What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy is the practice of administering fluids through the veins. There are two components needed for infusion therapy:
- A needle which is used to access the blood vessel
- A bag (IV drip bag) containing fluids that is carefully dripped into the patient’s blood vessel
This form of fluid administration was first used in the 1830s during the cholera epidemic. Victims that contracted cholera would lose high volumes of body fluids, which needed to be replenished as soon as possible.
The issue was that most severely ill patients could not take these fluids through their mouths, due to drowsiness or active vomiting. Additionally, even if they could ingest these fluids orally. it would still require time before their fluid levels to return to normal. As a result, the practice of intravenous fluid administration was created and used in these critically ill patients, leading many of them to survive.
Today, intravenous fluids are essential in managing hospital patients. Blood transfusions and the need for medications like antibiotics or anesthesia are often administered using infusion therapy.
You may have even heard of people like Madonna, Katy Perry, and Adele undergoing infusion therapy. Despite what rumours may say, these celebrities weren’t critically ill, nor did they receive it in preparation for surgical procedures. Rather, the infusion therapy they underwent is known as intravenous vitamin drips.
Intravenous vitamin drips follow the same principle as in-hospital intravenous fluid administration. They can be given as an adjunct health supplement, or as a method of treating certain conditions.
Who needs infusion therapy?
Drugs, blood products, vitamins, and other medications are possible for infusion therapy. This practice has been around for a long time and has been utilized by celebrities, as well as people with specific needs.
Intravenous pain medications have been used to treat migraine, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. The Myer’s cocktail - an intravenous vitamin infusion, has also been used to manage these conditions. Other uses for IV vitamin infusions include being used to manage hyperthyroidism and other hormonal conditions.
Other infusions support the oxidative stress of surgery, improve the appearance of skin, improve energy, etc..
Some clinics offer ketamine infusions for treatment-resistant depression and for chronic pain. Ketamine infusions have been studied extensively, with researchers noting that IV ketamine infusions are effective for treating depression. (Taiminen, 2017). Some people may also find ketamine infusions as an effective relief agent for treating chronic pain.
Besides being used to treat diseases, infusion therapy can be helpful in boosting everyday activities. Examples include people that require infusion therapy after intense physical activity, or ingesting too much alcohol. In these instances, IV vitamin therapy has been shown to quickly cure hangovers and provide quick hydration.
Women can also utilize IV vitamin therapy for aesthetic purposes. Some claim that it can keep your skin healthy and clear. Additionally, it can be used to relieve stress and rejuvenate your body.
What are the advantages of Infusion Therapy?
There are many nutritional supplements and oral medications available in the market. In this section, we will take a look at how infusion therapy differs, and the advantages it has over these traditional medications.
Compared to intravenous therapy, oral medications must go through the gastrointestinal system. Before the medication enters the circulatory system, it’s potency has already been reduced by approximately 50% due to stomach digestion.
Additionally, not everyone receives the same amount of nutrients from oral supplements. Your age, health status, genetics and other medications affect how well you absorb nutrients.
With intravenous or infusion therapy, medications are directly administered into the blood vessels. As a result, it bypasses the digestion process, allowing for up to 90% of the vitamins and other desired substances to be absorbed. This results in higher concentrations of vitamins in the body, allowing for much quicker results.
Having a migraine attack but don’t want to take a day off work? A toradol infusion can help to relieve the symptoms of a migraine, and is just one reason why people opt for infusion therapy.
Infusion therapy is offered as an outpatient procedure, meaning you won’t have to be admitted to a hospital or go to the emergency room. In most cases, you can immediately go home after your infusion.
Some infusion clinics prioritize the comfort of their patients to ensure they get the best experience from each visit. Comfortable chairs, magazines, televisions, a window or garden view are some of the services available to patients during their infusion therapy session.
One important advantage of infusion therapy is that it’s administered by healthcare professionals. With oral medications, compliance can become a problem.
As infusions are performed in a clinical setting, a nurse or primary care provider can ensure you’re receiving the right amount of vitamins and medications at the right time. If the situation arises where a patient has an irregular reaction toward a specific type of drug, attention can be immediately given to them. Questions or queries can also be addressed real time.
There are many guidelines and procedures regarding patient safety in infusion clinics. To mitigate any possible risks associated with infusion therapy, ensure that you visit a certified medical clinic.
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Types of Infusion Therapy
The symptoms of dehydration can be mild, moderate or severe, and can also be caused by an acute illness like pneumonia.
Treatment of illnesses like the COVID-19 infection are mainly supportive, and recommend that patients are adequately hydrated. Other illnesses which manifest with vomiting, fever, and diarrhea can also result in dehydration.
Electrolyte imbalance is a common consequence of dehydration. A lack of electrolytes can result in body weakness, tremors, dizziness, and other neurologic manifestations. Fluids like Ringer’s lactate contain minerals like chloride, potassium and sodium, which can help to recover lost electrolytes.
In hospital settings and especially in emergency rooms, intravenous fluids that contain saline solutions are often used to help with dehydration. Volume depletion results in shock - a condition where there is not enough fluids circulating in the body. As a result, blood pressure goes below what is considered normal and vital organs do not receive sufficient amounts of blood. A person who is severely dehydrated would suffer from these signs, and would require IV hydration to quickly improve their condition.
Some signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyeballs
- Oliguria, a lack of urine output for more than 6 hours (Considered a serious sign of dehydration and may prompt hospital admission)
If you have mild to moderate dehydration due to intense physical activity, stress, or excessive alcohol, you can receive IV hydration therapy from either a hospital setting or an infusion clinic.
The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ has a mobile healthcare option for special events. We can visit your hotel/resort the morning after a Bachelor/Bachelorette party, or any celebration for that matter to administer infusions. Aside from replenishing electrolytes and B-complex, the infusions we offer can be customized by adding Toradol for headaches, and Zofran for nausea.
Want to know more
One of the oldest, well-known and well-studied nutrient infusions is the Myers’ Cocktail. It was developed by Dr. Myers, a physician from Maryland before he passed in the 1980s.
Dr. Myers had several patients whose conditions improved from his nutrient infusions, hence how it got its name. The Myer’s Cocktail is composed of IV fluid with magnesium chloride, thiamine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B complex, calcium gluconate, and diluted hydrochloric acid.
This cocktail is used to manage everything from asthma, migraines, fatigue, and muscle spasms, to respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, and allergic rhinitis. There have also been cases where hyperthyroidism, dysmenorrhea, urticaria and angina improved due to the use of Myers’ Cocktail. Patients who had no other diseases but received this nutrient infusion therapy reported overall health improvement after some time.
Its health improvement has a scientific basis. Vitamin C that is taken orally will only provide up to 25% of the initial dose you took in. As a result, the full antiviral concentrations of Vitamin C (10-15mg/dl) can only be achievable if taken intravenously.
As well, magnesium supplements taken by mouth do not exert significant plasma changes, but if given intravenously, can exert pharmacological effects. Simply put, nutrient infusions work better than taking medications by mouth, because it increases the availability of the vitamins and minerals in your body.
In 2009, an 8 week study was conducted that compared the effect of the Myers’ Cocktail against a placebo group in patients with fibromyalgia. Compared to the placebo group, the Myer’s Cocktail group showed improvements in pain, depression, and quality of life.
As of 2002, the Myers’ Cocktail has been administered approximately 15,000 times with 800-1000 different patients benefiting from it’s concoction. That was in 2002 - at the time of writing, it is currently 2020. The number of successfully infused patients and the demand for Myers’ Cocktail in infusion clinics has increased dramatically since then.
Today, there are many variations of the Myers’ Cocktail. The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ offers a modified infusion for first timers, as well as the original Myers’ Cocktail. You can utilize it to combat a variety of conditions, or even use it to improve your mood if you’re feeling down lately.
IV Nutrients Infusions are a great way give yourself a nutrient boost straight to the system.
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Vitamin deficiencies are not rare and can be a consequence of a medical condition, or a side effect from taking medication. It can also occur as part of the natural aging process.
For example, Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is important in DNA and RNA synthesis. It is essential in the production of red blood cells, hence its deficiency can cause a form of anemia.
Some causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency include:- A vegan diet - Being over the age of 60- Chronic use of antacids- Intake of metformin- Problems with absorption.
As we grow older, our bodies become inefficient at producing Vitamin D. Besides the elderly patients with chronic kidney disease can also suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Even if you don’t have a specific vitamin deficiency, vitamin infusions are useful for improving your overall health, as stressful situations are associated with lowering vitamin levels.
Some studies have explored the effects of specific vitamin infusions and provided Vitamin D supplementation for patients with knee osteoarthritis. After the trial, researchers noted significant improvement in the physical performance and quality of life of these patients. Vitamin C infusions have also been used by medical oncologists to lower inflammation and combat the side effects of certain types of cancer treatments (Klimant et al, 2018).
Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Vitamin C infusions are also available in The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ.
Another popular reason people undergo infusion therapy is for it’s cosmetic benefits. In addition to making you feel healthy and rejuvenated, it also makes you look good.
One specific type of infusion therapy is known as glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is naturally present in our bodies. Its volume levels decline from factors such as poor nutrition, toxins from the environment, age, and stress.
Intake of glutathione through oral means has variable and inconsistent effects. This is because the digestion and absorption of glutathione is affected by many factors during the digestion process. As a result, glutathione infusions may be a better option if you’re looking for maximum results.
Some of the benefits of glutathione include reducing skin wrinkles and improving skin elasticity. In some countries, it is used as a whitening agent due to its antimelagonesis properties, which can whiten dark spots and even out skin color.
Vitamin C has many health benefits such as boosting your immune system. However, not many people know that it also plays an important role regarding skin health. Vitamin C promotes synthesis of collagen, a major structural component of the skin. Additionally, it also acts as an antioxidant that combats ultraviolet skin damage.The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ offers both Vitamin C and glutathione infusions. You can take them separately, or together as part of the Glow & Grow package designed specifically for aesthetic benefits.
Nutrient and vitamin infusions can also be used for combating sinusitis, allergies, and fibromyalgia. For certain conditions, most infusion clinics also offer intravenous medications as an alternative option, such as toradol infusions for quick relief of migraine attacks. Other conditions like depression, PTSD, and chronic pain can be improved dramatically with ketamine infusions.
For hypertension, IV magnesium is quite effective. For diabetics, you can opt for alpha lipoic acid infusions - a type of infusion that contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can increase insulin sensitivity. It can also be used for the management of diabetic symptoms such as neuropathy and retinopathy (Rochette et al., 2017).A lot of infusion therapies mentioned earlier can also be used for specific medical conditions. The Infusion Clinic of ABQ can help you choose which infusion can work best for your condition.
Are there risks in infusion therapy?
The first step to undergo infusion therapy is needle insertion. As needles can carry bacteria and viruses, you are always at risk of infection every time you have an IV inserted into your veins. Thus, it is very important that this procedure is done by a medically trained healthcare professional. As long as IV insertion is done properly and within a clean environment, the risk of infection is very low.
People with specific conditions - such as chronic kidney disease or cancer should consult with their physician before receiving infusion therapy. Patients do not have adequate urine output in the later stages of chronic kidney disease, which prevents vitamins and nutrients from being adequately eliminated. As a result, fluid overload and heart failure is a high risk for people with chronic kidney disease and specific heart conditions.
Most clinics require a thorough medical history and physical examination prior to performing an infusion. Many of the risks associated with infusion therapy are minimized when done in a controlled clinical setting. By monitoring your symptoms and the infusion rate, primary care providers can prevent disasters from occurring.
The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ is a certified medical clinic that can meet your needs. Our primary care providers are well experienced at administering infusions and can ensure your procedure goes smoothly.
We offer more than 30 different varieties of infusion therapies including fat burner injections with lipostat, and immunity boosters with Vitamin C and zinc.Thinking of undergoing infusion therapy? Click below to our complete list of infusion therapy services!