given via IV therapy can relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
- Cold and Flu: A vitamin-rich IV therapy boosts the immune system, combats flu symptoms, and prevents the recurrence of viral infections. The Myers Cocktail is the best option for those with the flu or a cold. It contains multiple vitamins and minerals that support your immune system function.
- Food Poisoning: IV therapy can reduce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea from food poisoning. The therapy delivers fluids, antacids, and anti-nausea medications directly into the body. Avoiding the stomach allows it to heal, making it more comfortable overall.
- Hangovers: IV therapy after a night of drinking can hydrate your body, replenish lost nutrients, flush out toxins, and get rid of headaches and nausea quickly. You’ll begin to feel better within 30-60 minutes and won’t waste a whole day in bed.
- Migraines and headaches: IV therapy for headaches can also help alleviate pain associated with migraines. Medications given for headaches include pain relief drugs, fluids, and magnesium to calm tension. It only takes 30-60 minutes, and you’ll feel much better.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: This is a complex condition in which a person persistently experiences fatigue and low energy without a clearly identifiable cause. It causes disability. Zinc, B vitamins, Magnesium, and Carnitine in IV therapy can help to reverse the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Kidney stones: The kidneys can form stones due to a number of factors such as poor hydration, diet, and genetics. IV fluid therapy ensures adequate hydration and this can help the kidney excrete small-sized stones from the body.
- Menopausal symptoms: Menopause can be a challenging period with many issues surfacing in this phase such as weak bones, hot flushes, sleep disorders, mood problems, impaired metabolism et cetera. IV therapy supplies crucial vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can help to ameliorate these symptoms.
- Depression: Inadequate levels of amino acids and vitamins have been implicated in the causation of depression. IV therapy provides you with important nutrients that have been shown to exhibit antidepressant properties such as zinc, magnesium, folate, and N-acetylcysteine.
- Morning sickness: In pregnancy, morning sickness can make it challenging to stay hydrated and get enough nutrients. IV therapy ensures you get all the vitamins and minerals you and your baby need. It can replenish your body’s nutrients, boosting your energy. The saline solution helps to replace the body fluids lost and the vitamin B6 you get in the therapy has been shown to treat morning sickness.
- Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) are both caused by abnormal immune mechanisms. Vitamin D, a vital nutrient supplied by IV therapy plays a key role in modulating the immune system and it has been shown to help preserve the function of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas in type 1 diabetes and LADA.
- Ulcers: Pepcin givn via IV therapy can give you immediate relief from abdominal pain and heartburn caused by ulcers.
- Psoriasis: Vitamin and mineral supplementation can relieve the skin lesions in psoriasis. IV therapy makes these nutrients available to your body.
- Insomnia: IV therapy furnishes your body with glutamine. Glutamine is used to synthesize gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that induces sleep.
- Cancer: Cancer patients can benefit from vitamin C in IV therapy. Vitamin C has been shown to relieve cancer symptoms and chemotherapy side effects like fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, and pain.
What kind of nutrients can you get from IV therapy?
IV therapy is a potent method of delivering vital nutrients to the body without interference from the digestive system.
The nutrients delivered can be adjusted based on an individual’s needs and requirements.
- Saline solution: Saline solution contains sodium and chloride at a concentration similar to that of the body. Thus, it helps to rehydrate the body and maintain the proper functioning of the cells.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is important for repairing the cells of the body. It maintains the strength and integrity of the tissues and is needed for wound healing.
- Glutathione: This is a ‘wonder’ antioxidant that has powerful anti-aging properties. It removes the harmful and toxic by-products of cell metabolism known as free radicals from the body. It renews the cells and tissues and promotes adequate immunity.
- Vitamin B complex: B vitamins are needed for nerve cells to function appropriately. They also help in the production of red blood cells.
- Zinc: Zinc is essential for the production of DNA. It is also needed for a healthy immune system and cell repair.
- Magnesium: Magnesium helps to regulate blood pressure and glucose levels.
- Amino acids: Some of the amino acids supplied by IV therapy are taurine, glutamine, arginine, citrulline, ornithine, and lysine. Amino acids are used to produce proteins in the body. Some of these amino acids are not produced by the body and need to be obtained from external sources. Vegans will particularly benefit from amino acids in IV therapy as most of them are only present in animal protein and dairy products.
- Toradol: This is an anti-inflammatory medicine that combats pain and inflammation in the body.
- Zofran: Zofran is an anti-nausea medication.
- Pepcid: Pepcid is an antacid that provides fast relief to symptoms of ulcers and heartburn.
How long does IV therapy take and how long do the effects last?
IV fluid therapy takes 15-90 minutes to complete. Some patients still feel the effects for four days to two weeks after the infusion.
An IV drip infusion usually lasts a few hours after absorption. You may experience frequent urination after receiving the IV fluids. This is due to the kidneys filtering your blood and excreting toxins and unwanted substances into the urine.
It usually takes a couple of hours for IV fluids to leave your body. Any IV therapy will leave vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in your body for days, weeks, or months, depending on your needs.
What are the benefits of IV therapy?
- It has a fast onset of action: The oral route is the commonest route for taking fluids, vitamins, and other medications. However, it has a drawback which is the long duration it takes before the effect is seen. This is because it has to be processed first by the intestine before it can be absorbed into the blood for use by the tissues. This is not the case with IV therapy. By passing fluids via the vein, it is made available to the tissue in a very short time.
- It has a high bioavailability: Bioavailability is the “extent a substance or drug becomes completely available to its intended biological destination”. IV therapy bypasses the digestive tract. Substances given orally which go through the digestive tract are worked upon by the stomach acid and the digestive juices of the intestine. In many cases, a significant proportion of the administered therapy may be rendered inactive by this process, such that only a small percentage of it gets to the target tissues and organs where its beneficial effect is to be felt. Apart from the effect of the digestive tract, all substances absorbed from the intestine will first pass through the liver. Unfortunately, a substantial proportion is again processed by the liver, further reducing the bioavailability. IV therapy easily overcomes this by making the fluid and its component immediately available to its intended destination. The bioavailability of IV therapy is 100%.
- It rehydrates your body: 60% of your body weight is made up of water. Dehydration occurs when fluid intake is insufficient or when excess fluid is lost from the body such as in diarrhea or vomiting. IV therapy can be used to infuse fluid directly into the blood thereby rehydrating the body and replenishing the blood volume.
- It can correct electrolyte abnormalities: Electrolyte abnormalities such as low levels of sodium, potassium, or chloride in the body can be corrected by IV therapy. Various types of fluids containing the needed salts can be administered based on the requirement of each individual.
- It can be used to administer vitamins: Vitamins are essential for your physical and emotional well-being. A deficiency of vitamins can cause a number of symptoms such as poor eyesight, weak bones, fatigue, bleeding gums, pins and needles, and lack of energy. IV therapy can be used to supply the needed vitamins to refill and replenish your body store.
- It causes physical and emotional wellness: Since many Americans don’t receive all the nutrients they need from food, they don’t feel as healthy as they should. This can lead to chronic fatigue, poor sleep, low energy, and other problems.
People who received IV therapy report improved mood, better sleep, and higher energy levels.
When should you not get IV therapy?
There are certain circumstances where it is unsafe to receive IV fluid therapy. You should not get IV therapy if you have any condition in which the body is producing excess fluids or is unable to remove fluids easily from the body. These include:
- Heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Liver cirrhosis
What are the side effects of IV therapy?
Taking IV therapy can cause side effects in some people, so it’s very important to receive treatment from a trained professional who can monitor your body’s response.
IV fluid therapy has been associated with the following side effects:
- Infection at the injection site: Using non-sterile materials and needles for the therapy can introduce infection. The sterility of all materials used is ensured. Also, disposable needles are used.
- Vein inflammation and bruising: Sometimes, some inflammation may occur in the vein after the infusion. This can be avoided by using a suitable insertion site and intravenous device.
- Rashes: Rashes may occur if you are allergic to any of the constituents of the drip. The health professional will ask questions about your allergies to reduce the chances of this occurring.
- Air embolism: In some rare cases, air can get trapped in the blood circulation. This can be prevented by properly expelling air from the drip set before administering the infusion.
- Blood clots: Blood clots may form from an inflamed vein. Measures to prevent thrombophlebitis can also stop blood clots from forming.
- Electrolyte imbalances: If the administered fluids are not tailored to each individual’s needs, electrolyte derangements may ensue.
- Vitamin overdose/toxicity: It is important to add the right dose of vitamins to your IV drip, or else some side effects such as fainting, mood changes, or diarrhea may occur.
To avoid these side effects, you must inform your healthcare professional of any medications or supplements you take and any previous reactions you have had. Most of these adverse events will only occur when universal precautions on safety are not adhered to or when untrained personnel administers the therapy. A reputable provider will have fewer risks, so ensure you speak to the right team.
What are the Pros and Cons of IV fluid therapy?
- Available Customization: You can customize your IV package to suit specific needs. For example, if your diet is low in vitamin B12, as is the case with most vegetarian diets, you can request a B12 add-in.
- Optimal hydration: Up to 60% of the human body is water, yet many Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Getting enough water isn’t always easy, and if you’re sweating it away frequently, it’s even harder to stay hydrated. Traditional oral supplementation may not suffice in some cases. The saline present in all IV therapy packages can allow you to experience how optimal hydration feels.
- Immediate Benefits: One of the best features of IV therapy is that its effects set in very quickly. Many people begin to feel more energized and alert within minutes of treatment. IV therapy has nearly immediate benefits compared to medication or drinking water. So if you need to feel better fast, you’ll find no better option than IV therapy.
- Convenience: IV therapy is fast and convenient. The process requires little effort aside from answering a few questions and holding out your arm. You can even receive this therapy from the comfort of your home. If you’re feeling terrible due to a hangover or an illness, you can easily get relief from your symptoms.
- Cost: IV therapy isn’t usually covered by health insurance, so you need to pay for it.
- Potential Reactions: Some IV therapy components may cause allergic reactions. However, an initial assessment by an RN or paramedic will include questions designed to minimize the possibility of a reaction occurring. Because most of the ingredients in an IV drip are present in various foods, it is pretty rare for someone to have an unexpected reaction.
It should be noted that IV therapy should not be used long-term or as a substitute for a healthy diet. Despite vitamin IV treatments’ drawbacks, most can be minimized with close supervision by a qualified healthcare professional. Talk with your RN, paramedic, or medical professional about your symptoms and treatment goals.
How much does Intravenous Drip therapy cost?
Our prices cover the paramedic or RN coming to your preferred location and administering your IV drip, with all travel fees included.
Drip Bar vs. In-Home IV Therapy: Where to Get an IV?
IV drip bars are a lot like spas. They usually offer wellness services along with IV therapy. Drip bars often deliver a “healing atmosphere” and may even have a social element. In this case, drip bars are best for people who want to improve their mood and increase energy (not treat an illness). In-home IV therapy is ideal for people who don’t want to spread their illness or go out in public. It’s a convenient choice that brings IV therapy to your door and administers it in your home.
What should you do before receiving IV fluid therapy?
Here’s a quick list of things to do before IV therapy to enhance your experience:
- Hydrate: Your body will be more responsive if you are hydrated before beginning the therapy. It is possible for your veins to be smaller if you are low on fluids. Drinking water before your appointment will improve your response to the drip and make your veins more visible.
- Relax: Relax while you wait for your IV to start. Close your eyes and take five deep breaths in and out. Count slowly on each inhalation and exhalation to help release any nervous tension.
- Eat: Before your appointment, eat a meal/snack if you are able, and ensure it contains protein. This is because some vitamins and minerals can cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach.
- Have a book or music: Depending on your treatment plan, your IV could take up to 90 minutes to infuse. Bring your favorite magazines, books, and headphones to enjoy and relax.
- Dress comfortably: Wear a short sleeve top and comfortable pants and socks. Have a blanket nearby if you tend to get cold.
IV Therapy – Final Thoughts
In summary, IV fluid therapy can deliver vital nutrients to your bloodstream quickly and effectively in order to keep you fit and healthy. It can also be used to administer medications for fast resolution of symptoms of nausea, cold and flu, ulcers, hangovers, or morning sickness.
IV fluid therapy offers these additional benefits:
- It corrects vitamin deficiencies or imbalances
- It is a more effective way to absorb vitamins compared to oral vitamins or food as it bypasses the digestive system for direct delivery of nutrients.
- It delivers a calculated dose of vitamins that can be tailored specifically to your body’s needs.
- It provides a suitable alternative to oral supplements for those who cannot ingest them or have not responded to them.
If you’re interested in trying out IV therapy for yourself, Arizona IV Medics is here to make the process comfortable and convenient with our in-home services.
Our team of RNs and paramedics are trained to assess your needs and provide recommendations when requested, so you receive a safe and effective treatment.
What is IV Therapy – FAQs
How long does IV therapy take?
Generally, IV therapies take 15 – 90 minutes. The average is about 30 minutes.
How long do the effects of IV therapy last?
The effects of IV therapy usually last about three to four days. But this depends on the individual. Sometimes, the effects can last up to two weeks after treatment.
How often should you get IV therapy?
Many people choose to get IV therapy as often as once a week or once a month. If you suffer from morning sickness or regular nausea, you may need more frequent IV therapy.
What are the side effects of IV therapy?
Although rare, side effects of IV therapy include light bruising and soreness around the injection area. Some people may also experience a cool feeling in the arm, a metallic taste in the mouth, and a flushing feeling.
Are there age requirements for IV therapy?
Patients must be at least 12 years of age and weigh 100 or more pounds to receive treatment.
Is IV therapy better than drinking water?
IV hydration uses vitamin- and mineral-rich saline solutions, which provide faster and more effective dehydration relief than ordinary water. Due to the IV’s direct entry into the bloodstream, symptoms are relieved sooner. If you are nauseated and have trouble keeping food down, your irritated stomach won’t have to digest anything, allowing it to heal.
What is IV therapy used for?
IV therapy is used for delivering medications or other fluids directly into the body through a vein. This therapy can treat various conditions and is often used when other medication delivery methods are not possible or practical. IV therapy can deliver medications, hydration, or nutrition.
Does IV therapy work for weight loss?
IV therapy may help promote weight loss. That’s because it delivers nutrients and hydration directly to cells, increasing metabolism and promoting weight loss.Further, IV therapy can help detoxify the body and reduce inflammation, leading to further weight loss.
What are the main types of IV fluids?
The main types of IV fluids include saline, dextrose, and Lactated Ringer’s solution. These solutions are customized based on the health status of each patient.
Do IVs make you sleepy?
If you’re dehydrated, you may feel sleepy after receiving IV fluids. This is because IV fluids help to rehydrate your body and can also contain medications that can make you drowsy.
Can you drink water while receiving IV therapy?
You can drink water while receiving a drip unless your doctor or nurse has told you otherwise.
How much fluid is in an IV bag?
Many IV bags have 1000mL of fluid, and one liter of IV fluids weighs about one kilogram. There are many IV fluids, but the most common type is Normal Saline Solution (NSS). NSS contains 0.9% NaCl (salt) and is used to replenish bodily fluids. Other IV fluids include Lactated Ringer’s Solution (LRS), used to treat low blood pressure, and Dextrose 5% in Water (D5W), used to treat low blood sugar levels.
Can you eat before IV therapy?
In general, it is recommended that you have a small protein-rich snack before your IV treatment. This will help to ensure that the IV fluids are properly absorbed and will not cause any gastrointestinal upset. However, if you are receiving IV fluids, it is essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding eating and drinking.
How do you feel after IV therapy?
After IV therapy, you should feel like you have more energy. And if you had pain or nausea, those symptoms should have disappeared or at least improved. As a result of the magnesium in many IV drips and the increased fluids, you may feel sleepy. Your body will need some time to adjust to the increased fluids since magnesium relaxes the muscles.
Does IV therapy hurt?
The initial sting of the needle going in will feel like a pinch, but once it is placed, it should not hurt. Healthcare professionals well versed in IV therapy are skilled at finding the right vein for infusing the therapy. As a result, you may experience a dull burning sensation if your IV includes glutathione or certain medications. IV professionals know to infuse these add-ins slowly, reducing discomfort.
What is IV Therapy? References
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