The Potential Side Effects of IV Nutrient Therapy: What to Watch Out for and When to Alert a Medical Professional
Intravenous (IV) nutrient therapy is a medical treatment that involves administering fluids and nutrients directly into a patient's bloodstream through a vein. IV nutrient therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated, but like any medical treatment, it carries some potential risks and side effects. In this blog post, we'll discuss the possible side effects of IV therapy and what signs you should watch out for when getting an IV and when to alert a medical professional.
Possible Side Effects of IV Nutrient Therapy:
The potential side effects of IVs are really minimal and don’t usually happen when you’re working with an IV experienced medical professional. However, notify your healthcare provider immediately if you’re experiencing any of the below symptoms during or after your IV.
Infection: There is a risk of infection any time a needle is inserted into the skin. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, warmth, and pain at the injection site.
Infections can best be avoided by working with a medical professional who properly practices with good hygeine controls in place - i.e. uses sterile products, uses unexpired products, only uses products designed for IV administration, has a clean work environment, keeps your IV set clean, properly cleans your skin before the IV, and properly protects your skin during the IV and afterwards.
Bleeding and Bruising: There is a risk of bleeding and bruising any time a needle punctures a blood vessel as is done in IV therapy. Signs of bleeding and bruising include swelling, and pain at the injection site.
This can best be avoided by your healthcare provider using good technique on IV insertion, but it is sometimes unavoidable in tiny or weak veins that are prone to bleeding and bruising.
Applying pressure after IV removal is also important in order to avoid bleeding and bruising. If it does happen, this is usually a very minor side effect and will usually just self-resolve over a few days or couple weeks just like any other bruise does when you bump and bruise yourself.
Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to the fluids, nutrients, or other medications used in IV therapy. Signs of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and/ or chest pain.
It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about any known allergies ahead of time.
And if you do develop allergic reaction symptoms during or after your IV, tell your healthcare provider immediately so they can take the appropriate measures to counteract this reaction.
Fluid overload: In rare cases, too much fluid can be given during IV therapy, which can lead to fluid overload. Signs of fluid overload include shortness of breath, swelling in the legs or feet, and sudden weight gain.
If you do develop fluid overload symptoms during or after your IV, tell your healthcare provider immediately so they can take the appropriate measures to counteract this reaction.
Electrolyte imbalances: IV therapy can disrupt the balance of electrolytes in the body, which can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness, confusion, and irregular heartbeat.
Again, let your medical provider know about any new onset symptoms like this if they happen during or after your IV.
Other Symptoms to Watch out for During an IV and when to Alert a Medical Professional:
Pain or discomfort at the injection site: While an IV is usually totally painless, mild discomfort can also be normal at times, but if you experience any pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site, alert the medical professional in charge of your IV right away.
Nausea or vomiting: Nausea or vomiting can happen if administering a nutrient IV on an empty stomach. I usually recommend that my patients come in for treatment after they have eaten something. It may also be a sign of an allergic reaction, electrolyte imbalance, or other problem.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache: Dizziness, lightheadedness or a headache can happen if an IV formula is not quite balanced right for your physiology - i.e. too much magnesium. It may also be a sign of fluid overload, electrolyte imbalance, a detox reaction, or other health problem.
Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath can be a sign of fluid overload, allergic reaction or other health problem.
Alert the medical professional in charge of your IV treatment right away if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms during your IV.
Again, most of the above potential side effects are really minimal and don’t usually happen when you’re working with an IV therapy trained and experienced medical professional.
Nonetheless, potential risks and side effects still can happen at any point for a variety of reasons.
An IV therapy trained experienced medical professional should know how to help you resolve it. You will be in good hands if you work with someone who you trust and who you know is qualified and experienced in IV therapies. Be sure you read my previous post about this if you missed it.
IV therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it carries some risks of potential side effects just like any other medical treatment. Possible side effects include infection, bleeding/ bruising, allergic reactions, fluid overload, and electrolyte imbalances, just to name a few things. If you're receiving IV therapy, it's important to alert your medical professional if you experience any concerning symptoms during or after your IV.
By working with an IV therapy qualified medical professional and being aware of the possible risks and taking the appropriate precautions, you can ensure that you receive safe and effective IV therapy.
If you're experiencing any concerning symptoms during or after receiving IV therapy, don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider or seek medical attention right away. It's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health.
At Zuma Wellness, our licensed and experienced healthcare professionals are available to answer your questions and provide you with the highest quality of care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our IV therapy services. Your health and well-being are our top priority.
My clinic, Zuma Wellness, has been Malibu’s Original Go-To Spot for IV Vitamin Drips since 2013!
I've been providing my patients with High-Performance Medicine in Malibu for the past 10 years and I'm proud to be Malibu’s Premier IV Vitamin Drip Clinic.
If you'd like to learn more about IV Nutrition Therapy, please check out our first blog post in this 4-part series, "Does IV Nutrition Therapy Really Work or Is It Just a Fad?". And remember, if you're looking for IV therapy services in Malibu, California, we're here for you!