Female migrainer holding onto IV bag with a morose look on her face.

IV Hydration Therapy: An Approach for Migraine Treatment

I was at a fundraiser recently and at the silent auction, I noticed a unique item: an IV hydration therapy session. I’d never heard of the approach, but the description suggested it could be useful for people with migraines. I bid on it and won.

What is IV hydration therapy?

I did some research on the approach before I made the appointment. Interestingly, the treatment is popping up at various places around the United States, often at day spas. An IV hydration therapy session typically uses a saline solution and also delivers vitamins and minerals.

Why is it used for migraine?

In the hospital emergency department or other medical settings, IV treatments can be used when patients present with migraine. Of course, an IV is an excellent way to deliver necessary medications.

Migrainuers are frequently dehydrated due to nausea and vomiting and therefore the simple IV injection of fluids can help to rebalance the system.

What else is it used for?

At these various locations, there are different infusions and hydration therapies including various ingredients depending on the need of the patient and can help those experiencing: chronic fatigue, menopause and PMS Symptoms, and fibromyalgia, among others.

What’s typically in an IV?

The IV hydration infusion therapy for migraine can vary depending on the approach of the practice and a patient’s specific needs. Ingredients often include magnesium, B-12, Vitamin C and essential minerals. If the day spa has a doctor on staff, they can mix prescription migraine medications into the IV (like Toradol and Zofran).

My appointment

When I arrived for my appointment, I was experiencing a migraine attack at a level 5. I was able to talk, but I was uncomfortable walking briskly and had low-grade nausea. The nurse added Toradol to the treatment. She was fabulous with the IV as this is something she does every day. The IV bag was set to run slowly (over the course of about 50 minutes). The room was dark, with calm music playing.

Did it work for me?

I sat quietly and focused on my breathing. Before I knew it, the treatment was over. My pain was down to a 2, my nausea had faded and I was on my way. As someone with chronic migraine, I normally take a rescue medication in the early afternoon. That day, I didn’t need to take any rescue medication until 7 hours later, and the dosage was much lower.

As the day went on and into the next I noticed a lift in my energy; nothing extreme, just a light feeling – a spring in my step. The nurse checked in with me the next day to see how I was feeling and to remind me that I was welcome to return anytime for a treatment.

Choosing IV over the ER

What I didn’t realize is that I can go to their practice (rather than to the emergency department) to have an IV infusion tailor-made to my needs any time during their office hours. I know I’m not alone in feeling anxiety at the simple thought of having to go to the emergency department. The experience, which I’ve had repeatedly, is extraordinarily stressful. It is a place I try to avoid, between having to wait many hours to be seen; being accused of being a drug seeker; and, often being given medications that only sedate rather than address the migraine.

Will I make another appointment?

Finding another option for this level of treatment has provided much relief. While they aren’t open 24-hours, I can generally tell when I’m trending toward a dangerous direction with my pain. So in the future, I will be making an appointment with this practice when I need to interrupt a significant pain cycle.

An important note: Always check with your physician to make sure IV Hydration treatment is right for you. Not every approach is right for everyone.

Have you heard of IV hydration treatment before? You might do a google search to see if there are practitioners in your area in case you are interested in learning more.


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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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