Should You Try An I.V. For Hangovers?

Or maybe the bigger question is — would you spend $200 for one? (Photo: Getty Images/Peter Dazeley/Yahoo Health)

As anyone who has survived his or her early 20s can tell you, one of the best ways to prevent a hangover is to chug plenty of water before calling it a night (go hydration!).

A new trend popping up in cities nationwide aims to take this concept a step further: Those feeling the pain of a big night out can now order a nurse to come run a bag of IV fluids on them from the comfort (or, er, pain) of their own home. Think of it as “Uber for Hangovers.”

While these treatments are more of a luxury than a need (have you met our friend-in-electrolytes Gatorade, or its more natural cousin, coconut water?), their creators do claim to make you feel better if you have the extra cash.

A Look At The Options

The I.V. Doc is one such business, promising an “energizing, 30-minute, I.V. hydration therapy [that] will provide you with a quick recovery from hangover, flu, jet lag, exercise fatigue, food poisoning, and general exhaustion.” Based out of New York City, The I.V. Doc also offers its services in Long Island (including the Hamptons), Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and northern New Jersey, and will soon be available in Park City, Utah, and Aspen, Colorado.

Related: The Unfortunately Essential Guide To Hangovers

Adam Nadelson, MD, the founder of The I.V. Doc, tells Yahoo Health that the idea for his business came from watching his many friends in finance “burn the candle at both ends” — working hard and playing hard, but still being expected to perform at an incredibly high level in all aspects of their lives. During his own late nights as a medical resident, he and his fellow residents had the ability to receive a quick round of I.V. fluids to help them refresh. Nadelson created The I.V. Doc to provide the same perks to his friends (and the rest of the world); he says it works because it helps replenish fluids that are lost through drinking, since “alcohol is dehydrating and has a diuretic effect.”

The I.V. Doc’s services start at $199. For that base price, a nurse will come to your house and hook you up with 1,000 milliliters of Lactacted Ringer’s (the saline-potassium fluid blend often used in hospitals to help patients with severe dehydration). The costs go up with the addition of other medications or ingredients to the I.V. (such as anti-nausea medications, and the like). No prescription needed.

Another New York-based business, The Hangover Club, takes things a step further with “The Hangover Bus,” which on Sundays parks at various spots throughout Manhattan and hooks hangover-sufferers up to an I.V. for allegedly instant relief.

Related: World’s Beloved Hangover ‘Cure’ Arrives Stateside. But Does It Work?

But Are These Treatments Worth It?

Rachel Bearman, RN, an emergency room nurse at Atlanta’s Northside Hospital, tells Yahoo Health that the procedure is safe as long as a registered nurse starts the I.V. and stays with the “customer” throughout the entire period of treatment (to ensure the I.V. is only utilized for its intended use and not, for example, the administration of illegal substances).

But Bearman isn’t so sure the whole process is worth it. “I don’t think it’s that effective,” she says. “You could easily drink as much water and get the same results, hydration-wise.”

In general, the only surefire way to get rid of a hangover is to wait it out. “As a general rule, the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to have a hangover the next day,” the Mayo Clinic notes, adding that “time is the only sure cure for a hangover.” While the seconds slowly tick by, it’s recommended to drink water or juice, have a small snack to help boost blood sugar (or soup, which does double duty as a potassium-and-salt replenisher and added form of hydration), take an over-the-counter pain reliever, and to simply get some sleep.

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