Wellness IV Drips: Everything You Need To Know

IV therapy is an effective method to deliver essential nutrients directly in the bloodstream. But can anyone take IV therapy? Are IV drips safe? Know everything about the usage, benefits and complications of wellness IV drips.

By URLife Team
09 Jan 2024

In recent years, the popularity of Intravenous (IV) drips has surged, transcending their traditional medical applications to become a preferred wellness trend for both skin and overall health. What was once primarily associated with hospital settings and medical treatments has evolved into a mainstream wellness sensation. IV drips, which directly administer fluids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients into the bloodstream, have captured the attention of health enthusiasts and beauty seekers alike. This clever approach to nourishing the body from the inside out has gained momentum for its purported benefits, promising not only enhanced hydration but also revitalised skin, boosted energy levels, and an overall sense of well-being.


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An IV drip, administered intravenously, directly delivers concentrated medication or nutrients into the bloodstream. According to a 2023 report by ClinicalTrails, IV drips consist of a concentrated blend of electrolytes, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, surpassing what one could consume orally in a day. Chemotherapy agents, antibiotics, glucose, and saline are frequently administered via IV drips. IV infusion therapy slowly infuses nutrients or medications into the bloodstream, ensuring a gradual release (termed infusion) that avoids sudden shocks to the body. Unlike supplements, which require a breakdown, IV readily and easily gets absorbed by the body completely.


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What is IV Vitamin Therapy?

IV vitamin therapy involves the infusion of nutrients through a vein-inserted needle. This method offers a means for individuals to bolster their immune systems and potentially prevent illnesses by receiving a concentrated dose of various minerals and vitamins. According to a 2020 report by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, a mix known as the Myers’ cocktail includes high doses of vitamins B and C, calcium, and magnesium. Options range from electrolytes and glutathione to saline, vitamin B12, and C, allowing for tailored nutrient blends based on individual needs.


A single session of IV vitamin therapy typically lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, overseen by a trained professional who administers the treatment and monitors the process. Following the session, individuals usually resume their daily activities without disruption, making it a convenient wellness choice for many.


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What benefit does IV therapy offer?

Incorporating needles into skincare routines has taken an intriguing turn with the rise of IV nutrient therapy. While we've embraced syringes for treatments like Botox and fillers in cosmetic dermatology, the concept of adding a needle to boost skincare from within has gained attention. For individuals already stocked up on serums, lotions, and skincare concoctions, IV nutrient therapy has emerged as a trend to enhance skin health holistically.


But the lingering question remains: does it deliver the promised results?

A 2020 clinical review reported in the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health states that Vitamin therapy serves as an important tool in addressing nutritional deficiencies, especially in those who have malabsorption issues or people who cannot digest oral supplements. This vitamin therapy helps in alleviating the symptoms of nutritional deficiencies such as anaemia, sudden weight loss, or diarrhoea.


Beyond treating deficiencies, IV vitamin therapy has found diverse applications, including: 

  • Supports red blood cell production 
  • Eases hangover symptoms
  • Helps fight colds, flu, and COVID
  • Maintain hydration in the body
  • Aids in the treatment of alcohol use disorder
  • Helps with brain fog
  • Heal dry skin issues
  • Fights with fatigue as well as frequent infections


Moreover, IV vitamin therapy should always be administered under the guidance and prescription of a healthcare provider. It's imperative to consult a healthcare professional before considering or undergoing IV vitamin therapy, especially when using it to manage or treat any health condition. Their expertise ensures the treatment aligns with individual health requirements and minimises potential risks associated with this therapy.


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Side Effects of Vitamin Drip Treatment

It's crucial to highlight the potential dangers associated with IV vitamin therapy when not prescribed by a healthcare provider for specific health conditions. Overloading the bloodstream with excessive nutrients poses a risk of toxicity, potentially leading to adverse effects. While rare, nutrient overdose can result in symptoms like irregular heartbeat, cloudy urine, or even seizures. However, the body typically eliminates excess nutrients through urine, minimising the likelihood of overdose.


Furthermore, there are additional risks and side effects linked to IV vitamin therapy, including:

  • Skin Damage: A hole in the skin around the IV insertion site may occur, leading to medicine or fluids seeping into the surrounding tissue, potentially causing harm.
  • Vein Swelling: Swelling of the vein may occur, which can increase the risk of a blood clot forming (known as thrombophlebitis).


Rare, but serious complications that might result in breathing or heart issues include:

  • Air Embolism: An air bubble enters the vein and travels to the heart or lungs, which can be dangerous.
  • Allergic Reactions: Occasionally, severe allergic reactions or other serious reactions to the medication might occur.


In the event of an issue with the IV, most home healthcare agencies provide 24-hour nursing assistance. If the IV comes out of the vein, take these immediate steps:

  • Apply pressure to the site where the IV was until the bleeding ceases.
  • Contact the home health care agency or the attending physician promptly for further guidance and assistance.


Who should avoid IV vitamin therapy?

Certain individuals should refrain from IV vitamin therapy, notably those with specific conditions such as:

  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: Individuals with Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, a genetic disorder that destroys red blood cells responsible for delivering oxygen to tissues, are advised to avoid receiving IV drips.
  • Hemochromatosis: This is a genetic condition characterised by an excessive accumulation of iron in the bloodstream. Hence it is advised to reconsider getting IV therapy.
  • Kidney disease: This leads to impaired kidney function, preventing proper filtration of waste from the blood.


IV vitamin therapy administers vital nutrients directly into the bloodstream via a vein in the arm. Many health and wellness companies tout nutrient cocktails as immune system boosters or remedies for hangovers and dehydration. However, the effectiveness and safety of IV vitamin therapy in generally healthy individuals lack substantial research.


It's advisable to consult a healthcare provider before considering this therapy to determine its necessity. Although infrequent, there's a possibility of overdosing on nutrients, highlighting the importance of caution.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.



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