What Is IV Therapy? Uses, Benefits, Ingredients and Adverse Effects Explained

How does IV Drip Infusion Work?

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.

The 2 Delivery Mechanism Types of IV Therapy

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

Mobile IV therapy

Drip infusion – Gravity helps carry the fluids and any ingredients injected into them through the tube and into the bloodstream.

Woman with an IV in her hand

Bolus (Push) infusion – Motorized pump maintains a constant flow of fluids to the bloodstream.

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 step-by-step process used by healthcare professionals to assess a patient and determine the best approach to IV therapy treatment.

  • Resuscitation – involves determining whether a patient needs IV therapy, determining the type of fluids needed, and administering them.
  • Routine maintenance – 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 – occurs multiple times throughout the treatment process to ensure a patient’s needs are being addressed properly.

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.

IV Therapy Uses

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

The multitude benefits from IV infusions are for people who:

IV Drip Vitamin Infusion Therapy Saline Bag

Medical Applications of IV Therapy

When employed in hospitals and clinics, IV therapy offers versatile applications, promoting rapid and effective interventions.

  • Dehydration Treatment: IV therapy is instrumental in quickly replenishing lost fluids in cases of severe dehydration, such as those resulting from vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive sweating.
  • Nutrient Deficiency Correction: For individuals with nutrient deficiencies, IV therapy provides a direct route to administer essential vitamins and minerals, ensuring rapid absorption and faster restoration of nutrient levels.
  • Chronic Illness Management: IV therapy proves beneficial in managing chronic illnesses, like autoimmune disorders or inflammatory conditions, by delivering specialized medications that may not be as effective through oral administration.
  • Post-Surgery Recovery: After surgical procedures, IV therapy aids in maintaining hydration and supplying necessary nutrients, facilitating a smoother recovery process.
  • Cancer Treatment Support: In oncology, IV therapy is commonly used to administer chemotherapy drugs, ensuring precise and controlled delivery to target cancer cells while minimizing systemic side effects.

Wellness Applications of IV Therapy

In the wellness sphere, IV therapy has gained popularity as a proactive approach to enhancing overall health and vitality.

  • Energy Boost: IV therapy delivers a potent combination of vitamins and minerals directly to the body, providing a quick and effective energy boost ideal for individuals experiencing fatigue or low energy levels.
  • Immune Function Improvement: The infusion of immune-boosting vitamins, such as vitamin C, helps strengthen the immune system, which aids in the prevention of illnesses and supports overall immune function.
  • Wellness Promotion: IV therapy contributes to overall wellness by addressing low levels of vitamins, promoting hydration, supporting bodily functions, and fostering a sense of vitality and balance.
  • Hangover Relief: After excessive alcohol consumption, IV therapy can help alleviate hangover symptoms by replenishing fluids and essential nutrients, providing a rapid recovery solution.
  • Hydration and Skin Health: IV therapy contributes to skin health by ensuring adequate hydration and restoring skin-nourishing vitamins, promoting a radiant complexion and overall skin vitality.

Performance-Enhancing Applications of IV Therapy

For performance enhancement, Intravenous (IV) therapy has evolved as a precious tool for athletes and fitness freaks seeking to optimize their capabilities.

  • Performance Enhancement: IV therapy provides a direct and rapid means of delivering performance-boosting nutrients, such as amino acids and electrolytes, to enhance endurance, stamina, and overall athletic performance.
  • Quicker Recovery: Athletes can benefit from faster recovery times with IV therapy, as it delivers essential nutrients directly to muscles, aiding in the repair and recovery process after intense physical activity.
  • Electrolyte Replenishment: IV therapy is effective in rapidly replenishing electrolytes lost through sweating during strenuous workouts, helping to maintain proper hydration levels and prevent performance-debilitating issues like cramps.
  • Optimizing Oxygenation: Certain IV therapies include components that support better oxygenation of tissues, crucial for sustained energy and improved aerobic performance.
  • Reducing Muscle Soreness: IV therapy can contribute to minimizing post-exercise muscle soreness by delivering electrolytes, minerals, and anti-inflammatory vitamins that support muscle recovery.

Medications and Specialty Treatments

The administration of medications through IV therapy has become a critical and versatile approach to addressing various health conditions in modern medicine. Each treatment formulation brings a unique set of benefits, highlighting the diverse applications and advancements in IV therapy.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common specialty IV treatments.

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 issues1, including:

NAD chemical structure.
  • 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. The brain uses 20% of the body’s oxygen supply for vital functions, resulting in free radical generation2. 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.

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 person standing in the middle of a desert

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.

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.

woman getting an IV therapy on her couch

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.

Iron deficiency is a major health concern that can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other complications. Iron Medication IV Treatment is a targeted intervention designed to address this deficiency promptly and effectively.

By delivering iron directly into the bloodstream, this IV therapy ensures rapid absorption, bypassing potential issues with oral iron supplementation, such as gastrointestinal discomfort or poor absorption.

Iron IV Treatment is particularly crucial for individuals with severe iron deficiency anemia or those who cannot tolerate oral iron supplements. The direct infusion of iron allows for precise dosing, making it an efficient method to replenish iron stores in the body. This treatment is often administered in clinical settings, ensuring proper monitoring and management.

Administration Process and Protocol for IV Therapy

The administration of Intravenous therapy involves a systematic process to ensure safety and efficacy.

  • The procedure typically begins with a pre-treatment assessment, where healthcare providers evaluate the patient’s medical history, current health status, and specific treatment needs.
  • Then, a qualified healthcare professional inserts an IV line into a vein, facilitating the direct delivery of fluids, medications, or other therapeutic agents into the bloodstream.
  • Throughout the therapy session, continuous monitoring is essential to assess the patient’s response, vital signs, and any potential adverse reactions.
  • Post-treatment care involves proper documentation, removal of the IV line, and monitoring for any lingering effects.

Importance of Qualified Healthcare Providers

The administration of IV therapy requires skilled healthcare practitioners, such as nurses, physicians, or trained technicians, who possess the expertise to assess patient suitability, insert IV lines accurately, and respond promptly to any adverse effects. Their knowledge ensures proper dosage, reduces the risk of complications, and enhances overall patient safety.

Safety Measures and Regulations

Stringent safety measures and regulations govern the administration of IV therapy. Healthcare providers adhere to aseptic techniques during the insertion of IV lines to prevent infections. The choice of equipment, including sterile IV catheters and appropriate fluids, is crucial.

Adherence to established protocols and guidelines ensures standardization and minimizes the risk of complications. Regulatory bodies, such as medical boards and health agencies, enforce guidelines to maintain the highest standards in IV therapy administration.

What Diseases may be Treated with Infusion Therapy?

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

In addition to monoclonal antibodies for treatment and prevention of infection, certain vitamins might help aid recovery from COVID-19. Deficiencies in Vitamin C and glutathione have been linked to a higher risk of infection5. These deficiencies also increase the likelihood of developing severe symptoms or being hospitalized once infected with COVID-19.

a woman adjusting her medical face mask for Covid with both hands and looking into the distance

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.

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.

vial of monoclonal antibodies

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 – 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 – 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.

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.

girl getting IV therapy

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.

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.

x-ray of a knee

The Benefits of IV Therapy

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

Although IV infusions may 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.

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.

How Long does an IV Therapy Session 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 could 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.

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.


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.

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. [1]
  • 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.  [2]

Vitamin Blends

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 – vital to the creation of histamine, which helps defend against allergens. It also aids the digestive process and works as a neurotransmitter.
    • Tryptophan – important to the regulation of sleep cycles, as it helps produce melatonin and serotonin. Appetite, mood, and pain are also managed by serotonin.
    • Isoleucine – essential for growth processes, immune function, and metabolic function. It is found mostly in muscle proteins, providing energy and stimulating muscle 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 – 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 – necessary to muscle healing and produces sulfur-containing molecules used for numerous body functions.
    • Threonine – 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. [1]
  • Non-essential amino acids can be produced by the body, but not necessarily in high enough amounts.
    • Asparagine – 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. [2]
  • Conditional amino acids cannot be produced by the body due to certain conditions, like extreme stress, aging, or genetic disorder.
    • Arginine – 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 – 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 – 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. [3]

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 – is necessary for metabolic function, as it helps convert nutrients into energy.
  • B2, aka riboflavin – helps convert nutrients into energy and also works as an antioxidant.
  • B3, aka niacin – is essential for DNA production and repair, metabolic function, and cellular signaling.
  • B5, aka pantothenic acid – aids cholesterol and hormone production, as well as the metabolic process.
  • B6, aka pyridoxine – is necessary for amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and neurotransmitter production.
  • B7, aka biotin – regulates gene expression and aids metabolic function by breaking down carbohydrates and fat.
  • B9, aka folate – is vital to amino acid metabolism, cell growth and division, and the formation of red and white blood cells.
  • B12, aka cobalamin – 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 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 might 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 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 – helps neutralize free radicals (unstable atoms that cause cellular damage). It also acts to protect cells from being damaged, preventing oxidative stress.
  • Immune response – 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 regenerationVitamin C is an essential co-factor that stabilize the proteins necessary for collagen formation. Collagen is needed to form the connective tissue in the body, such as blood vessels, skin, tendons, and ligaments. It is also essential for wound healing and scar tissue formation.
  • Iron absorption – assists the body in absorbing iron to help prevent iron deficiency.

What are Adverse Effects of IV Therapy?

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

These include:

  • 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.


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.

Popularity and Controversies in IV Therapy

In recent years, Intravenous (IV) therapy has witnessed a surge in popularity, particularly within wellness and lifestyle circles. Individuals seeking quick and direct solutions for hydration, nutrient replenishment, and overall well-being have turned to IV therapy as a convenient and efficient option.

Wellness clinics and specialized IV lounges have proliferated, offering a variety of treatments that claim to boost energy, assist the immune system, and enhance hydration.

Differing Opinions on Non-Medical Use

While IV therapy has many established medical applications, its use for non-medical purposes has sparked debates. Some view it as a beneficial tool for optimizing health and performance, especially in demanding lifestyles.

However, some express concerns about the potential risks and ethical considerations associated with using IV therapy for wellness or lifestyle reasons. Critics argue that the benefits may not always align with the perceived advantages, and unnecessary IV infusions may carry risks.

IV Therapies in Professional Sports

In professional sports, the use of IV therapies for rehydration and recovery has been a subject of scrutiny. Athletic organizations, including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), strictly regulate the use of IV infusions by athletes. It is prohibited for athletes to use IV infusions for rehydration and recovery without prior Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) approval.

Some athletes may seek IV therapy for performance enhancement, raising concerns about fairness and adherence to anti-doping regulations. The controversies surrounding IV use in sports highlight the delicate balance between medical treatment, performance enhancement, and ethical considerations within the athletic community.

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.
woman heaving a headache
man holding his chest like he is in pain

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).
man holding his stomach and chest near his heart

Ketamine treatments are not suitable 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 $199-249, 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.

Safe, At-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 at-home appointment with us, give us a call or click the button below.


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[2] Cobley JN, Fiorello ML, Bailey DM. 13 reasons why the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress. Redox Biol. 2018 May.;

[5] Carr AC, Rowe S. The Emerging Role of Vitamin C in the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19. Nutrients. 2020 Oct 27.;