IV Therapy 101

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IV Therapy 101

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iv therapy 101

Staying healthy and maximizing quality of life are priorities for many Americans, and there are always new strategies and treatments to try in pursuit of these goals. You may have heard of IV therapy and wondered what all the buzz is about with this new health trend. IV therapy is a way to relieve an array of unpleasant symptoms and optimize your hydration. We'll go over everything you need to know about IV therapy and how it works so you can take full advantage of this health tool.


What Is IV Therapy?

IV therapy is a treatment that delivers a variety of vitamins and minerals straight to the bloodstream through a needle. You are likely familiar with the concept of IV therapy if you have ever seen an IV drip in a hospital. The principle is the same, but the goal is slightly different.

what is iv therapy

IV therapy can help reverse nutrient deficiencies and relieve symptoms related to a variety of conditions, from migraines to nausea and the cold or flu. IV therapy can be customized to address specific issues like nausea or pain with the addition of medication, making it a highly versatile way to relieve multiple symptoms.


Vitamins and Minerals You Can Get Through an IV

myers cocktail

Different IV therapy companies develop their own blends of vitamins and minerals to address different needs, but the Myers' Cocktail is a popular option due to its range of ingredients and their positive effects. It contains the following vitamins and minerals in addition to saline.

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex, including vitamin B12, plays a role in multiple bodily functions like blood sugar control, metabolism and the production of energy. It can help you feel refreshed and revitalized whether you're sick, hungover or just feel under the weather.

B complex may also help prevent migraines or stop them more quickly once they've started. B12 can even help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety caused by a deficiency in this vitamin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for good health. Your bones, blood vessels and skin all need vitamin C to stay healthy, and it is a powerful antioxidant as well. Vitamin C intake is especially critical when you are sick or feeling like you're about to come down with something, as it supports healthy immune system function. When you are deficient in vitamin C, it's easier to get sick and stay sick for longer.


Glutathione is an antioxidant with several functions in the body. This compound is essential in:

  • Forming DNA
  • Supporting the immune system
  • Breaking down certain free radicals
  • Facilitating the function of certain enzymes
  • Regenerating vitamin C and vitamin E


Zinc has many jobs in keeping you healthy. It can help keep skin healthy and even assist in the healing of wounds. Zinc also supports the immune system by activating T cells and can even treat the common cold. Multiple studies have shown that taking zinc as soon as possible after the onset of a cold can reduce the duration of the illness by up to 40% in otherwise healthy individuals.


Hundreds of enzymes rely on magnesium to work, making it essential to overall health. The functions of magnesium have positive effects for:

  • Bone health
  • Calcium absorption
  • Diabetes
  • Heart health
  • Migraines

Increased magnesium intake can even help reduce symptoms of anxiety in those who are deficient.

how iv therapy works


How Does IV Therapy Work?

IV therapy works by delivering vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream through a drip. Traditionally, infusion therapy took place in a medical office under medical supervision, but today you can receive IV therapy in the comfort of your own home.

The process includes an interview that helps the administering professional understand your medical history. There is a short physical exam that involves taking your vital signs and performing an assessment.

During an IV vitamin treatment, you get a liquid mixture of saline along with vitamins and minerals. The professional administering the drip will need to find and access a vein to secure the needle. It can sometimes be difficult to achieve this if you are dehydrated, so a trained expert such as a Registered Nurse (RN) or paramedic should administer the drip.

Once the needle is secured, a tube is connected and delivers the solution from the drip bag into the bloodstream. The administering professional will monitor your infusion to make sure the IV drip is flowing at the correct rate. The whole process typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.


How Much Does Intravenous Drip Therapy Cost?

how much does iv therapy cost

Like any health service, IV drip therapy costs vary based on a variety of factors, including the state, the provider and whether or not you are receiving mobile services in your home. Arizona IV Medics offers packages that range from $120 to $300. We also offer a range of add-ins that allow you to customize your package for $25 each.

  • Purely Saline - $120: This can rehydrate you quickly with pure saline.
  • Bronze Package - $130: This package includes saline and vitamin B complex.
  • Silver Package - $145: This package contains saline, vitamin B complex and an add-in of your choice.
  • Gold Package - $170: This package contains saline, vitamin B complex and two add-ins.
  • Myers' Cocktail - $200This is the greatest value, containing vitamin B complex, vitamin B12, vitamin C, glutathione, zinc and magnesium.

Our prices cover the paramedic or RN coming to your preferred location and administering your IV drip, with all travel fees included.


Pros and Cons of IV Therapy

pros and cons

When you're considering a new type of treatment, you want to know what the benefits and disadvantages are. Let's look at five benefits of IV therapy and investigate the few cons.

1. Complete Bioavailability

When you eat or drink something, the vitamins and minerals in it have to go all the way through the digestive system. Not all of the nutrients are absorbed, and if your gut is not functioning well, you lose even more. IV vitamins and completely bypass the digestive system and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, so you receive the maximum benefit.

2. Available Customization

While the Myers' Cocktail is an excellent option for anyone, you can customize your IV package to suit specific needs. For example, if you only need hydration but happen to know that you're deficient in vitamin B12, you can request a B12 add-in for your Purely Saline package. Add-ins can also address temporary symptoms like allergies, nausea and pain in addition to providing invigorating vitamins and minerals.

3. Optimal Hydration

The human body is composed of up to 60% water, yet an astonishing number of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Getting enough water isn't always easy, and if you're sweating it away frequently, it's even harder to stay hydrated. The saline present in all IV therapy packages can allow you to experience what optimal hydration feels like.

4. Immediate Benefits

One of the best features of IV therapy is that its effects set in very quickly. Many people begin to feel more energized and alert within minutes of treatment. Compared to taking medication or trying to get hydrated by drinking water, intravenous therapy has almost immediate benefits. If you need to feel better fast, you'll find no better option than IV therapy.

5. Convenience

IV therapy fast and convenient. The process requires little activity from you besides answering a few questions and holding out your arm. If you're feeling terrible due to a hangover or an illness, it's great not to have to work hard to feel better.

Cons of IV Therapy

Although the upsides are substantial, there are some factors to IV therapy that you should consider before making a decision.

1. Cost

It's important to note that IV therapy isn't generally covered by insurance. However, the variety of affordable packages makes it easy to choose an effective treatment on a budget. In cases where your dehydration is causing severe symptoms, a round of IV treatment may be far more cost-effective than heading to the emergency room.

2. Potential Reactions

Some of the components of a particular package may cause allergic reactions. However, the initial assessment by the RN or paramedic will include questions designed to minimize the possibility of a reaction occurring. Because most of the ingredients in an IV drip are present in a variety of foods, it is quite rare for someone to have an unexpected reaction.

3. Effectiveness

For some people, a round of IV therapy may not produce a significant change. If you are dehydrated, experiencing nausea or other unpleasant symptoms, the effects of IV therapy are likely to be more pronounced than for someone who is just looking for a boost in energy. No matter the reason for your IV treatment, your RN or paramedic will discuss your symptoms with you to make sure you get the treatment that's best for your goals.

Drip Bar vs. In-Home IV Therapy

When picking your IV therapy, you can decide between going with an in-home service or visiting a drip bar. Your choice will depend on the type of experience you want to have.

IV drip bars are often quite similar to spas, and they may offer other wellness services in conjunction with IV treatment. The focus is often on creating a healing atmosphere, and there may be a social element to your visit. IV drip bars are generally for people who are looking to improve their mood and energy rather than those who are ill.

in home iv therapy vs drip bar

If you're sick, you don't want to bring your symptoms out in public and potentially spread the illness. You probably don't feel well enough to want to make the trip to a drip bar, either. In-home IV therapy is the ultimate in convenience, as the infusion comes right to your door and is administered right in your own home.

Common Uses of IV Therapy

What is IV therapy for? Here are three of the most common reasons people seek out this form of treatment.

1. Nausea

Nausea can easily derail your day, especially when it's severe. Pregnant women often suffer from morning sickness, which can make it hard to get enough nutrients and stay optimally hydrated. People with car or motion sickness need to quell their nausea to take transportation successfully. Hangovers can cause extreme nausea and vomiting, which can prevent people from drinking the fluids they need to replenish their stores and start feeling better.

Arizona IV Medics offers Zofran as an anti-nausea add-in for any package of your choice. Since it goes directly into the bloodstream, it can ease nausea much faster than other methods of treatment.

2. Cold and Flu

Being sick with a cold or the flu is a universal experience, but IV therapy can dramatically reduce the severity of the symptoms you feel. The Myers' Cocktail is the best option for those suffering from the flu or a cold as it contains multiple vitamins and minerals that support the function of your immune system.

The flu's extra symptoms such as body aches, nausea and vomiting, can be significantly reduced through add-ons, including Zofran and Toradol for non-narcotic pain management. IV therapy can shorten your illness and reduce your suffering while you're sick.

3. Wellness

Many people choose to get IV therapy simply because it makes them feel healthier. Most Americans don't get all the nutrients they need from food, and it can lead to them not feeling as good as they could. Many people suffer from chronic fatigue and don't even realize it until they experience how it feels to be at their best again.

People who receive IV therapy report improved mood, better sleep, greater energy levels and other hallmarks of good health.


Does IV Therapy Really Work?

does iv therapy work

The top concern people have about IV therapy is whether or not it truly works. As drip bars and in-home services become more popular, they are being endorsed by celebrities and heavily advertised, which can raise questions as to the service's legitimacy.

It helps to consider the fact that IV therapy is an offshoot of the services provided in hospitals. The efficacy of drips to rehydrate and replenish fluids for hospital patients is clear, and IV therapy is simply a different application of already-proven tools that are currently in use in a medical setting.

Of course, the most telling factor about a product or service is the reviews it garners. Real customers rave about the services of Arizona IV Medics, proving that our intravenous therapy works. Here are just a few of the five-star reviews our patients have shared:

  • "Ray administered the IV, and he was top notch. Very professional, and we had a good conversation. Highly recommend the Myers' Cocktail."
  • "Absolutely fabulous service! Ruth was so kind, prompt and professional. I will definitely be calling again for assistance and telling everyone I know!"
  • "This service is amazing! I received a prompt text response after reaching out. Phillip H. was at my home within 30 minutes. I haven't been feeling well for a few days. I was dehydrated, had a headache, and I couldn't keep anything down. Phillip has awesome bedside manners, he was very knowledgeable and understanding of my needs. I will definitely be using this service again. Thank you, Phillip!"
  • "Excellent service! Pam was not only prompt and professional; she explained everything to my son and made the whole procedure positive. Pam is a very knowledgeable professional with excellent clinical skills! I highly recommend AZ IV Medics!"
  • "I have seen this service all over the Internet for the last year. I was always too nervous to use it for some reason but super curious... well today I had the worst stomach bug and felt very dehydrated. I decided to use my HSA and call them up. Within the hour, Corrine arrived at my home. She made me feel at ease and comfortable right away. She was so sweet and educated me on all the products. In about 30 to 40 minutes, I was all done, and within 15 minutes after being done, I finally had an appetite. For the first time in two days, I was hungry! One hour later, I feel normal again, my energy is back, I’m clear-minded, and my stomach feels so much better! Thank you, guys! Corrine, you're awesome :)"

With reviews like these across the board, it's clear that IV therapy is highly effective in a variety of situations when you need relief from symptoms fast.


Other FAQs About IV Infusions

There are a lot of other questions you may have about intravenous therapy, and you're not alone. These are some of the most common questions we get about our treatments.

Q: How long does it take?

A: Some treatments can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as 90 minutes, but 30 minutes to one hour is a typical time frame.

Q: How long do the effects last?

A: It depends on the individual, but many people report feeling tangible effects as long as three or four days after receiving the treatment.

Q: How often should you get an IV?

A: This varies according to what your needs are, and should be discussed with the RN or paramedic who administers your IV. A lot of people who set up routine IV therapy treatments choose once a week to once a month, but if you're suffering from something like morning sickness, you may want to make more frequent appointments.

Q: What are the side effects?

A: Side effects are quite rare with IV therapy, and they are usually minor. The most common is a little bit of bruising and soreness in the injection area. Other side effects include a cool feeling in the arm, a somewhat metallic taste in the mouth and feeling flushed.

Q: Are there age requirements?

A: Patients must be at least 12 years of age and weigh 100 or more pounds to receive treatment.

Q: Why is it called a Myers' Cocktail?

A: This solution is named after Dr. John Myers, who began administering IV vitamins in the 1950s and continued until his death in 1984.

Q: Why is it called a banana bag?

A: IV fluid bags are sometimes called "banana bags" due to their yellow coloring, produced by the vitamins and minerals in the solution.

Q: Is it better than drinking water?

A: Yes. The saline included is formulated for optimal hydration and is delivered straight to the bloodstream for faster absorption and greater effect than water.

Q: Does IV therapy hurt?

A: The RN or paramedic inserts a needle into the arm, but the level of pain is usually described as a small pinch. The pain should not continue after the needle is inserted. The professionals at Arizona IV Medics are thoroughly trained to find a vein and secure the needle with minimal discomfort to the patient.

Schedule Your IV Therapy Now

If you're interested in trying out IV therapy for yourself, Arizona IV Medics is here to make the process comfortable and convenient with our in-home services. Our team of RNs and paramedics are trained in expertly assessing your needs and providing recommendations when requested, so you receive the optimal treatment in the safest manner. To learn more about our IV therapy services and schedule your appointment, call Arizona IV Medics at (623) 521-5034 or feel free to contact us online for a response within 24 hours.


Last Reviewed By Matt Heistan on January 18, 2021

Matt Heistan
Matt Heistan
Matt is the CEO of AZ IV Medics. Matt has over 15 years of experience in the emergency medicine field. Matt attended Westwood High School, Scottsdale Community College, and the University of Maryland where he received a BS in Psychology. Matt is a 10-year USAF veteran and has been an EMT since 1999. After separating from the USAF, Matt was hired by the Peoria AZ Fire Dept. where he has worked as a Firefighter Paramedic for the last 10 years. Matt is a life-long athlete, from college football to powerlifting, to Crossfit, to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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