Parenteral therapy is used when patients require large amounts of nutrients, often as a result of underlying deficiencies. Patients with chronic nutrient deficiencies may find it difficult to get the vitamins and minerals they need by simply taking oral supplements.

Parenteral therapy is the term used to describe medical treatments that are administered by injection. These most frequently include medications and vitamins which are used to treat a variety of conditions and vitamin deficiencies. There are many different reasons why someone may choose parenteral therapy, but the treatment was originally designed for its fast-acting nature and its ability to bypass the digestive system for quick, efficient absorption.


IV vitamin therapy vs parenteral therapy: What’s the difference?

IV vitamin therapy has become a popular form of parenteral therapy over the past decade. The two terms are often confused but IV therapy is simply a form of parenteral therapy. IV vitamin therapy is used to promote and maintain health and well-being. It can be used to promote wellness by helping the body get sufficient vitamins and minerals that may not be available or may not be properly absorbed by digestion.


What is parenteral therapy used for?

There are many people who can benefit from parenteral therapy and it is used for a variety of reasons. Patients may simply require a simple boost of specific vitamins and minerals, while others look to take a more in-depth approach.



Boosting Vitamin Levels (Myer’s Cocktail)

Many patients seek parenteral therapy to help support their vitamin and mineral levels. There are many different reasons for vitamin deficiencies and an IV infusion of multiple different vitamins, also known as the Myer’s Cocktail, ensures patients absorb these nutrients quickly. These treatments are useful for both patients with vitamin deficiencies, as well as those who are looking to maintain their vitamin and mineral levels.


Supporting Nutrient Absorption

Parenteral therapy ensures nutrients are released directly into the bloodstream. This is ideal for those who suffer from poor nutrient absorption in their digestive tract.


Strengthening Immune System Health

Support and strengthen your body’s immune system with the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals you need in order to fight infections. Whether you have the common cold, have been feeling under the weather or you simply want to equip your body with the nutrients it needs to have a strong immune system, parenteral therapy is a good option.


Reducing Pain Frequency and Severity

There are a variety of different conditions that cause chronic or severe pain. Parenteral therapy gives your body the nutrients it needs to promote tissue repair, reduce scarring, inflammation and improve healing time. If you experience chronic pain, Dr. Emina can determine whether or not parenteral therapy would be beneficial for your unique case.


How does parenteral therapy work?

Parenteral therapy works by delivering high amounts of nutrients to the body. The absorption works quickly with direct injection,  as it goes directly to the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.

Traditionally, most nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine, but some illnesses and underlying conditions can affect how effective the digestive tract is when it comes to retaining nutrients. This treatment is so effective because there is no nutrient loss involved, it all goes directly into your bloodstream for immediate use.

In cases where a patient is quite ill and cannot eat or obtain nutrients via their digestive tract, parenteral therapy is an excellent way to ensure they get the supplements they need in order to promote healing. Parenteral therapy is also used after major surgeries to the stomach and digestive tract. Its fast-acting nature along with easy administration makes it an excellent choice for those with a variety of different healthcare needs.



Are there different types of parenteral therapy?

There are several different types of parenteral therapy. Although each option is effective, they are designed to be used in different circumstances. Although most often administered through IV therapy, the type of treatment used will depend on patient needs. In cases where patients are looking for a boost of vitamins and minerals an IV vitamin shot is used. These take 5-10 minutes and are great for those looking to promote overall health.

In circumstances where patients are looking for a larger dose of nutrients, IV slow drip therapy is preferred. This type of treatment will take longer, lasting up to 45 minutes, but it will administer a large number of nutrients directly into the bloodstream.  The IV methods can vary however they are most often delivered through a gravity drip-feed.


The advantages and disadvantages of parenteral therapy


Parenteral Therapy Pros


  • High doses of nutrients can be absorbed at once
  • Ideal for patients who cannot take oral supplements
  • Acts almost immediately
  • Used as a treatment for a variety of illnesses and deficiencies
  • Fast and efficient
  • Administered safely in-office


Parenteral Therapy Cons


  • Requires the use of IV injection
  • Potential mild discomfort upon injection
  • Can be painful if performed incorrectly
  • Sterile conditions are necessary
  • Potential post-injection inflammation


Can there be complications from parenteral therapy?

There are not too many risks associated with parenteral therapy. The key thing to remember is that when administered in a safe, professional environment parenteral therapy is very effective. There are risks of infection however if proper sanitization and sterilization protocols are not followed. Patients may also feel uncomfortable around needles, and tenderness at the area of injection is a possibility for some.
Despite the low levels of risk associated with this type of therapy, the term is often confused with TPN or Total Parenteral Nutrition, which does have some risks associated with it.  TPN is used for patients who require 100% of their nutrition from parenteral IV assistance. Although an effective treatment for those who are unable to eat or who are unconscious, the risks include nutrient imbalances, dehydration, blood sugar fluctuations, liver failure, infections and potential blood clots. TPN treatments should be reserved for those whose medical needs outweigh the risks involved. This form of therapy should not be confused with the parenteral therapy offered at our clinic, which is performed safely in sessions no longer than 45 minutes.


Bring Dr. Emina’s parenteral therapy expertise to you

Your safety, health and wellbeing are our priorities. As a Naturopathic physician Dr. Emina is experienced in parenteral therapy and takes the necessary precautions in order to reduce risks and maximize your comfort. Our clinic offers a wide range of IV vitamin drips  and Dr. Emina will work with you to assess the best approach for your individual needs and body. You can feel confident about your treatment knowing that you are getting quality care to promote wellness and overall well being.


Contact us to learn more about parenteral therapy

Dr Emina offers a variety of IV vitamin therapy options and can assist you with finding one that is most suitable for your needs. As a naturopathic doctor who treats patients throughout Kelowna and the Okanagan, Dr. Emina works with you to determine your specific care plan.
Are you ready to feel rejuvenated with parenteral therapy? Contact Dr. Emina today for a consultation.


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In the article: Parenteral Therapy

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