What is IV Infusion Therapy? A simple, scientific explanation

At NeuMed, our medical experts understand the science behind IV nutrition and hydration therapy. Research has shown the intravenous route to be the fastest and most effective way to deliver fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, nutrients, and medications directly to your body and vital organs.

What exactly is IV therapy?

IV therapy is the IntraVenous administration of vitamins and nutrients combined with a hydrating electrolyte solution. This solution contains water and the electrolytes – sodium and chloride – combined in the same ratio naturally found in your body.

Using a small needle, your doctor or a medical professional will insert a catheter into your vein. This is typically accomplished within minutes and will feel like a two-second pinch. 

Next, your IV therapist will deliver the IV solution through the catheter into your bloodstream, which means that the vitamins and nutrients will go directly to your vital organs during the 40-minute infusion. 

What is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability simply describes the percentage (or fraction) of an administered dose of a xenobiotic, i.e. a chemical substance that is foreign to your body, that reaches your systemic circulation (the blood that goes to all of your body tissues).1 

Unlike other routes like oral administration, the IV route bypasses your stomach and goes straight to your bloodstream. This maximizes absorption & effectiveness while minimizing waste. This means that the bioavailability for IV therapy is 100%.

The maximum efficiency of IV therapy is one reason NeuMed offers this procedure. We want to ensure that our patients have all the vitamins and nutrients they need. With full absorption and high blood concentrations, IV administration saturates and quenches your tissues, providing long-lasting therapeutic effects. 

What is Oxidative Stress?

The cells in your body have an organelle called the mitochondria that is essential for metabolism (breaking down the calories you consume into energy that your body can use). Your body can naturally detoxify by-products produced during metabolism. These by-products are known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and include compounds called free radicals. 

Sometimes free radicals are produced in excess and your body may not be able to detoxify them fast enough. When this happens, they can cause cell and tissue damage, also known as oxidative stress.2 

Amazingly, certain vitamins and molecules used in IV therapy can protect your body’s cells from dangerous reactive oxygen species, including:

  • Magnesium: A building block nutrient required to make antioxidant enzymes used to interrupt damage caused by free radicals 
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that can donate a hydrogen atom to a free radical and transform it into a less harmful form.
  • Glutathione: A tripeptide molecule that donates electrons to free radicals making them less toxic. 

At NeuMed, we have IV therapy options that can infuse these beneficial vitamins and molecules into your body to fight harmful reactive oxygen species and, hence, prevent cell and tissue damage.

Oral versus IV/IM (IntraVenous/IntraMuscular) administration of Vitamins and Nutrients?
Vitamins and nutrients are good for you, but it’s all about the delivery! 

When you take your vitamins and nutrients via the oral route, they must go through the entire gut before they get absorbed by your bloodstream. This takes time! However, when you get your vitamins and nutrients via the IV route, they are transported straight into your bloodstream and reach your cells, tissues, and organs much faster. 

Of course, oral administration has its benefits! Vitamins and nutrients that get consumed through the oral route are filtered by your body’s protective system, for example, your stomach cells produce acid which destroys many germs in food and drink. Unfortunately, when consumed by mouth our biological filters cause up to 70% of vitamins nutrient concentration to be wasted and not used by your body. Yes, this means oral administration of vitamins is only absorbed up to 30%, and that’s not too impressive. 

With IV or IM administration, the vitamins and nutrients do not pass-through biological filters. If you opt for IV or IM administration, our experts at NeuMed are trained to perform this procedure in a safe and clean environment to prevent any infection or complications. 

NeuMed IV Infusions

We offer a host of IV hydration infusions that are personalized to meet your health needs. 

Neu-Energy

Restore your energy and endurance with Neu-Energy. Created with athletes and very active individuals in mind, this special blend of IV fluids, electrolytes, and vitamins brings back your energy and re-activates your endurance. 

Neu-Energy Infusion:

  • High-dose Vitamin C
  • Glutathione
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B Complex 
  • One liter hydrating electrolyte fluid 

Neu-Immunity

Supercharge your immune system with Neu-Immunity. To speed up your healing process or support your weakened immune system and help you fight any infection, Neu-Immunity has the correct blend of fluids, electrolytes, and vitamins to enhance your immunity. 

Neu-Immunity Infusion:

  • Super-dose Vitamin C 
  • High-dose Glutathione
  • Zinc Sulfate
  • One liter hydrating electrolytes

Neu-Beauty

Achieving beautiful skin and hair has never been easier and uncomplicated! With Neu-Beauty you can revitalize your body cells, overcome certain skin disorders, and promote cell regeneration. Enjoy the Vitamin C glow!

Neu-Beauty Infusion:

  • High-dose Glutathione
  • High-dose Vitamin C
  • Lysine
  • One liter hydrating electrolytes

Neu-Start

If you are experiencing symptoms like a hangover or migraine, Neu-Start can ward them away. Neu-Start also improves your liver health and promotes liver functions such as metabolism, energy storage, and waste detoxification.

 Neu-Start Infusion:

  • Zofran nausea medicine 
  • Toradol anti-inflammatory pain medicine
  • Pepcid stomach acid reducer
  • Magnesium
  • One liter hydrating electrolytes 

Neu-Woman

Our medical experts understand that women deal with unique health issues. This is why we created Neu-Woman, a hydration drip with the right blend of fluids, electrolytes, and vitamins to prevent and treat menstrual cramps, fatigue, anemia, and other symptoms unique to women. Our Neu-Woman drips contain: 

  • Zofran nausea medicine 
  • Toradol anti-inflammatory pain medicine
  • Vitamin B12
  • One liter hydrating electrolytes 

Neu-Mother

Our Neu-Mother hydration drip therapy is targeted to pregnant moms and moms with newborns. This therapy is efficient for fighting the most common symptoms moms complain about, including nausea, dehydration, and the need for prenatal replenishment. Our Neu-Mother drips contain:

  • Zofran nausea medicine, alternated with Vitamin B6 for women pregnant less than 13 weeks 
  • Pepcid stomach acid reducer
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Folic Acid
  • One liter hydrating electrolytes 

Neu-Athlete 

The Neu-Athlete infusion enhances athletic performance, accelerates recovery, and replenishes protein building blocks. Men can also suffer from unique health issues, especially if you are always on-the-go and not monitoring your health, but our experts know that the major health risks men face can be combated with fluids, electrolytes, and vitamins that boost athletic performance and recovery. Neu-Athlete hydration drips contain:

  • L-Carnitine
  • L-Arginine  
  • Lysine
  • B-Complex
  • One liter of hydrating electrolytes 

How to prepare for IV Therapy 

Eating a meal at least one hour before your IV Therapy session is recommended to minimize mild queasiness that may occur with some ingredients if infused on an empty stomach. This occurs primarily with Glutathione, an extremely powerful antioxidant.

The infusion will typically take 45 minutes to 1 hour from start to finish. 

All private suites have an antigravity air-massage recliner with the option to heat up, but if you would like to be extra comfy please bring your own blanket. Our hydrating fluid is also warmed to our body’s natural temperature for added comfort. 

What to Expect after IV Therapy

Most people feel re-energized within an hour after IV therapy, but what should you expect after that? Our NeuMed expert responds..

You will have the general feeling of “better” and stronger: If you were suffering from weakened immunity, low energy, allergies, nausea, headaches, vomiting, or a hangover before IV therapy, your treatment will leave you feeling refreshed & rejuvenated and continue to improve your overall sense of wellbeing for several hours and days after your infusion. This is because IV therapy makes nutrients and electrolytes available for use immediately, but the benefits of elevated levels of the nutraceuticals continue for days to weeks.

You will need to keep your dressing in place: After your IV therapy is completed, a small dressing will be placed over the area where the catheter was placed. You will need to keep this dressing in place for up to 30 minutes. If you are on a blood thinner medication, you will need to leave your dressing on for 2 hours. 

The color of your urine may change: Your body will eliminate a small excess of some vitamins administered because your body cannot store it all. This is a sign that all of the components of the IV have been absorbed by your body and are being transported appropriately. You may find out that the color of your urine may become bright yellow or tangy orange if your therapy included water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and the B vitamins. 

Is IV Therapy for you?

At NeuMed, we have “research-backed” infusion formulas which take into account the individual AND synergistic effects of the nutraceuticals. Whether to strengthen your immune system, recover from a rough weekend or to restore that “glow” back to your skin, we expect every individual to achieve the results which the infusion was created for. If you have any questions about our infusions or would like to see the research articles upon which we based our formulas, please don’t hesitate to ask. We believe in education and take pleasure and pride in sharing the knowledge we have gained.   

References

1. Hinderliter P, Saghir SA. Pharmacokinetics. In: Wexler P, ed. Encyclopedia of Toxicology (Third Edition). Academic Press; 2014:849-855. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-386454-3.00419-X

2. Pizzino G, Irrera N, Cucinotta M, et al. Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:8416763. doi:10.1155/2017/8416763

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Disclosure:

The NeuMed blog is published by NeuMed.com, an innovative primary and urgent care practice that offers IV infusion therapy with locations in the Houston areas of The Heights, Spring Branch, and Montrose.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. NeuMed Modern Urgent Care + IV Therapy makes no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through our blog or website. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.