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IV Bolus and IV Push: Which One Should You Get?


IV therapy is a popular treatment, but do you know it has three types? The first one is the standard IV drip, which is the slowest of the three. The other two are called IV bolus and IV push.

What is the meaning of an IV bolus, and how does it differ from an IV push? Some use these terms interchangeably, but there’s a big difference.

This post will discuss what these IV therapy types mean and which one you should get.

What is an IV bolus?

‘Bolus’ is a medical term that refers to a single, large dose of a particular medication. Both the IV bolus and IV push use a bolus, but it’s administered in different ways.

With an IV bolus, the medicine dose is administered in a wide-open fluid line. When we say ‘wide open’, it means that the IV clamp is open all the way. It allows the fluids to flow quickly into the patient’s vein, not in a slow drip, as standard IV therapy does.

But why is an IV bolus given? This treatment is often used to administer insulin to a person with diabetes who needs immediate relief.

Aside from diabetes, an IV bolus can also be used to administer IV infusions for hangovers, jet lag, and food poisoning.

What is an IV push?

An IV push is also an intravenous treatment, but it doesn’t always require an IV drip to administer.

This is often given for emergencies or life-threatening situations like anaphylaxis or a heart attack.

With this treatment, the medication is administered using a syringe. It can either be done on a saline lock or a fluid line.

A saline lock is a thin and flexible tube placed into an arm or hand vein. It uses the SAS method, which stands for Saline, Agent, Saline.

With the SAS method, a saline flush is administered first, followed by IV push medication (agent) and another saline flush. This process is often done for medical purposes.

On the other hand, an IV push through a fluid line is done when a person is already receiving an IV drip or an IV bolus. Like an IV push on a saline lock, the medication is administered into a port on the fluid line using the SAS method.

Timing is crucial for an IV push. The medication is administered in increments with at least a 30 to 60-second gap between each milliliter.

Moreover, an IV push is often used medically, but it’s also popular among IV therapy companies. For example, it’s used for administering a glutathione IV push while the person is receiving an infusion.

Differences between IV bolus vs. IV push

Both the IV push and IV bolus are intravenous treatments. It can be used to deliver medication into a person’s body quickly.

However, they differ in two significant aspects: duration and method of administration.

When it comes to duration, an IV bolus is faster compared to a standard IV drip. An IV bolus can be finished in 30 minutes, while an IV drip can take up to 4 hours or more.

If the IV bolus isn’t fast enough for a given situation, an IV push is the quickest solution. The medication is administered within minutes for an almost-instant effect.

In a nutshell: IV drip is fast, IV bolus is faster, and IV push is the fastest.

Another difference is their method of administration. An IV bolus needs a fluid line and an IV bag. Meanwhile, an IV push can do with or without those.

In terms of application, IV push is usually offered as an additional treatment for an IV therapy session.

In some cases, an IV bolus can be combined with an IV push, meaning you can get both treatments simultaneously. Again, it should be done only when your health situation requires it.

Which one should you get?

Both of these IV treatments are helpful and will produce quick results. However, each one calls for a specific situation.

If you’re wondering which one you’ll need in the future, below are some conditions that may demand one of these treatments.

Here’s when you need an IV push:
  • When suffering from a heart attack
  • When suffering from a life-threatening condition
  • When suffering from anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction
  • As part of an IV therapy treatment
Here’s when you need an IV fluid bolus:
  • As part of administering vitamins
  • While receiving hydration
  • To relieve medical symptoms instantaneously
  • While undergoing a surgical procedure
  • As part of an IV therapy treatment

Your IV therapy provider will advise you about which is suitable for your needs. Also, it depends on the type and dosage of medication that you need to receive.

A thorough consultation is necessary to know more about your medical background and health condition. These treatments are not always applicable to all situations, and it’s not something you can choose on your own.

If you have a lingering illness, it’s best to consult your doctor before getting IV therapy outside your primary treatment plan.

Reminders before getting any IV treatment

Regardless of the IV therapy type you’re getting, it’s essential to keep the following points in mind:

  • Discuss with your doctor. Those with underlying conditions should consult their doctors before getting elective IV therapy. It’s to ensure that the treatment is safe and won’t have any contraindications with the medication they’re taking. And even if you’re healthy, there’s nothing to lose if you discuss the treatment with your doctor first.
  • Be aware of your allergies. You must be mindful of any potential allergies you may have. As much as IV bolus or push ingredients are safe, it all boils down to how your body will react to them. Make sure you declare any allergy or medical history, so the specialist can assess if you’re a good candidate for the treatment.
  • Eat a light meal. Before your appointment, you should eat a light meal. Your goal should be to have enough energy without increasing your blood sugar levels too much. A light meal will also reduce the risk of nausea, a common side effect of IV therapy.
  • Declare your medications. If you’re taking medications, whether an OTC supplement or a prescription drug, you must let the IV therapy specialist know. Make a list of all the medications and bring them during your appointment.
  • Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the treatment. You must understand what’s on your IV push or bolus and what you should expect before, during, and after the session.
  • Report any symptoms. If you feel anything unusual during or after the IV therapy, you must contact your provider right away. This way, the symptoms will be handled before it becomes a bigger problem.

Common medications used in IV push and IV bolus

There are various medications administered through an IV push or bolus. It depends on the condition and immediate need of the patient.

The following are the most common medications intravenously administered in healthcare facilities:

  • Antibiotics like penicillin
  • Pain medications like fentanyl or morphine
  • Anti-anxiety drugs like midazolam or lorazepam
  • Cardiac medications like amiodarone or adenosine
  • Steroids like dexamethasone
  • Rescue medications like naloxone or epinephrine
  • Vitamins and minerals like thiamine or magnesium
  • Electrolyte solutions like potassium chloride

Note that these medications should only be administered by a licensed medical professional. It requires a prescription and proper dosing to prevent any adverse side effects.

These medications require the expertise of a licensed nurse or doctor who knows the proper technique, dosage, monitoring protocols, and how to respond to adverse symptoms.

Are there side effects to IV bolus or IV push meds?

Almost every treatment can have side effects. The side effects of IV push and IV bolus are often mild and short-lived as long as they are administered correctly.

The following are the common side effects observed in these two treatments:

  • Swelling and redness on the injection site
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness
  • Fluctuations in blood pressure levels
  • Nausea
  • Mild flushing of the skin

Severe side effects are rare unless the bolus or push isn’t administered correctly. There’s a risk of breathing difficulties or irregular heartbeat if the intravenous treatment is given by untrained and unlicensed individuals.

Also, it’s important to ensure you get the right medication. Licensed medical professionals follow a protocol to guarantee that they won’t mix up medications and dosages for each patient.

Overall, these side effects can be minimized by getting your IV bolus or IV push from a reputable provider. Choose a company with licensed professionals and experience with your needed treatment.

Get your mobile IV therapy today!

Whether you need an IV drip, an IV bolus, or an IV push, IV Concierge is the solution! We are a team of licensed medical professionals who are experienced in administering various types of intravenous treatments.

We will conduct a one-on-one consultation when you schedule an appointment with us. This is to ensure that we know your needs and we can personalize the treatment accordingly.

We only use high-quality IV therapy ingredients with proper dosing for our treatments. This way, you’ll get the best results without harsh side effects. Our licensed nurse will also monitor you during and after the session.

Aside from that, we offer express laboratory tests to see what exactly your body needs. We offer same-day results, so you don’t have to queue at clinics or wait for days to get results.

Call us or book your appointment online! We will deliver your Iv therapy anywhere, or you can visit us in our offices in North Miami Beach, Delray Beach, and Boca Raton.

Discover the top 4 tips

that help you fully

recover from Covid-19


the top 4 tips

that help you fully

recover from Covid-19