What Is An IV Drip And What Is It Used For?

IV drip therapy offers a range of health and wellbeing benefits. But what is an IV drip? How does IV therapy work? And why is it used? Those are just some of the questions we will address in this blog.

What is an IV drip?

IV is an acronym for intravenous, which means taking place in, or administered to, the veins. An IV drip uses a catheter (small plastic tube) to deliver a solution directly into the bloodstream. Administering a solution this way means that the digestive tract is bypassed and the absorption rate significantly increased. The solution contained in an IV drip can vary according to the needs of the patient. IV drips used for IV therapy, which delivers nutrients and hydration, can contain saline (salt in water), vitamins, and essential minerals such as electrolytes.

What is an IV drip used for?

An IV drip can be used as a treatment for health issues such as:
  • Severe dehydration – Restoring electrolytes and vitamins to the body as quickly as possible
  • Cold and flu – Relieving symptoms while boosting the immune system
  • Pregnancy – Relieving uncomfortable symptoms such as morning sickness
  • Migraines – Using formulas containing anti-inflammatory medications to relieve painful symptoms
IV drip therapy can also aid recovery for professional athletes following the competition. There are also IV drip formulas that have other more specific purposes including:
  • Immune boosters – Providing instant support to the immune system, containing ingredients such as B vitamins, Lysine hydrochloride, N-Acetyl- L-Cysteine, Ornithine- aspartate, and taurine
  • Fat burners –  Which speed up the metabolism and help with fat loss, containing a vitamin mix, lipotropins, and L-Carnitine
  • Glutathione – An antioxidant that supports tissue building and repair, as well as strengthening the immune system

How does an IV drip work?

Ahead of IV therapy, you will typically be talked through the process by a nurse. After the injection site is disinfected, a catheter will be placed directly into the vein, with a numbing spray used to keep discomfort to a minimum. The nurse checks the delivery rate of the pump as it delivers fluid from the IV bag to be absorbed into your bloodstream. IV therapy can be delivered using an automatic or manual pump.

How long does an IV drip last?

An IV drip therapy session usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. The duration of the process depends on the type of IV therapy undergone, and the reason for it. You may feel the effect of an IV drip right away, or it could take longer, even days, for the desired effects to be felt.

IV drip benefits

IV drip treatment is valued for its effectiveness and convenience. Among the benefits offered by IV therapy are: Prevents vitamin deficiency – IV therapy offers vitamins B, C, and D to help you avoid health issues caused by a shortfall of certain vitamins. Replenishment of your vitamin supply can support health; aid sleep and improve your mood. Healthy supplements for wellbeing – With ingredients such as magnesium, zinc, and glutathione, you can supplement a healthy diet and help to relieve symptoms of some medical conditions. Rehydration – IV therapy is recognised as a very effective treatment for severe dehydration, rapidly restoring the body’s optimal electrolyte balance. A combination of salt, water, and electrolytes is typically used for this formula, which can hydrate you far faster than drinking water. That’s because water takes hours to enter the system via the digestive system. Fat burning – If you are focused on weight loss, a fat-burning IV drip can speed up your metabolism and help you to achieve your goals. IV drip formulas can be effective in supporting weight loss when combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet. A mix of minerals, vitamins, and lipotropics accelerates the metabolism and assists the body in breaking down fat, helping you to burn calories. Quick and convenient – an IV drip typically takes an hour or less to complete, causes relatively little discomfort, and delivers results rapidly, often immediately.

Is IV therapy safe?

IV therapy is a very safe procedure and is well tolerated by the majority of patients. As with any form of injection, there is a small risk of infection at the injection site. Other possible complications include:
  • Air embolism – When an air bubble enters the vein
  • Infiltration – When the liquid in the IV leaks to the surrounding tissue
  • Phlebitis – Inflammation of the vein
You should be wary of scheduling too many IV therapy sessions, as an excessive intake of vitamins and minerals could potentially cause organ damage. Your health practitioner can guide you on the safe number of IV therapy sessions to undergo.

IV drip side effects

Ingredients of IV therapy formulas have their own side effect risks, but side effects from IV therapy itself are rare. Among the side effects which are most commonly reported are:
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Irritated skin at the injection site
  • Stiff muscles
Your IV therapy should always be carried out by a registered medical professional.