Hangovers. Not pretty. Not fun. Instead of turning to black coffee or Bloody Marys the morning after a long night, some Dallasites are battling hangovers by pumping in recovery fluids via IV.
Several IV therapy companies exist in Dallas-Fort Worth. With some, nurses will even make house calls so you don't have to get out of bed. But can a hangover really be treated by getting juiced up with saline? Is it safe?
Here's an explainer about IV therapy: why it's trendy right now, what it costs and where to go. You decide whether it's worthwhile.
Isn't that just in Vegas?
Hangover Heaven, based in Las Vegas, inspired many spinoff IV-therapy companies across the country. The staff at Hangover Heaven will literally roll a nurse kit down your hotel hall and set up shop in hotel rooms. Heck, this company even has a hangover bus for morning-after group treatments.
Where to go in Dallas
Dallas may not have a bus, but there are multiple IV therapy services in this small but growing industry. The most established IV therapy service is iV Bar. It has four locations across North Texas, with Addison as the flagship. Perhaps they're starting a bachelor and bachelorette party trend, too, because this team will travel to special events.
For customers considering a mobile service and need it in a matter of hours -- because, seriously, few drinkers are probably responsible enough to schedule a treatment way in advance -- Nuuvo is a come-to-you service. Nurses show up at your home at the touch of a smartphone screen.
The newest kid on the intravenous block is Vitaliv Therapies. It plans to open a store at the Shops of Park Lane in Dallas in July. The company plans to expand to mobile therapy visits in the future.
Is it only for hangovers?
Nope. Each of the above area IV therapies offer services that don't involve hangovers, from weight-loss efforts to improved athletic performance. The main ingredients in the solution that make your hangover dissipate are saline and Zofran, a drug used to prevent vomiting and nausea.
Wait, we're really talking about getting voluntary IVs?
Yes, and this fashionable way to get extra vitamins and minerals is only getting more popular. Avid fitness trainer and owner of Paradigm Gym Brian Casad is a Nuuvo patient who uses IV therapy.
"Considering my line of work and constantly being on the go, I need a quick turnaround," Casad says. "IV therapy can do wonders when it comes to rehydrating or getting the proper vitamins needed that you otherwise may not have the time to ingest."
Who is administering the IVs?
Registered nurses, paramedics and EMTs administer therapies, which include IVs or booster shots if you don't want to go the IV route. Doctors are involved in some capacity, whether they oversee the online health assessment process or have sort of ownership role in the company.
Is it safe?
With many medical procedures, there are risks.
Dr. Arash Tirandaz, family medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Plano, cautions individuals interested in pursuing IV therapy.
"Anytime you do IV fluids you risk getting a blood-borne infection, and unless someone is very ill, they should not need IV fluids and just hydration would be best by drinking more fluids," Tirandaz says. "Science would suggest that not much actually cures a hangover other than time. Not even an IV drip."
Tirandaz also says complications could include patients who receive too much fluid too rapidly, causing fluid overload. In rare cases it can cause shortness of breath or precipitate a heart failure episode. Tirandaz's recommendation is to limit alcohol intake, stay hydrated, avoid sugary drinks or food, and take ginger for nausea and ibuprofen if needed for a headache. Eating and taking a shower will speed blood flow and the removal of accumulated alcohol byproducts.
With any intravenous injection process, bruising around the injection site is possible. It's also important to know exactly what is going into the IV bag. Ask before you let them stick you.
How much does it cost?
IV therapy services are priced based on the ingredients and the mixture's complexity. The least expensive therapy service in town is $50 at iV Labs. This particular one is the AntiOxidize, a basic concoction intended to boost the immune system. Most of iV Labs' concoctions average $175 each. The priciest treatment is the Anti-Ager from Nuuvo at $255. It is intended for skin recovery, hair health, nail growth, bone strengthening and immune wellness.
The IV process takes about 30 minutes. Insurance is accepted at iV Labs' Plano and Southlake locations. Nuuvo accepts flex spending and health savings accounts.