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IV therapy, also known as intravenous therapy, is a process in which medications or fluids are delivered into the bloodstream through an IV line. There are many forms of IV therapy, but most follow the same protocol and provide similar benefits to patients usually recovering from surgery or injuries, those receiving cancer treatment, or individuals suffering from dehydration due to illness or heat exposure. Before undergoing IV therapy, it's important to educate yourself on the process, the effects and side effects, and the recovery time.
What is IV Therapy?
Intravenous therapy (IV), also known as intravenous hydration, drips, or injections, is a medical practice that involves putting liquids directly into your veins. The most common IV treatment administered in emergency departments across America, for example, are bags of saline water that rehydrate severely dehydrated patients. IVs can deliver any number of medications, such as antibiotics, painkillers, sedatives, vitamins, and minerals.
IV therapy offers several benefits to patients. It's great for reducing pain, alleviating nausea and vomiting, relieving inflammation, improving energy levels, boosting immunity, decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and much more. The greatest benefit of IV therapy comes from its ability to deliver nutrients into cells and eliminate waste products at a very rapid rate. With IV therapy on your side, patients can feel better quickly instead of waiting days or weeks!
The Side Effects
With any new treatment comes a set of side effects. These can be mild to severe for IV therapy, but they can usually be managed if they occur. Possible side effects with any IV include possible bruising at the injection site, headache, nausea or vomiting, fever or chills, dizziness, or lightheadedness. Contact your provider immediately if any red flags appear (such as extreme pain at the injection site). IV injections deliver several different medications, so it's important they're informed of any known allergies before receiving treatment, as failing to disclose this information can lead to life-threatening reactions.
Why Choose Them Over Other Therapies?
Infusion therapy utilizes saline water, medications, vitamins, and minerals to rehydrate an individual while pumping them full of important nutrients. It's most commonly associated with chemotherapy, but infusions have many other uses. Individuals suffering from acute illness or sports injuries can also benefit from intravenous therapy. While patients often receive large amounts of medication in hours through an IV infusion, the treatment is completely safe. Receiving medication through IV instead of orally means that your body absorbs it much faster than normal, reducing side effects and giving you quick relief.
The length of time required for recovery varies depending on several factors, including your overall health, medication being received, and risk factors. IV therapy varies greatly, so recovery will also vary depending on what you receive. If you're just getting a vitamin boost or some fluids, you could be back to normal quickly. On the other hand, if you're receiving chemotherapy treatment or a blood transfusion, recovery could take days for the effects of the medicine to wear off. It's important to speak with your doctor about how long you'll need to recover before resuming normal activities.