V lines are quite a common sight in medical settings, especially hospitals and long-term rehabilitation facilities. If you’ve wondered exactly how it works, this IV blog series discusses several different types of treatments. We examine the benefits of IV treatments to recovering from illness.
Today, we’re going to explore the advantages, disadvantages, and side effects of vitamin IV therapy. We’ll also look at how these treatments in medical settings differ from trendy IV infusions in “IV lounges.”
Introduction to Vitamin IV Therapy
IV therapy is used in healthcare settings to deliver nutrients, blood products, or medications to the body. The ingredients are dissolved in a liquid solution and delivered into a vein through an IV line.
Doctors use several different types of IV therapy in rehabilitation settings:
- Antibiotic drips
- Blood transfusions
- Pain medication IVs
- IV hydration therapy
- Total parenteral nutrition
- IV nutrition therapy
- Vitamin IV therapy
Intravenous therapy is used for infection control, dehydration, malnutrition, wound care, and more. Here we focus specifically on IV vitamin therapy, which involves delivering one or more vitamins to the body.
Vitamin infusions have gained popularity in mainstream use. You can get infusions purported to fight fatigue, boost your immune system, and plump your skin at IV boutiques.
While it may sound intriguing, this type of vitamin IV therapy can be frivolous at best and dangerous at worst. Boutique IVs are also quite different from the type of vitamin therapy used at long-term care centers.
Vitamin IV Therapy in Rehabilitation Care Centers
Vitamin IV Therapy in a long-term rehabilitation center is focused on medical needs. IV drips are popular quick fixes for otherwise healthy adults while patients in rehabilitation centers may need vitamin IV therapy for medical purposes.
In long-term care centers, doctors use vitamin IV therapy to support healing and recovery. They assess your overall medical history and perform a thorough evaluation to determine whether or not you might benefit from IV therapy.
Your care team might suggest vitamin IV therapy as one part of a comprehensive, individualized care plan based on your health status and laboratory results. If you’re dehydrated, anemic, or low on certain vitamins, for example, your doctor may include IV therapy in your treatment plan.
Conditions that may benefit from vitamin IV therapy include:
- Vitamin deficiency
- Gastrointestinal conditions
- Thyroid problems
Vitamin IV Therapy Pros and Cons
Vitamin IV therapy can be very useful but it’s not without its disadvantages. It’s important to talk to your doctor and medical team about whether the advantages outweigh the drawbacks and how to avoid risks.
When you’re ill, your body may divert energy away from your digestive system, making it difficult to absorb and process nutrients. Your body may need help getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to recover and thrive.
One of the main benefits of IV therapy is that it’s quick-acting because nutrients are delivered directly into the bloodstream. The fast, direct delivery can make a tremendous difference in the way you feel and how well your body responds.
Vitamin IV therapy offers these additional benefits:
- Helps correct vitamin imbalances or deficiencies
- Bypasses the gastrointestinal system and the digestion process
- Delivers higher concentrations of vitamins at once
- Provides a better absorption rate compared to oral vitamins or food
- Allows for more precise dosing based on what your body needs
- Provides an alternative vitamin source for those who can’t ingest or haven’t responded to oral supplements
Though vitamin IV treatments carry some disadvantages, most of the drawbacks can be minimized with supervision by a qualified healthcare professional who follows judicious safety protocol.
Vitamin IV infusions can pose some challenges, such as:
- Treatment must be administered in a hospital, unless qualified professionals are available to administer the treatment.
- High concentrations of certain vitamins in the body can lead to problems. In extreme cases, too much vitamin A, for example, can cause side effects from headaches and dizziness to death.
- The treatment is contraindicated for those with kidney disease or heart conditions as the organs may not be able to process high concentrations of vitamins at one time.
- Can interfere with electrolyte balance. Too much potassium, for example, can lead to a heart attack.
- Limited studies prove the effectiveness of vitamin infusions in mainstream use.
- Unregulated treatment practices in mainstream use can increase complications.
- It’s not recommended for long-term use or a replacement for a good diet.
In addition to these disadvantages, IV therapy can also lead to some side effects.
Vitamin IV Therapy Side Effects
As with any medication, IV therapy can cause side effects for some people. That’s why it’s so important to receive treatment from qualified staff who can monitor your body’s reactions.
Some people have encountered side effects from vitamin IV therapy, such as:
- Infection at the injection site
- Vein inflammation and bruising
- Blood clots
- Air embolism
Various side effects from the prescribed vitamins themselves can also happen. To avoid these side effects, it’s important to tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you take and reactions you’ve had in the past. Then, your team must monitor you for reactions.
Complications like infection and air embolisms are more common with unqualified providers or careless protocols. Fewer risks occur in the hands of a reputable provider, so make sure you know what to look for.
Evaluating a Vitamin IV Therapy Provider
If vitamin IV therapy is part of your or a loved ones’ rehabilitation treatment, you need to be sure the facility you choose takes precautions to minimize risks and boost recovery. The nursing staff should have in-depth IV skills and be present to monitor your body’s response to the injection.
Rehab Select is one of few facilities in Alabama to offer on-site, medical-grade IV therapy. Licensed staff is available around-the-clock to provide and assess IV treatments in the comfort of your room. If you have any further questions about IV therapy, reach out to Rehab Select online or over the phone.