Having a big night out and then buying your way out of feeling rough the next day? Count us in.
There are some things that all humans have in common. The obvious ones are, of course, the need to eat, sleep and breathe, but the majority of us also have some common ground when it comes to the way we feel after a particularly heavy night of drinking.
We’ve all gone to bed after overindulging, hoping with all we’ve got that we won’t struggle too much the next day – and generally, we’re disappointed to wake up with a pounding headache and a desperate need for the coldest water known to man.
However, there is a way that those with the money to spend on it are able to get away relatively painlessly – that is, after the initial injection.
We’re talking, of course, about intravenous (IV) drips. Once just a staple of hospital wards, IV drips have found another purpose in recent years as a fairly expensive cure for the morning after the night before.
IV therapy as a form of non-essential medication isn’t particularly new, having been used by those wishing to feel the effects of pain-relief medications quicker and more powerfully, though it was soon found that delivering essential minerals and vitamins directly into the bloodstream also worked to lessen the effects of a hangover.
One familiar face who has shown themselves to be a fan of this particular treatment is Madonna, who has previously posted clips of herself receiving IV therapy to her Instagram page. Of course, the Tibetan singing bowls are optional…
Madonna isn’t alone, either – both Adele and Rihanna are among the other celebrities who are reported to have called on IV therapy as a hangover cure in the past.
So, how does it work?
The use of an IV drip allows a solution of vitamins and minerals to reach the bloodstream quickly, with paracetamol, ondansetron, ketorolac, magnesium and saline solution amongst the ‘ingredients’ commonly used within these concoctions. Given that drinking alcohol in high quantities starves the body of essential vitamins involved within alcohol metabolism – with thiamine, niacin and pyridoxine amongst the first to be depleted – it’s no surprise that such a direct and powerful dosage of these minerals could leave you feeling a little less rough very quickly.
As you can imagine, such effective treatment for an ailment that puts a damper on an otherwise enjoyable aspect of socialising doesn’t come cheap. IV therapy can cost hundreds – even thousands – of dollars per session.
However, the high price tag and celebrity fans don’t necessarily confirm that IV therapy is always a good idea – this sort of treatment, when sought unnecessarily, comes with a health warning.
“There’s a risk of infection with IV vitamin therapy,” Dena Westphalen, PharmD, told healthline, “Any time you have an IV inserted, it creates a direct path into your bloodstream and bypasses your body’s first defense mechanism against bacteria: your skin.”
That’s not all, either. Frequent IV drips also increase your risk of developing blood clots, suffering an air embolism or overloading your bloodstream with liquids. There’s also risk involved in the rare event that the practitioner administering the IV drip puts too much of a particular mineral into the solution – potassium is amongst the chemicals that could lead to a heart attack if given in too high a dosage.
Overall, IV therapy does work to cure hangovers – something that no other treatment currently on the market can promise so certainly – but it comes with its risks, too, and shouldn’t be used carelessly or too much.
Our advice? Maybe try it out sometime to join the famous IV fanclub, but certainly don’t rely on it for the days after every heavy evening.