Can IV Therapy Aid in Cold and Flu Recovery?

Maybe you’ve seen a promotional flyer for flu shots or you’ve been surrounded lately by sneezes and sniffles on public transit – that’s how you know it’s cold and flu season. 

The World Health Organization reports approximately one billion cases of seasonal influenza each year, which is a lot of people. [1] In the United States alone, adults come down with the common cold two to four times a year on average, according to the American Lung Association. [2]

These viruses are contagious and unpleasant and can sometimes cause lingering symptoms that you can’t seem to get rid of. We’ve all got our own personal remedies for the cold and flu, but can IV (intravenous) therapy be the novel recovery method you’ve been searching for your whole life?

What is IV Therapy?

Intravenous therapy uses a hypodermic syringe to deliver anything from medications to fluids and nutrients directly into a patient’s bloodstream through a vein. It was invented with the intent of being used for blood transfusions, then slowly became a staple in the healthcare industry. Today, it’s taken on a new role in patient health, with people taking trips to clinics or what are called “drip bars” to help alleviate hangovers and athletes using hydration drips to improve their performance. [3]

How Does IV Therapy Help a Cold or Flu?

When you’ve caught the common cold or flu, viral pathogens invade the body and go on attack mode, leading to the dreaded symptoms we all know but don’t love. Body aches, fatigue, congestion, fevers, and runny noses – they’re all unsavory things we’ve got to deal with. To fight against these pathogens, it’s important to stay hydrated and strengthen our immune systems through a variety of methods. Most commonly, sufferers turn to over-the-counter antihistamines, vitamin C tablets, and electrolyte-rich beverages.

But because fluids and vitamins can be delivered so quickly, IV therapy has been a fast-growing treatment method for cold and flu recovery. Just one IV drip for cold and flu issues will help the healing process potentially faster than other traditional options.

How this works is that clinics will provide their own cocktail of vitamins, fluids, electrolytes and occasionally, anti-inflammatory medications that are delivered right into a person’s system. Each component of the cocktail does something specific. For example, Vitamin C works in IV therapy to boost the immune system while B vitamins help with energy production. [4] [5]

Benefits of IV Therapy for Cold and Flu Recovery

IV therapy can be considered quite invasive, but because of its numerous benefits, it’s something that many seem to be able to overlook. With the allure of a full recovery on the horizon, patients are ready to embrace the needle. Although the research on IV therapy is cloudy, there are still promising studies that bolster the effectiveness of IV therapy for a cold.

Rehydrates the body after fluid loss

The most significant benefit of IV therapy for flu symptoms is that it can very quickly rehydrate the body. [6] Seeing as the common cold will deplete bodily fluids through symptoms such as sweating, fever, or vomiting, infusing fluids into the body can help the functioning of cells.

Rapid delivery of vitamins and minerals

As we touched upon earlier, IV therapy is fast. Intravenous administration is known as the most well-controlled and precise way to deliver a dose, making it suitable for colds and the flu where patients want immediate effect. [7] Medical experts also say that an IV drip for flu purposes means patients receive a higher concentration of vitamins and take advantage of a much higher absorption rate than if they were taken orally – 90% versus 50%. [8]

Potential for faster recovery

Considering that patients enjoy faster delivery of what they need at more concentrated levels, it’s plausible to believe that IV therapy can lead to a faster recovery. As the components are introduced right into the bloodstream, they don’t need to be broken down through other parts of the body like the stomach and digestive tract, letting the body use what it deems necessary right away.


A huge advantage of IV therapy is its flexibility relating to personalization. Today, consumers crave personalization when it comes to everything – healthcare included. [9] Being able to tailor a treatment based on the individual, their stage of recovery, and specific needs results in a hyper-targeted approach. Maybe they require more help with inflammation, or they’re dealing with a sore throat that continues to linger – whatever it is, a customized formula may do the trick.


IV therapy is and has been a promising new way to treat the common cold and the flu. Its carefully tailored mix of fluid, vitamins, and more can potentially accelerate recovery and boost the body’s innate ability to fight off those pesky pathogens. While scientific research on IV therapy is still in its early stages, its potential and first-hand testimonies from patients around the world show plenty of promise.

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