I’ve got the latest trend in hangover cures and flu remedies - they're called “Hydration clinics” where you can get hooked up to an IV, a sterile drip with essential nutrients, like potassium, sodium, vitamin C and B complex plus painkillers and anti-nausea meds normally prescribed for chemotherapy patients.
Supporters say the clinics make good sense. Because a lot of people are at risk of dehydration from the effects of alcohol, jetlag, vomiting or diarrhea or because they simply don’t drink enough water, which is common among the elderly. And hospital treatment for dehydration costs thousands so getting a $99 drip - instead of an ER trip - could mean big savings.
Hydration clinics are now open in cities like Las Vegas, Chicago and Miami. A lot of them staffed by doctors or anesthesiologists. It takes about an hour to complete a drip and you can spend your time lying in a quiet, dimly-lit room watching videos or working in a room with free Wi-Fi.
But a lot of experts think it’s a bad idea. Most people recover just fine with a little rest, a lot of water, and a couple of Tylenol. In fact, if you can drink water – and keep it down – you don’t need an IV.
And IVs can be risky. ER doctor David Ross says any time someone sticks a needle in your vein, there’s a possibility of blood clots, or serious infections. And the drugs used for muscle aches and nausea can have serious side effects, including allergies and kidney damage.
Plus, the symptoms of dehydration are often signs of serious conditions that require immediate medical attention like a heart attack.
Bottom line: Hangovers are your body’s natural way of telling you not to drink so much, and to discourage you from doing it again. And if you’re sick enough with the flu to need an IV, you may need more medical treatment than you’ll find in a hydration clinic.