IV Fluids for Dehydration: Who Can Receive Them & Do They Work?

Jenna Hilton
June 15, 2023

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it consumes. This happens due to various factors, such as excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, or inadequate fluid intake. The consequences of dehydration can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening situations, especially if left untreated. Common symptoms of dehydration include increased thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, confusion, and fatigue.

While milder cases of dehydration can be managed through oral rehydration, some cases require a more effective solution. This is where intravenous (IV) therapy is critical for restoring hydration levels and replenishing vital electrolytes.

This article explains IV fluids for dehydration, the benefits of the therapy, and answers some common questions regarding IV therapy.

replenishing lost fluids with IV fluids for dehydration

What Are IV Fluids for Dehydration?

IV fluids for dehydration are crystalloid solutions used to rehydrate the body. They are injected into the body via an intravenous tube to restore the electrolyte balance in the system and treat dehydration. By injecting IV fluids directly into the bloodstream, medical professionals significantly save time and speed up the recovery process.

Note: Learn about different types of IV fluids.

When To Use IV Fluids for Dehydration?

IV fluids are typically recommended in severe cases of dehydration when oral rehydration is not effective enough to replenish optimal levels of electrolytes in the body. This happens due to prolonged periods of inadequate fluid intake, excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. The symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Lack of energy
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dry skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Extreme thirst

Who Can Receive IV Fluids for Dehydration?

IV fluids for dehydration are a safe and fast method to replenish optimal levels of fluids in adults and children. IV for rehydration is also a good way for people who perform endurance sports and rigorous physical training to regain the water they lost during activity.

Note: Learn about the benefits of IV therapy.

Rehydration with IV Fluids: The Process

Here is a step-by-step guide to IV therapy for dehydration.

  1. Initial checkup – Before administering the IV drip, the medical professional analyzes your symptoms and the overall state of your health to determine the exact combination of IV fluids you need, as well as the amount and frequency of the treatment.
  2. Preparation – The medical professional examines your veins to find the best point of insertion and cleans the area with alcohol.
  3. Cannula insertion – They gently insert a needle into the vein in your arm and then replace the needle with a flexible cannula for comfort and a small piece of tape is put on top of the cannula so it stays in place during the treatment. Then they attach the IV bag to the tube that goes into your arm through the needle.
  4. Fluid injection and monitoring – The medical professional enables the flow from the IV bag to begin the IV treatment. They observe the patient during the treatment and regularly check the flow of IV fluids entering your body to ensure everything is as it should be and the best results are achieved.
  5. Additional checkup – Medical professionals schedule an additional checkup a few days after the treatment to ensure the symptoms have subsided and decide on follow-up treatments if necessary.

Benefits of Rehydrating with IV Fluids

There are many benefits to IV fluids rehydration.

1. Rehydrates More Effectively

IV fluids provide instant rehydration results. Aside from water, IV fluids usually contain nutrients and vitamins that contribute to optimal functioning. By going directly into the bloodstream, IV therapy bypasses the digestive system and starts working immediately.

2. Boosts Immunity

Dehydration often happens due to outside factors such as viruses, bacterial infections, or flu. This is why most IV therapies for rehydration typically contain vitamin B or vitamin C, which boost the immune system. These vitamins also successfully alleviate symptoms of dehydration, such as low energy, fatigue, and irritability.

Note: Learn about the benefits of vitamin B IV therapy and vitamin C IV therapy.

3. Cures Hangover Symptoms

Dehydration is a common side effect of hangover and can vary from mild to severe. IV therapy prevents serious damage to your system due to excessive drinking and improves symptoms such as fatigue, headache, vomiting, and excessive thirst.

Note: Learn more about the hangover IV therapy.

4. Boosts Energy Levels

One of the first things patients feel after receiving IV therapy for rehydration is higher energy levels. This is because IV fluids for rehydration often contain amino acids that convert fatty acids in our bodies into energy.

Note: Learn more about amino acid IV therapy.

5. Improves Brain Function

Dehydration can cause lasting and damaging effects on the brain and mental functions. Symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and loss of concentration are often a consequence of dehydration and can be treated with IV therapy.

6. Supports Healthy Organ Functioning

Aside from the brain, dehydration affects other organs in your body. The kidneys, in particular, need optimal water intake (about 8 cups) to function normally and keep the body healthy. In case of dehydration, the toxins in your body build up because the kidneys cannot flush them out, which can cause long-term damage.

7. Improves Skin Elasticity

Dehydration causes the skin to become dry and more prone to wrinkles as the body starts losing collagen and elastin. It also contributes to muscle weakness, which causes premature aging of the skin.

Note: Learn more about IV drip for glowing skin.

8. Better Athletic Performance

Dehydration frequently happens due to excessive sweating during exercise. For athletes who regularly train and put a lot of strain on their muscles, IV therapy for athletic performance prevents dehydration and helps the body recover after intense workouts.

Risks of Using IV Fluids for Dehydration

IV therapy rarely causes any side effects when administered by a skilled medical professional. Some bruising, redness, or swelling at the point of needle insertion is common with any IV therapy treatment, and it does not last long.

More serious conditions such as infections, air embolisms, or hematomas are extremely rare and happen if the person administering the therapy is not fully trained to perform the procedure.

IV Fluids for Dehydration: FAQ

rehydrating with iv fluids for dehydration

Here are the most frequently asked questions about IV fluids for dehydration.

How Long Does It Take for IV Fluids for Dehydration to Work?

Typically, many patients feel the first signs of improvement even before the IV therapy treatment ends. They instantly feel an energy boost and mental clarity, while other improvements to the system in terms of optimal hydration levels are visible within a few hours of the treatment.

How Often Can I Receive Fluids for Dehydration?

The frequency of IV treatments for dehydration depends on the severity of your symptoms and is determined by a medical professional. For overall wellness, patients usually receive one treatment every two weeks. For treating specific symptoms and conditions, IV therapy can be administered several times a week or every day until the medical situation improves.

What Is the Recovery Time After Receiving IV Fluids for Dehydration?

The treatment does not require any recovery time. Patients can go back to their regular activities right away while avoiding heavy exercise so as not to strain or injure the injected arm.


IV fluids for dehydration play a crucial role in restoring fluid balance, replenishing electrolytes, and speeding up the recovery of bodily functions affected by low hydration. The administration of IV fluids is best performed by a skilled medical professional, who will determine the exact combination, amount, and frequency of IV fluids you should receive based on your symptoms and goals.

If you are looking for nutritional IV therapy near Phoenix, reach out to our medical professionals at Vibrant Vitality Clinic to schedule an appointment and learn more about it.

Jenna Hilton
Jenna Hilton has been a practicing PA since 2009, specializing in Family, Internal Medicine and Medical Aesthetics. She attended Arizona State University where she received her Bachelor's Degree and graduated magna cum laude. She received her Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from A.T. Still University.

Jenna has been injecting neurotoxin and dermal filler since 2013. She received certification as a Master Injector in 2017 through Empire Medical in Los Angeles, California. She is currently working on a Fellowship Program in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Her special interests include use of PLLA, Ablative/Non ablative skin resurfacing, PDO threads, hormone therapy and nutritional therapies to improve cellular regeneration and medically supervised weight loss.

Jenna Hilton believes in a multi-factorial approach, considering internal factors that accelerate aging and disease development. She always enjoys teaching. She co-founded Vibrant EDU courses at Vibrant Skin Bar and regularly performs one-on-one training with fellow injectors. She teaches Aesthetic and Advanced Injectable Courses at National Laser Institute. She has been named Preceptor of the Year and is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Midwestern University. She was born in Iowa, and lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, AZ.

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