What Is IV Therapy? The Science & Methodology Behind Drip Treatments

Intravenous (IV) therapy is a method of delivering fluids directly into the bloodstream. These fluids can be infused with vitamins, nutrients, medications, or other treatments to address health issues. When receiving IV therapy, a needle attached to a small, long tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vein. The tube connects to a bag of fluids that is hung above the patient’s head. Let’s take a look at how IV therapy works, its potential benefits, and much more.

What are the two types of IV therapy?

There are two types of methods to carry fluids from the bag into the bloodstream.

  • Drip infusion – Gravity helps carry the fluids and any ingredients injected into them through the tube and into the bloodstream.
  • Pump infusion – Pump infusions use a motorized pump to maintain a constant, steady flow of fluids.

How long does IV therapy take?

An average IV session takes 30-45 minutes. NAD treatments and iron infusions, explained below, may need 3-4 hours to complete. Other specialized treatments may have procedures that take place before or after the IV drip that can extend the total session time.

How quickly will you feel the effects of the IV drip?

IV therapy treatments often leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized once sessions are complete because they hydrate the body quickly. How quickly you feel other effects varies depending on the treatment and the health concern you are addressing, among other factors.

Is IV therapy good for you?

IV therapy is a versatile treatment method that can help address a wide variety of health issues. As a result, IV therapy has become more popular in recent years as a treatment to address both general health concerns and specific health conditions. IV treatments ensure the body is hydrated, which is essential for your body to function optimally.

Working with a reputable health care provider to get IV therapy helps ensure that you get the vitamins, nutrients, and treatments your body needs to feel its best.

The benefits of IV therapy

There are many potential benefits of IV therapy. The exact benefits depend on the type of treatment used. For example, a hangover IV can help mitigate hangover symptoms while a monoclonal antibody IV can help combat an active COVID-19 infection.

Although IV infusions can support your health in many ways, IVs are not a cure for any disease. It’s also important to speak with your doctor before getting an infusion, as treatment may not be right for you.

What are the advantages of IV therapy?

Delivering fluids, vitamins, nutrients, and other ingredients directly into the bloodstream offers advantages over oral treatments that include:

  • Higher absorption rate – Vitamins, nutrients, and medications consumed orally get broken down in the digestive process with an absorption rate of approximately 50%. Infusion therapy offers an absorption rate of 90% or more.
  • Begin working faster – Medications and vitamins delivered directly to the bloodstream can start being used by the body immediately, rather than having to go through the digestive system first.
  • Higher efficacy in certain cases – Some vitamins and treatments offer benefits when delivered intravenously that are not experienced when consumed orally.
  • Gentler method of delivery – Some people may have issues consuming fluids or medications due to illness, nausea, or other factors. IV therapy allows them to get the treatment they need without experiencing uncomfortable or painful side effects.

What are the 5 R’s of fluid therapy?

While researching IV therapy, you may have come across references to the “5 R’s” of infusion therapy. This refers to the process used by healthcare professionals to assess a patient and determine the best approach to IV therapy treatment.

  • Resuscitation – This step involves determining whether a patient needs IV therapy, determining the type of fluids needed, and administering them.
  • Routine maintenance – This step outlines the proper steps to deliver IV fluids over a period of time.
  • Replacement and Redistribution – These steps guide healthcare experts through adjusting IV formulas as necessary to address health concerns.
  • Reassessment – This step occurs multiple times throughout the treatment process to ensure a patient’s needs are being addressed properly.

What are the ingredients in IV therapy?

IV therapy has various components designed to promote general wellness and address health concerns. There are many potential formulations, each of which is designed to support a specific health goal. Below, we discuss the ingredients that may be contained in an IV treatment.

IV fluids

The primary ingredient in IV therapy is IV fluids, also known as saline solutions. IV fluids do more than just deliver vitamins and medications. IV fluids help hydrate the body, which is essential to proper body function. Hydration has two components – fluids and electrolytes.

Fluids and tonicity

The volume-behavior of cells in a solution is known as tonicity. Cells have two parts- intracellular, which is the inside of the cell, and extracellular, which is the outside of the cell. Fluid may transfer between these two parts in a process known as osmosis to reach the ideal tonicity, which is the isotonic state.

Cells being in an isotonic state means that they have an equal concentration of fluids both inside and outside the cell. IV fluids come in three types of solutions to help a patient achieve tonicity:

  • Hypotonic fluids – Hypotonic fluids help move fluids intracellularly, which rehydrates cells and may cause cell swelling. These solutions are administered to address diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperosmolar hyperglycemia.
  • Isotonic fluids – Isotonic fluids increase fluid volume in the body. These types of fluids are typically used to address situations like blood loss, dehydration, or are administered during surgery.
  • Hypertonic fluids – Hypertonic fluids transfer fluid extracellularly. This causes cells to shrink. These fluids are only used in specific situations, most commonly in Intensive Care Units (ICU) to treat pulmonary edema, a condition that results from fluid overload.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals contained in the body that have an electric charge. Electrolytes are necessary to several essential body functions, including:

  • Transferring vitamins & nutrients into cells
  • Moving waste out of cells
  • Supporting brain, muscle, heart, and nerve function
  • Balancing water levels
  • Balancing pH levels
  • Vitamins and nutrients

A vitamin infusion is typically a blend of vitamins formulated to address specific health concerns. However, you can also get specific vitamins individually, or add them to a blended formula for an extra boost. Some of the most common vitamins in blends include:

Amino acid blends

An IV infusion can include a formulated blend of the 20 amino acids that make up the human body. One example is Lipostat Plus. Amino acids are considered “the building blocks of life,” as they are both part of our genetics and necessary for day-to-day body function. These amino acids are broken into three categories.

  • Essential amino acids are not produced by the body and must be obtained through supplements or diet.
    • Histidine is vital to the creation of histamine, which helps defend against allergens. It also aids the digestive process and works as a neurotransmitter.
    • Tryptophan is important to the regulation of sleep cycles, as it helps produce melatonin and serotonin. Appetite, mood, and pain are also managed by serotonin.
    • Isoleucine is essential for growth processes, immune function, and metabolic function. It is found mostly in muscle proteins, providing energy and stimulating muscle growth.
    • Lysine absorbs calcium, helps form collagen, and ensures proper growth.
    • Leucine, like isoleucine, is located primarily in muscle tissue, where it aids muscle growth and metabolic function. It also plays an important role in healing skin, muscle, and bone injuries.
    • Valine can be metabolized instead of glucose if necessary and is believed to help preserve nerves’ myelin coverings.
    • Phenylalanine is vital to the creation of several brain chemicals, including those related to fight or flight response (adrenaline and noradrenaline) as well as dopamine, which is critical to skill-learning, feeling pleasure, and memory formation.
    • Methionine is necessary to muscle healing and produces sulfur-containing molecules used for numerous body functions.
    • Threonine is essential for a number of functions, including tooth enamel and bone growth, the formation of blood clots, and the production of tissue muscle, collagen, and elastin.
  • Non-essential amino acids can be produced by the body, but not necessarily in high enough amounts.
    • Asparagine is necessary for glycoprotein production and supports liver health. It also helps signaling and development in the central nervous system.
    • Glutamic acid helps create glutamate, which helps facilitate cell communication that affects memory and learning.
    • Aspartic acid aids immune response, helping to generate antibodies. It is also involved in the production of sperm and testosterone, as well as menstrual cycle regulation.
    • Alanine helps breakdown tryptophan and vitamin B6. It also works with histidine to create carnosine, which reduces lactic acid accumulation resulting from exercise.
  • Conditional amino acids cannot be produced by the body due to certain conditions, like extreme stress, aging, or genetic disorder.
    • Arginine is essential for newborns, neutralizing ammonia in the liver and boosting T-cell production to help immune response. It also aids healing and the release of growth and insulin hormones.
    • Tyrosine plays an important part in the production of brain chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine, as well as thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism and give skin color.
    • Glycine is the primary amino acid in collagen, making it vital to the healthy growth of blood, muscle, skin, cartilage, and bone. It also helps produce creatine, giving energy to muscles.
    • Proline makes up 15% of collagen, helping to reduce joint friction and heal cartilage. It also fights artery hardening by aiding the release of fat buildup, lowering blood pressure.
    • Cysteine helps create beta-keratin, which is the main protein in hair, skin, and nails. Additionally, it helps make collagen, and works as an antioxidant.
    • Serine manages neuron activity and helps other chemicals bind to NMDA receptors and is mostly located in the brain.
    • Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream. It helps create proteins, detoxify the liver, fuels white blood cells, aids nutrient absorption, and preserves the intestinal lining.

B complex vitamins

B vitamins are a group of 8 vitamins that are water-soluble. Supplements containing all eight B vitamins are considered B complex vitamins. The body does not store B vitamins, so they must be obtained through diet or supplementation, as they are necessary for many body functions.

B complex vitamins include:

  • B1, aka thiamine – B1 is necessary for metabolic function, as it helps convert nutrients into energy.
  • B2, aka riboflavin – B2 helps convert nutrients into energy and also works as an antioxidant.
  • B3, aka niacin – B3 is essential for DNA production and repair, metabolic function, and cellular signaling.
  • B5, aka pantothenic acid – B5 aids cholesterol and hormone production, as well as the metabolic process.
  • B6, aka pyridoxine – B6 is necessary for amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and neurotransmitter production.
  • B7, aka biotin – B7 regulates gene expression and aids metabolic function by breaking down carbohydrates and fat.
  • B9, aka folate – B9 is vital to amino acid metabolism, cell growth and division, and the formation of red and white blood cells.
  • B12, aka cobalamin – B12 is essential to neurological function, the development of red blood cells, and DNA production.

Although these vitamins are grouped together due to their shared characteristics, each one has a unique role. The body needs different amounts of each vitamin, which is accounted for in B-complex vitamin supplement formulas.

Glutathione

Glutathione is essential to several body functions, including the activation of enzymes, DNA creation and repair, protein production, and metabolic function. It is also the body’s most abundant antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals to protect the body from oxidative stress.

Glutathione supplementation can address several health concerns and help maintain glutathione levels that naturally lower as we age. Glutathione is easily broken down in the digestive process, leading to poor absorption rates. IV therapy is an ideal way to supplement glutathione, as it is delivered directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral which aids several body processes. It ensures healthy growth and maintenance of bones, helps muscle and nerve function, and also neutralizes stomach acid. It is necessary for bowel movements and assists the digestive process.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an important role in numerous body functions. Because the body does not produce nor store Vitamin C, this water-soluble vitamin must be obtained through diet or supplementation.

Some examples of Vitamin C’s role in healthy function include:

  • Antioxidant – Vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals – unstable atoms that cause cellular damage. It also acts to protect cells from being damaged, preventing oxidative stress.
  • Immune response – Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and protects these cells from oxidative stress. It also helps strengthen the skin barrier, helping to protect the body from infection or illness.
  • Neurotransmitter production – Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers necessary for body function. The body cannot build healthy neurotransmitters without Vitamin C.
  • Tissue regeneration – Vitamin C is a component of the proteins necessary to create blood vessels, skin, tendons, and ligaments. It is also essential to wound healing and scar tissue formation.
  • Iron absorption – Vitamin C assists the body in absorbing iron to help prevent iron deficiency.

Medications and specialty treatments

There are a number of specialized treatments available that are delivered via IV therapy. It should be noted that the duration of these treatments may be longer than your typical vitamin drip. In some cases, while the IV drip itself does not take more time, there are procedures that take place before or after the IV session is complete that make sessions longer.

NAD IV therapy

NAD is short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NAD is a coenzyme vital to the human body’s energy function. As you age, NAD levels fall naturally, leading to reduced energy. NAD therapy replenishes these reduced levels of NAD to prevent loss of metabolic energy and improve NAD’s regenerative effects.

Brain cells face a number of age-related issues, including:

  • Inflammation – Inflammation is linked to cognitive decline in numerous studies, as well as conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. It can also cause mental health issues and impair physical function.
  • Oxidative stress – Metabolic processes within the body produce molecules with one or more unpaired electrons, known as free radicals. Free radicals that are not neutralized by antioxidants can cause damage on a cellular level, which is called oxidative stress. 20% of the body’s oxygen supply is used by the brain for vital functions, resulting in free radical generation. This means brain cells are particularly susceptible to oxidative stress.
  • Misfolded proteins – Proteins are comprised of complex structures designed for specific functions. However, approximately 1 in 7 amino acid chains are imperfect, which can interfere with a protein’s ability to fold as required to function. This is considered a misfolded protein, a health concern that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other similar conditions.

These age-related issues cause damage that impairs plasticity- the ability of brain cells to adapt to changing environments. Neuronal stress resistance is also reduced, which can cause messages to be sent at higher rates than normal, or in a failure to send necessary messages between cells. This can result in cognitive decline and has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Regular NAD supplementation helps brain cells retain plasticity and helps increase cell renewal and regeneration signaling. This can improve reaction times, learning, and concentration.

Addiction recovery

In addition to its potential benefits for metabolism and brain health, NAD also has benefits for those recovering from substance abuse disorder. NAD helps the body handle detox in the following ways:

  • Helps curb cravings and lessens pain during withdrawal, helping to fight relapse.
  • Decreases withdrawal symptoms overall, further combating the likelihood of relapse.
  • Aids natural energy generation, helping to avoid fatigue. It also helps prevent crashes or jitters which occur when caffeine, sugar, or other substances are consumed to combat fatigue.
  • Helps the body flush drugs from its system.

A Los Angeles clinic administered NAD to patients experiencing withdrawal from opiates or alcohol and found a significant reduction in:

  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

NAD for addiction recovery typically includes multiple sessions over time. The duration and frequency of treatments varies depending on several factors, including the substance involved, the severity of the addiction, and other health concerns.

Monoclonal Antibodies for Covid-19

Antibodies are proteins that the immune system produces to defend against illness and harmful substances. Covid-19 monoclonal antibodies are lab-produced antibodies derived from cells collected from people who have recovered from Covid-19.

Monoclonal antibodies work by attaching to Covid-19 viral cells and target the virus’ spike protein. The spike protein helps Covid-19 invade human cells to begin replicating. Viral load is a term referring to the volume of viral cells in the body. A high viral load of Covid-19 cells has been linked to severe symptoms and hospitalization. By preventing the replication of Covid-19 cells, the damage done by the virus is limited.

There are two types of monoclonal antibody treatments available:

  • Monoclonal antibody therapy is administered to people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and are at high risk of developing severe symptoms and being hospitalized. Your vaccination status does not affect your eligibility to receive this treatment. Additional requirements include being 12 years of age or older and weighing more than 88 pounds.
  • EVUSHELD antibody therapy is administered to people who meet the following criteria:
    • Do not currently have Covid-19
    • Are unable to be vaccinated against Covid-19 because they are severely allergic to vaccine component(s)
    • Are taking immunosuppressive medications that prevent your immune system from responding adequately, even after full vaccination
    • Are immunocompromised or diagnosed with an immunodeficiency, and therefore cannot produce an adequate immune response even after full vaccination
    • Are receiving treatment for a solid tumor or another cancer therapy

It should be noted that neither monoclonal antibody therapy nor EVUSHELD antibody therapy are available without a prescription. These treatments are not a substitute for vaccination for those who do not meet the criteria. Monoclonal antibody therapy is most effective when administered within 10 days of symptoms. Monoclonal antibody therapy administered after the inflammatory response of the immune system has been triggered will have little to no effect.

Exosome and stem cell therapy

Exosome and stem cell therapy are regenerative treatments that can help address inflammation, chronic pain, and promote tissue regeneration.

Stem cell therapy

Stem cells are frequently called “the master cells of the body” due to their ability to generate highly specialized cells designed for specific functions (i.e., heart muscle, brain cells, etc.). Stem cells are vital to lifelong healing and repair.

Stem cell therapy involves supplementing the body with lab-grown stem cells that have been processed to create specialized cells that can address different health conditions. Stem cell therapies can be developed from different types of cells, including:

  • Embryonic stem cells are sourced from embryos that have not yet implanted in the uterus. These cells can produce the widest variety of specialized cells.
  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are harvested from the adult stroma, a connective tissue surrounding inner organs and other tissues of the body. MSCs can generate cartilage, fat, and bone, addressing a wide variety of health concerns.
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) may be processed from either embryonic or adult tissue. Traditionally, embryonic stem cells were considered more versatile in therapeutic application. Significant progress has been made in utilizing adult stem cells in recent years.

The most promising application of stem cells is tissue regeneration. The potential benefits of stem cell therapy for tissue regeneration include:

  • Helps repair heart and muscle tissue in studies
  • Are used to produce new skin tissue for burn victims
  • Aids heart and muscle tissue repair
  • Aids recovery from surgery for knee conditions
  • Promotes healing and adaptation to biomaterials (i.e., joint replacement)
  • Shows potential for organ regeneration

Stem cells promote growth and repair of cells at all three levels of human regeneration: molecular, cellular, and tissue.

Exosomes

Exosomes are small buds formed when two cells fuse together. Eventually, exosomes break off of the fused cells and carry proteins and genetic information between cells. They also work to remove harmful cellular cytotoxins from the body and promote cellular healing.

Exosomes are not a cure for any condition, but rather a supportive therapy meant to support additional health care regimens and help them work more efficiently in the following ways:

  • Address chronic inflammation and pain – Inflammation is caused by an immune response. Some people have overactive immune systems, causing harmful and unnecessary inflammation. Exosomes help moderate immune response and remove cellular cytotoxins, improving conditions like inflammation due to obesity or age, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Helps treat neurodegenerative conditions – Exosomes are particularly promising due to their ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier, which stem cells cannot do. This allows exosomes to fuel and facilitate communication between brain cells that other treatments are unable to reach. Examples of conditions exosomes can help improve include cognitive decline due to aging, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Promotes joint repair and tissue regeneration – By improving and moderating cell communication, exosomes help stimulate regeneration and repair. Research is underway to explore the possibility of utilizing exosomes as carriers for other treatments that can help treat joint injury, age-related cartilage and tissue loss, and osteoporosis.

Ketamine

Ketamine is approved as an anesthetic by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it has been studied for its antidepressant effects since the 1990s. Doctors may prescribe ketamine treatments “off-label” to take advantage of its antidepressant properties.

Ketamine therapy is believed to promote the generation of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Increased glutamate helps repair damage and stimulates the formation of new connections, allowing the brain to become more adaptable.

Ketamine has proven effective in relieving treatment-resistant depression, which is a type of major depressive disorder. This diagnosis is given to people who have attempted 2 or more antidepressant treatments with little to no success.

Ketamine may also be beneficial for:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Postpartum depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar disorder

Ketamine shows promise in the treatment of mental health conditions for three reasons:

  • Begins working quickly – Traditional antidepressants may take 4-6 weeks before they begin working at full strength. One study showed that 88% of patients with suicidal ideation experienced relief of symptoms within 90 minutes of receiving an emergency ketamine IV treatment.
  • Highly effective – Another study found that 85% of patients experienced notable improvement after one ketamine treatment.
  • Long-lasting results – This same study also found that the duration of positive effects averaged 19 days, with some participants’ relief lasting up to three months. Traditional antidepressants only work as long as they are in your body. The new connections formed due to increased glutamate production support healthier thoughts and behaviors even after ketamine has been flushed from your system.

While ketamine has advantages over traditional antidepressants, the best results are often achieved by using both in support of each other. Therapy is also strongly recommended to help form healthy new connections.

Ketamine treatment for mental health involves 6-8 sessions of small doses over a period of time. After this initial series, booster treatments may be needed to address symptoms if they reappear. Generally, the need for boosters will get progressively less frequent until they are no longer needed. Approximately 30% of those who complete the initial series of treatment will not need a booster.

What diseases are treated with infusion therapy?

In addition to the health conditions already outlined above, IV therapy can help address the following health conditions:

Covid-19

In addition to monoclonal antibodies for treatment and prevention of infection, certain vitamins can help aid recovery from Covid-19.

Deficiencies in Vitamin C and glutathione have been linked to a higher risk of infection. These deficiencies also increase the likelihood of developing severe symptoms or being hospitalized once infected with Covid-19. Several of the conditions that cause people to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 are also linked to Vitamin C deficiency, such as being immunocompromised, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory conditions, and being a smoker.

Studies of Vitamin C show benefits in the following ways:

  • Helps relieve severe respiratory infection symptoms in the elderly
  • Shortens length of time on mechanical ventilation for ICU patients
  • Reduces symptom severity and hospital stay duration for elderly pneumonia patients
  • Lessens severity of acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Covid-19 appears to significantly alter patterns of glutathione production in the body. Levels lower naturally with age, however Covid-19 can cause sharp declines in younger people, causing oxidant damage normally seen in older age groups.

Other vitamin benefits for Covid-19 prevention or recovery include:

  • Vitamin B12 helps regulate immune cell communication, helping to strengthen defenses against Covid-19
  • Zinc appears to suppress the replication of viral cells, reducing symptom severity and helping speed recovery
  • B-vitamins help prevent or reverse cytokine storms which cause acute inflammation.
  • Vitamin IV therapy can help fuel the body to heal and recover from Covid-19, as well as help address long-Covid symptoms.

Cancer

High-dose vitamin C has been studied for anti-cancer benefits since the 1970s. Most initial studies involved supplementing Vitamin C orally, which offered inconsistent results. In recent years, interest in Vitamin C supplemented via infusion has notably more success.

It should be noted that studies focus on Vitamin C as a supporting therapy in addition to traditional cancer treatments. Vitamin C should not be regarded as a substitute for chemotherapy or any other cancer treatment.

Multiple studies have found that Vitamin C helps reduce chemotherapy’s toxic side effects. Research also found that Vitamin C can kill cells leftover after chemotherapy is complete. Vitamin C acts as a pro-oxidant to these cells, surrounding them and stimulating the creation of hydrogen peroxide, which eliminates cancer cells.

Vitamin C infusions for cancer have a low risk of side effects. Vitamin C deficiency has been linked to chemotherapy, and as the body does not store Vitamin C, vitamin overload is unlikely.

Vitamin C infusions for cancer are considered off-label use, as the FDA has not approved Vitamin C for this purpose. This may be due to the lack of profitability in Vitamin C treatments, as pharmaceutical companies are unable to patent it, leading to a lack of motivation to fund further research.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Stem cell therapy has been studied as a treatment for RA for both its regenerative properties and regulation of inflammatory immune response. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have had the best results in studies of stem cell therapy for RA.

RA sufferers experience inflammation in joint tissues, causing loss of cartilage. Over time, lack of cartilage can result in damage to joints and bones. MSCs help combat inflammation while stimulating repair and regeneration of damaged cells.

Infusion stem cell therapy is superior to injectable therapies, as direct injection can trigger the development of synovial fibroblasts, which can worsen symptoms. Infusion therapy does not present this risk.

Why would a person need an IV infusion?

IV therapy can offer many general wellness benefits and is not restricted to those with diseases or health conditions.

Examples of people who can benefit from an IV infusion include:

  • People who want instant relief from hangovers or stomach flu
  • People who are traveling can boost immunity or get relief from jet lag
  • People who struggle to drink enough water to stay hydrated
  • People who do intense workouts regularly can recover faster and gain energy to achieve fitness goals
  • People who feel burnt out can gain an energy boost and clear mental fog
  • People looking for preventative treatments to fight aging and retain skin elasticity
  • People looking to boost their beauty regimen can start by nourishing skin from the inside

What are the complications of IV therapy?

Delivering treatments intravenously does present some risks, however these are significantly mitigated when seeking treatment from a licensed, trained, experienced health care provider.

  • Injection site infection
  • Vein damage
  • Air embolism

Other risks of IV therapy vary depending on the ingredients involved.

Vitamin Overload

Having too much of a certain vitamin in your system can result in side effects which vary by vitamin. Examples include:

  • Iron overload can cause damage to multiple organs and body systems
  • Glutathione overload can result in abdominal cramps, allergic reactions, bloating, and bronchial constriction
  • B Complex Vitamin overload can vary
    • Vitamin B3 overload may result in skin flushing, vomiting, high blood sugar, and liver damage
    • Vitamin B6 overaccumulation can cause painful skin lesions, nerve damage, and light sensitivity
    • B-complex supplements may cause urine to turn bright yellow, which is harmless but noticeable

Contraindications

Vitamins can change the way your body breaks down certain medications, altering the absorption rate, which may increase or decrease their efficacy. Some medications cause vitamin deficiencies. If you take prescription medications, you should be sure to disclose them to your healthcare provider before getting IV therapy treatments.

Specialty treatment side effects

The side effects of specialty treatments can vary depending on a wide range of factors. You should be sure to disclose all of your health history when completing your pre-treatment health screenings so that your doctor can ensure you get a safe and effective treatment.

NAD therapy side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea

Monoclonal antibody therapy side effects are rare and generally mild, but may include:

  • Fever, headache, rash, or dizziness
  • Chills, nausea, or fatigue
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or difficulty breathing
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

Stem cell IV therapy has certain risks, including:

  • Those at high risk of developing cancer should avoid stem cell therapy, which can suppress immune response to cancer cells.
  • While therapy itself does not cause cancer, it can make it easier for cancerous growths to develop.
  • Improperly handling or processing stem cells can contaminate stem cells, resulting in infection.
  • Embryonic stem cell therapy can result in growth irregularities.
  • Stem cell rejection occurs when the immune system attacks therapeutic stem cells as invaders.

Ketamine treatments are not right for everyone, and should be avoided by people with certain health conditions, including:

  • Those with high blood pressure should avoid ketamine due to risk of heart attack, aortic tear, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or aneurysm.
  • People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or who have schizophrenia.
  • Other ketamine risks include respiratory depression, unstable heart and blood vessel function, intracranial pressure release, liver dysfunction, and cognitive deficits in children.
  • Ketamine has addictive properties and should only be taken as prescribed. When combined with other substances such as alcohol, ketamine can have fatal effects.

How much does IV therapy cost?

The cost of IV therapy can vary depending on your provider and the type of infusion you are getting. Treatments are not generally covered by insurance, meaning patients are fully responsible for the cost. Sessions for a vitamin therapy administered at home can start around $199, while specialty treatments may cost thousands of dollars depending on the treatment. Many ingredients are also available as add-ons to existing blends, which may result in additional costs.

How do you prepare for IV therapy?

Little preparation is needed for vitamin IV therapy, especially if you are receiving treatments at home from a mobile healthcare provider. (Preparation requirements for specialty treatments may vary. You should check in with your healthcare provider to see if there are any steps you should be taking to prepare for a specialty IV treatment.) You will need a comfortable place to sit for the duration of the session. You should also make sure you have a book or other ways to occupy yourself for the duration of the session.

The most important steps you can take to ensure you are getting the care you need is properly vetting your IV therapy provider. You should look for a licensed and trained health care provider with experience in IV therapy. When seeking a specialty treatment like stem cell therapy that is sourced from a lab, you should also make sure the lab is approved by the FDA and follows current good manufacturing practice (cGMP).

Safe, In-Home IV Therapy With Drip Hydration

IV therapy is a very safe procedure. In addition, it is generally well-tolerated by most patients, meaning that few people experience side effects during or after treatment. There is a small risk of infection at the site where the needle enters your skin. Other complications of IV therapy are rare, and more detail on these can be found here.

Drip Hydration is committed to a safe, positive IV therapy experience. Your nurse will stay with you during the entire appointment to monitor your IV infusion and answer any questions you have.

If you’re ready to book an in-home appointment with us, give us a call or click the button below!