What Is IV Therapy? What are Its Ingredients? Is It Right for Me?

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IV Therapy

Intravenous (IV) therapy is a process of administering fluids and nutrients intravenously so that they can be absorbed and used by the body almost immediately. Because it bypasses the digestive system and travels straight to the organs, 90-100% of the nutrients administered by IV therapy are absorbed. IV therapy is the administration of fluids, drugs, nutrients, or blood straight into a vein. In IV therapy, a small plastic tube called a cannula is inserted into a vein and connected to a needle and a fluid bag. Electrolytes, glucose, and water are common components of intravenous fluid.

What Are Intravenous Therapies Used For?

IV therapy is used for several purposes, including:

  • Hangover relief
  • Athletic fitness recovery
  • Immunity support
  • Cold and flu relief
  • Inflammation
  • Malabsorption or other gut issues
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration

What Are The Ingredients Used In IV Therapy?

Vitamins Used in IV Therapy

  1. B-Complex

Vitamin B complex contains a combination of 8 B vitamins:

  • B1 (thiamine): Thiamine is vital to metabolism as it aids in transforming food into usable energy.
  • B2 (riboflavin): Riboflavin is an antioxidant that also plays a role in converting food into energy.
  • B3 (niacin): Niacin is involved in cellular signaling and metabolic processes, as well as the creation and repair of DNA. It is also used to synthesize NAD, which acts as a coenzyme.
  • B5 (pantothenic acid): Pantothenic acid, like the other B vitamins, is necessary for the body to receive energy from the food you eat. It is also involved in the creation of hormones and cholesterol.
  • B6 (pyridoxine): Pyridoxine plays an important role in the metabolism of amino acids, the making of red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
  • B7 (biotin): Besides its role as a regulator of gene expression, biotin plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Too, biotin is involved in the health of hair, skin and nails.
  • B9 (folate): Folate is essential for the growth of new cells, the production of amino acids, red and white blood cells, and healthy cell division.
  • B12 (cobalamin): B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system, the synthesis of DNA, and the maturation of red blood cells. It is perhaps the most well-known of all the B vitamins for it’s energy boost.
Contraindication (reasons not to use if these apply to you) of Vitamin B complex administration:
  • Low potassium
  • Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy- very rare
  • Inflammation of the gut lining
  • Removal of the stomach
Side effects of B-complex:

Large doses of supplemental B3 (niacin) can cause adverse effects such as nausea and vomiting, elevated blood sugar levels, skin flushing, and even liver damage. In addition, taking excessive amounts of vitamin B6 might result in nerve damage, sensitivity to light, and painful skin sores. There is a possibility that taking B-complex supplements will cause your urine to become bright yellow- this a harmless side effect.

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  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. It aids in the creation of collagen, a protein crucial to the health of connective tissues. Vitamin C can help in the reduction of stretch marks and is essential in the healing process of wounds. In addition, Vitamin can increase iron, improve immunity, decrease gout attacks, and boost brain function. Vitamin C can also lower blood pressue and benefit heart health in general. Too, high dose vitamin c can be used as part of cancer treatment protocols.

Contraindications of Vitamin C IV therapy:
  • G6PD deficiency
  • High level of oxolates in the blood stream
  • Impaired iron storage
  • Anemia
  • Kidney stones
  • Renal failure
Side effects:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Sluggishness


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Minerals Used in IV Therapy

  1. Zinc

Zinc is a mineral found in many organs and tissues in high concentrations. It plays an important role in immunity, promotes recovery from injury, and is involved in the sense of taste and smell.

Contraindication of Zinc IV Therapy:
  • Renal failure
Side effects:
  • Hypotension
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Diarrhea and vomiting


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  1. Magnesium

Magnesium plays a crucial role in health with over 600 benefits, however up to 70% of the population is deficient in magnesium. It supports heart health, lowers blood pressure, reduces fatigue, promotes calm, supports muscle and nerve function, and much more. Signs of deficiency include: muscle cramps, restless sleep, bad mood, high blood pressure, food cravings and more.

Contraindications of Magnesium IV Therapy:
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Blocked vessels on the heart
  • Renal failure
Side effects:
  • Heart disturbances
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Hypotension


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  1. Selenium

The awareness of the importance of selenium has grown in recent years because it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from harming cells.  Selenium is supportive of heart health, skin, hair and nails, and the prostate. It boosts the immune systems, supports thyroid health and prevents damage from free radicals.

Contraindications (when applicable) of Selenium IV Therapy:
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
Side effects:
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea
  • Liver and heart problems


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Normal Saline Used in IV Therapy

Fluid and electrolyte replacement solutions like Normal Saline (sodium chloride) infusion help restore hydration and normal functioning.

Contraindication of normal saline IV Therapy:
  • Primary or secondary aldosteronism
  • Swelling in the limbs
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
Side Effects:
  • Lowers body temperature
  • Redness at the injection site


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Amino Acids Used in IV Therapy

  1. Glutathione

Glutathione is also known as the Master Antioxidantis – it keeps cells from getting damaged. This antioxidant binds to toxins in the body, making it easier for the body to get rid of them. Glutathione is involved in many metabolic and biochemical processes, repairing and making new DNA. A lack of glutathione can lead to more oxidative stress in the body. Glutathione intravenously is a great way to stop free radicals from damaging cells.

Contraindication of Glutathione IV Therapy:
  • Sulfa allergy
Side effects:
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Irritation at the site of injection

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  1. Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid, which means the body can’t make it on its own and needs to get it from food. Lysine and lysine supplements might help cure cold sores, lower blood pressure, and stop the symptoms of lysine deficiency. Interestingly, IV lysine has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, thus reducing stress and anxiety. As all amino acids are building blocks for protein, Lysine help build immunity. It is particularly helpful in blocking the herpes virus which causes common cold sores.

Contraindication of Lysine IV Therapy:
  • Low bone density
  • Lysoruric protein intolerance (very rare)
  • Kidney failure
Side effects:
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Renal failure


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  1. Methionine

Methionine is another essential amino acid with antioxidant properties. It shields the body from ionizing radiation’s harmful effects. It also helps the body eliminate dangerous compounds like heavy metals. It might also stop acetaminophen intoxication from causing liver damage. In addition, Methionine stimulates the body to secrete the hormone somatotropin, an important fat-burning hormone, making methionine an important amino acid in one’s weight loss journey. Too, methinone is a recommended supplement for vegetarians.

Contraindication of Methionine IV Therapy:
  • Low Ph of the body-“too acidic”
  • Liver disease
Side Effects if too much is taken:
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate


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  1. Tri Amino

Tri-amino are three amino acids combined: L-Arginine HCl / L-Citruline / L-Ornithine , which boosts the amount of nitric oxide in the body. This combination can lower blood pressure and speed up blood flow. It also stimulates the pituitary gland, which raises the human growth hormone (HGH) to a healthy level. In weight loss applications, it incereases lean body mass,  improves athletic performance, and heart health.

Contraindication of Tri Amino IV Therapy:
  • The use of nitrates, blood pressure medications or drugs used for erectile dysfunction
Side effects:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating


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  1. Amino blend

Amino acids play an important role in protein synthesis, tissue repair, and nutrition absorption. There are different amino blends available to practitioners to help with various problems. Please discuss with your practitioner if amino acids may be helpful for you.

Contraindication of Amino Blend IV Therapy:
  • Liver failure
  • Severe kidney failure
Side Effects:
  • Bloating
  • Dry skin
  • Cough

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Other Ingredients Used in IV Therapy

  1. Inositol

Inositol is a carbohydrate, but is not considered a sugar, that can also be found in some foods. There are nine distinct variations of the compund. It may boost mood and metabolism (the rate at which the body breaks down and uses food). It may be helpful in diabetes, weight loss, anxiety, depression and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Contraindication of Inositol IV Therapy:

Inositol is contraindicated in patients taking diabetes medications.

Side effects:
  • Gas
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

  1. Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient produced in the liver, but likely in insufficient quantities. It is involved in a wide variety of biochemical processes. Choline helps detoxify the liver and improve fat break down. Also, choline may help reduce asthma-related inflammation and swelling. Many people use choline to improve their memory, enhance their cognitive abilities, and even prevent some congenital disabilities. The only contraindication for the use of choline is bipolar disorder.

Side effects:
  • Skin rash
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling of eyelids

  1. Toradol

Ketorolac tromethamine is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) pain killer sold under the brand name Toradol. This NSAID is intended to relieve moderate to severe pain temporarily. The natural substance, prostaglandin, produces inflammation and pain at the site of tissue damage or infection; Toradol reduces its synthesis. Swelling and fever can both be reduced with the use of Toradol.

Contraindication of Toradol IV Therapy:
  • Abdominal bleeding
  • Stomach ulcer
Side effects:
  • Cramping
  • Cloudy urine
  • Visual problem

  1. Zofran

Zofran is a prescription medication that can alleviate nausea and vomiting. It can aid in postoperative recovery and reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It can also be used for hangover nausea.

Contraindication of Zofran IV Therapy:
  • Low magnesium
  • Low potassium
  • Low calcium
Side effects:
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation

  1. Benadryl

Benadryl is an antihistamine, meaning it lowers the level of histamine circulating in the body.  Sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, watery eyes, and a scratchy throat are just some of the symptoms that can be alleviated by using this remedy.

  • Premature infants
  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • Pregnancy 
Side effects:
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vision changes
  • Dry mouth

  1. Acetylcysteine

Acetylcysteine is often used as an antidote for acetaminophen overdose because it can increase glutathione levels. However, it is also used to treat alcoholic hepatitis, and in therapeutic IV clinics, it is used to loosen up secretions, thus helping with congestion. Some of the conditions that will benefit from Acetylcysteine include- asthma, bronchitis, Covid and more.

Contraindication of Acetylcysteine IV Therapy:
  • Anaphylactoid reaction to acetylcysteine
Side effects:
  • Fast heartbeat
  • A feeling of warmth
  • Itching
  • Joint pain

  1. Pepcid

Pepcid is effective in treating stomach and intestinal ulcers and can also be used to prevent the recurrence of these conditions. Some conditions affecting the digestive tract and the food pipe (esophagus) are also remedied with this drug (such as GERD and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome). It’s effect is in reducing the production of stomach acid.

Contraindication of Pepcid IV Therapy:
  • Stomach cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
 Side effects:
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

  1. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)

Since it helps other antioxidants like vitamins C and E and glutathione, ALA has been called “the universal antioxidant.” ALA protects all the organs of the body from oxidative free radicals, and thus, can be used for many indications including pain, diabetes (lowers blood sugar level), and increases fat loss. At Body R-N-R we use ALA as part of our weight loss program.

Contraindication of Alpha lipoid acid IV Therapy:
  • Liver disease
  • Alchohol consumption
  • Diabetes
  • A thyroid disorder
  • A thiamine deficiency
Side effects:
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rash

  1. Lipo B12

Lipotropic B12 injections aid in weight loss in several ways: feel more energized, aiding the break down of food, and boosting the loss of fat cells.

Side effects:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Stomach upset
  • Hunger pangs
  • Allergic reaction

  1. Lactated Ringer’s

Lactated Ringer’s is a balanced solution which includes sodium, chloride, potassium. It replenishes electrolytes and water loss in individuals with low blood volume or low blood pressure. As a result, it can increase circulating volume and balance the ph of the body.

Contraindication of Lactated Ringer’s IV Therapy: 
  • Lactated Ringer’s solution is contraindicated if potassium levels are high.
Side effects:
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Slow heart rate
  • Decreased amount of urine
  • Shortness of breath


In summary, there are many vitamins minerals, amino acids and medications that can be added to solutions to help with vitamin and mineral depletion, dehydration, pain, and more. Is IV therapy for me? To many people, vitamin therapy is absolutely worth the cost and risk (given that the risks are minimal). IV therapies will hold appeal to more and more individuals for many reasons. Body R-N-R is pleased to offer IV therapies in addition to other other treatments to help you achieve your best body goals.

Are you ready to reap the benefits of IV therapy? If so, click here.



About the Author

Alisa La Liberte, MSN, RN began her career in 1992 in Los Angeles and has served in various roles in hospitals, schools, & clinics throughout the country. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing at UCSF, as a Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist. Alisa’s strong background in clinical research pushed her to launch Body R-N-R, a wellness practice in Scottsdale, AZ, with technology backed by clinical studies. Read more about Alisa here.

Alisa La Liberte, MSN, RN, Founder of Body R-N-R

Alisa La Liberte MSN, RN

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