Whether you're interested in preventive care, want to treat an illness from the comfort of your home, or are simply worried about a hangover, IV infusion therapy might be the ideal option for you.
This article outlines all the uses, benefits, and potential side effects of IV infusion therapy that you need to know about.
What is IV infusion therapy?
Intravenous hydration therapy entails inserting a needle or catheter in one of your blood veins to inject medications directly into your bloodstream. Medical professionals, such as nurses and doctors, oversee IV infusion therapy, and the medicines are usually injected through a vein in your forearm or arm.
IV infusion therapy has several advantages over orally-injectable medications. Here are some of the main ones:
- Your body absorbs all of the medicine's ingredients and/or vitamins.
- The bio system will immediately feel the effects of the medication. Oral ingestion, on the other hand, may take up to several hours before they fully kick-in.
- Your body obtains the electrolytes that it needs and gets rehydrated almost instantly.
- In some cases, the medicines that require IV infusion therapy have healthier and more comprehensive ingredients than the alternatives.
- Medical professionals can regulate how fast the medicine enters your body.
IV infusion therapy has many benefits. Because of this, doctors and physicians rely on it to treat different types of health conditions.
Examples of IV Infusion Therapy in Medicine
Medical professionals commonly use IV infusion therapy to administer the following vitamins and medicines:
- Antibiotics, especially when it comes to severe bacterial infections.
- Antiemetic drugs that minimize nausea and vomiting.
- Antifungals, which, as the name suggests, fight fungal infections.
- Antivirals that combat a single or multiple viruses.
- Biologics, such as drugs for arthritis patients.
- Blood factors that balance vitamin levels and prevent/cure clots.
- Chemotherapy for cancer patients.
- Epidural injections in the back.
- Growth hormones, particularly when a patient is lacking them.
- Immunoglobulin replacement for those that have low antibodies.
- Immunotherapy for cancer patients.
- Inotropic heart medications.
Due to the fact that these medicines and vitamins are critical, IV infusion therapy has become a powerful tool for dealing with different types of health conditions and illnesses.
What is IV infusion therapy used to treat?
Medical professionals regularly use IV Infusion therapy to treat these issues:
A patient with an autoimmune disorder (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, to give a few examples) might have low levels of antibodies in their bio system.
IV infusion therapy allows them to get the antibodies that they need. This critically helps them manage their illness and minimize its symptoms.
Congestive Heart Failure
At times, administering heart failure treatments requires IV infusion therapy, including:
- Digoxin: This medication comes in oral and liquid forms. Some heart failure patients suffer from disabilities or conditions that make it difficult for them to swallow digoxin. In those cases, health care professionals will resort to IV infusion therapy. To clarify, digoxin makes the heart muscles stronger, normalizes irregular heart rhythms, and reduces an abnormally fast heartbeat.
- Inotropes: Medical professionals give severe heart failure patients inotropes to increase the amount of blood that the heart pumps and regulate blood pressure. Severe heart failure cases are usually very urgent. IV infusion therapy allows inotropes to immediately enter a patient's system.
- Metoprolol: This beta blocker treats certain types of heart failure. Moreover, metoprolol, which is injected via an IV infusion, can save a patient from a heart attack, especially at an early stage.
Equally as important is that IV infusion therapy comes in very handy during heart surgeries. Doctors can give patients sedatives, medications, and vitamins.
When someone is dehydrated, they will have low electrolyte levels. Although their body desperately needs fluids, drinking water or juice can induce nausea, an upset stomach, and other difficult symptoms.
In light of this, medical professionals use IV infusion therapy to rebalance a patient's electrolyte levels and give them the fluids that their body is lacking.
Similarly, they may inject medication, like antiemetic drugs, to ease some of the dehydration symptoms. IV infusion therapy can also deliver minerals that the body is lagging in based on the cause of the dehydration.
People who suffer from immune deficiencies might need an IV infusion to supply their body with medicines, immunoglobulin, minerals, and/or vitamins.
Here are some primary and secondary immunodeficiency disorders that are frequent in the U.S.:
- Common variable immune deficiency (CVID)
- Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
- X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA)
- Certain types of cancers that impact the immune system (leukemia, as an example)
Keep in mind that many immunodeficiency patients can easily get very sick from a virus. Therefore, medical professionals might have to promptly provide their body with what it needs, and IV infusion therapy is the fastest way to do so.
Infections That are Unresponsive to Oral Antibiotics
Some patients with bacterial infections might not get better after they take their medication by mouth.
In those cases, IV infusion therapy is crucial. It allows doctors to immediately inject the body with more effective medicines, alongside controlling its dosage and how fast it enters the bloodstream.
In the same vein, a lot of bacterial-infection patients will need vitamins, minerals, and other forms of supplements.
Injectable medications can relieve severe bodily pain almost instantly. In fact, because IV infusion therapy affects the body much faster than oral treatments, it is very helpful when a patient experiences sharp and dire pain in one or more body parts.
Injectable pain killers can help with healing muscle strains, bone injuries, and surgical wounds.
The most common type of cancer treatment, chemotherapy, is administered via an IV. In addition, IV infusion therapy is useful for cancer patients in other ways, including:
- Enabling the immune system to fight cancerous cells via immunotherapy.
- Enhancing the patient's antibody count through immunoglobulin replacement.
- Assisting the body with fighting bacterial and viral infections by supplying it with antibacterials and antivirals, respectively. Keep in mind that cancer patients already have a weakened immune response, to begin with.
Perhaps most noteworthy is that IV infusion therapy can ease the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting, by way of antiemetic medicines.
Risks of IV Therapy
Just as with any other medical procedure, IV therapy involves certain risks. Your doctor and/or the medical professional who administers the IV injection can help you understand if these risks apply to you.
Having too many injections in the same spot can damage or collapse your veins. Similarly, some patients have weak veins, regardless of how often they get IV injections.
Talking to a physician or qualified medical professional can assist you with avoiding running into problems with your veins as a result of an IV infusion. They may recommend specific injection sites, as an example.
Most of the time, patients can get an illness or a bacterial infection from someone else who used the same IV or needles.
The best way to avoid this is by working with a qualified medical professional who abides by strict hygiene standards and appropriately disposes of used needles. Yet there are still other, non-infectious conditions that can develop after undergoing IV infusion therapy.
IV infusions can inflame a patient's veins. This is known as phlebitis. It typically occurs when blood clots start to form. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, and skin redness.
If phlebitis is ignored, it can infect additional veins and/or lead to further medical issues.
This condition develops when an air bubble enters into the blood veins. Improper IV infusions, alongside other factors, can cause air embolism. The problem is very rare, but it can lead to death when it happens.
Air embolism, like phlebitis, can be avoided by working with professional and competent IV infusion therapy providers.
Side Effects after an IV Infusion
Some patients experience side effects from the IV infusion treatment itself. While it is very important to have a medical professional examine a patient before injecting them with any medicines, most of the IV side effects typically go away within a few days.
Patients typically experience one or more of the following IV infusion therapy side effects:
- Itchiness at the injection site.
- Muscle stiffness, especially in the arm where the needle was given.
Nonetheless, by preparing ahead of time, you can minimize the side effects of IV infusion therapy and make the process seamless.
How to Prep for an IV Infusion
As mentioned earlier, you should always consult with a doctor or medical professional before undergoing IV infusion treatment. They can work with you to determine whether it's appropriate for you, and if there are certain conditions that could lead to side effects (sensitive skin in some body parts, as an example).
Here are a few tips and methods that can help you adequately prepare for your IV infusion therapy appointment:
- Follow your doctor's instructions. They can give you the best advice based on your specific medical history and health status.
- Write down your concerns before you see your doctor and ahead of the IV infusion therapy appointment. This will ensure that you remember small, yet important, details.
- Prepare or write down a list of any medication that you're taking. Some drugs may interact with the medicine that you will get from the IV infusion.
- Wear comfortable clothes, especially if you expect your IV infusion therapy to last for over 45 minutes. You should also wear a shirt with sleeves that are easy to roll up.
- Give yourself time to rest after your appointment. This allows you to minimize or prevent the side effects.
Asking a friend or loved one to accompany you to the appointment is a good idea. They can drive you home if the side effects make you too tired or uncomfortable.
Working with an IV infusion therapy provider that comes to your location is even more advantageous. It makes it very easy and convenient for you to be prepared and have all the necessary paperwork at-hand.
Is IV infusion therapy covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans will require you to make a copayment for IV insurance therapy. Because of this, Reset IV's services are priced at a lower price than the typical copayment amount.
Did we mention that we accept FSA cards? We also come to your home, hotel, or any location that you desire (including your yacht!). Once you place an order, our medical professionals will get to you within less than 45 minutes.
Here are the other benefits that you can enjoy through Reset IV's services:
- Access to nothing short of high-quality, medical-grade equipment and ingredients.
- Prices that are down to one-third of what an IV infusion therapy would cost at the ER, and our team that has the same level of training and professionalism.
- The ability to invite our medical professionals to group events and parties for treatment.
- The choice between multiple options and IV infusion treatments. In other words, whether you're looking to cure a hangover, boost your immune system, or manage an illness, we can definitely help you.
- The opportunity to work for Reset IV and join our team.
We have packages for whatever life throws your way. Choose between our wide array of categories and select the perfect treatment for you. After that, your professional and highly-trained IV specialists will be on their way!
To learn more about Reset IV and schedule an appointment, get in touch with us online or give us a call at (844) 295-7227.