- The term ”intravenous” is obtained from the phrase “into the vein”. Therefore, many may wonder what is intravenous injection as used in the medical field? It’s a process whereby some prescriptions are directly inserted into the patient’s body through a vein using a tube or a needle. It involves insertion of a narrow plastic tube known as an IV catheter into a patient’s vein. A catheter allows a medical practitioner to give several harmless doses without necessarily poking a needle each time.Examples of drugs administered via IV are:• Immunoglobulin medications (IVIG)
• Low blood pressure drugs such as dobutamine, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.
• Pain killer drugs such as morphine and hydromorphone
• Antifungal drugs like amphotericin and micafungin
• Chemotherapy medications such as paclitaxel, doxorubicin, cisplatin, and vincristine
• Antibiotics like gentamicin, vancomycin, and meropenem
Benefits of IV injections
• It enables quick absorption of the drug in the body’s bloodstream during emergencies. For instance, if a patient has a heart attack, poisoning or stroke, an urgent administration of a medication is vital in saving a life. Taking medications orally may not be such effective as compared to the IV injections.
• Further, it provides a slow but constant manner administration of the drugs.
• It’s easy to control drug absorption in the body over a period of time.
• It limits breaking down of some drugs by the enzymes found in the stomach or a liver thus neutralizing them. Breaking them will render them ineffective.
IV Side Effects
• Allergic reactions due to direct induction of the blood into the bloodstream
• Infection on the injection if the equipment used isn’t sterilized
• Damage to blood vessels and injection area because IV administration can cause phlebitis or inflammation of the veins
• Air embolism that results if air gets into a vein when it accumulates in IV medication bag or the syringe
• Blood clots
It’s always desirable to talk to a physician on matters pertaining to IV. Getting know-how will help a patient to detect the side effects and appreciate the necessity of IV in general.