Book An Appointment


The iv lounge

Part II: Our IV Therapy Toronto lounge highlights the types of IV fluids


In our post, “Part I: Understanding IV Fluids from our IV Therapy Toronto Lounge,” we introduced you to intravenous therapy fluids. We discussed why they would be administered, and how therapeutic doses are tailored for cellular functioning and chief health concerns. 

The human body relies on various mechanisms to maintain fluid balance; this includes the regulation of fluid intake and output, as well as hormonal and renal mechanisms that help to control fluid balance and electrolyte levels. But disruptions to fluid balance can occur due to a wide range of causes such as dehydration, vomiting, injury, disease, and lifestyle choices. 

In these cases, prompt action may be necessary to restore fluid balance and prevent complications. IV therapy restores hydration by inserting nutritional fluids into the bloodstream. It may offer swift results because IV nutrient therapy doesn’t require use of the digestive tract, and it can optimize your cellular health. 

Aside from when and how IV vitamin drips are provided, you should know why certain fluids are advised for your health goals. Here in Part II, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre profiles these IV fluid types for your education.  

The Main Types of IV Fluids 

IV therapy requires careful patient assessment and an understanding of fluid types and volumes. An IV therapy provider must know the potential risks and complications associated with vitamin drip therapy, and to monitor patients closely to prevent these from occurring. This is why our medical doctor, naturopathic doctor and nurse practitioner supervise IV drip sessions every time. So, with that said, here are the types of fluids we may use for customizing your intravenous drips:


Normal saline is a sterile solution that is isotonic, meaning it has the same concentration of dissolved particles as the body’s cells. It is a crystalloid fluid, so it can easily pass through the cell membrane, and is commonly used in clinical settings for fluid resuscitation, hydration, and to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.

Normal saline is widely used for different health conditions. It’s often used for fluid resuscitation episodes caused by shock and mild sodium depletion and can also be used to treat dehydration from vomiting, diarrhea, excessive levels of physical activity, diet or other conditions. 


Half normal saline is a hypotonic solution that contains half the concentration of sodium chloride compared to normal saline. It is typically used to treat patients with cellular dehydration, and may be used for raising overall fluid volume, water replacement, sodium chloride depletion, and gastric fluid loss.

Half normal saline may be preferred over normal saline in certain situations, such as when a patient cannot tolerate additional sodium or when there is a risk of fluid overload. It may also be less effective at replenishing sodium chloride deficits compared to normal saline; but it can still be considered for maintaining daily fluid levels.


Lactated Ringer’s is generally used for IV drip fluid resuscitation, and it contains electrolytes and a buffer (lactate); this makes it isotonic and similar to the body’s natural plasma and serum concentration. It’s used to treat dehydration, burn victims, and fluid loss in the lower gastrointestinal tract, among other health conditions.

Lactated Ringer’s solution contains potassium, so it should be avoided in patients with renal failure or renal complications, as it can result in hyperkalemia. It should also be used with caution in patients with liver disease, as they may not be able to metabolize the lactate.


Sterile Water for Injection (SWFI) contains only water and no other solutes (i.e. electrolytes, vitamins or minerals). While it may be used for some purposes, it is not recommended for IV therapy on its own because it can cause hemolysis (the destruction of red blood cells) and other complications due to its hypotonic nature. However, SWFI can be used as a solvent or diluent for other nutrients that are added to create a solution with the appropriate osmolarity for IV administration. For example, SWFI I can be used with nutrients such as high dose vitamin C combined with other key vitamins to create a solution for IV therapy.


Dextrose is chemically identical to glucose, a simple sugar that provides energy to cells. In a clinical setting, dextrose is often used as a source of energy when a patient is unable to consume food orally, such as in cases of surgery, trauma, or illness. Dextrose can also be added to other IV solutions to provide extra calories and boost energy levels, or to help regulate blood sugar levels in patients with hypoglycemia( low blood sugar). It’s also a common component of oral rehydration solutions for dehydrated patients.


Dextrose in water (D5W) is a solution that contains 5% dextrose in water. In the bag, it is isotonic. When D5W is administered to a patient, the dextrose is rapidly metabolized by cells, leaving behind a solution that is hypotonic (lower in solute concentration than the extracellular fluid). For this reason, D5W is typically used for short-term fluid replacement and not for long-term maintenance therapy. It may be used to provide calories to patients who are unable to eat, as the dextrose can be used as an energy source. But if D5W is used for prolonged periods of time, it may need to be supplemented with other solutions to maintain electrolyte balance and prevent fluid shifts.

Fluids in a vitamin drip treatment can help restore and maintain body fluid balance. Our IV therapy providers have a thorough understanding of the physiology of body fluid balance and health conditions. This allows them to adapt the amounts of nutrients for intravenous infusion, while blending them with integrative functional medicine principles. If you have questions about IV fluids for optimal function, please ask our health care providers at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre. 

Learn from our vitamin IV Lounge

As a personalized service, custom IV treatments could help improve blood cell production and cellular function. When administered as adjunct support, along with a healthy lifestyle and other functional medicine therapies, IV nutrient therapy may instill beneficial effects. 

Our vitamin IV therapy menu provides a complete absorption of nutrients for diverse health concerns, such as athletic performance/physical performance, whole-body inflammation, tissue repair, anti-aging, fatigue, post-disease symptoms, brain function, immune function, skin vitality/skin elasticity, hair restoration/nail growth, and/or post-surgical recovery. 

Take note we only use natural ingredients to promote optimal function! We don’t add preservatives to our IV therapy drips. Our safe ingredients include vitamin C (ascorbic acid), glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E, folic acid, amino acid building blocks, glutamic acid, major antioxidants (i.e. NAD+) and other key nutrients. An initial complete diagnostic session is mandatory for new patients; lab tests may be advised to quantify a nutritional deficiency, environmental toxins, hormone levels, etc. 

Let’s tailor your treatment plan to potentially include IV therapy drips, lifestyle advice, nutraceuticals, and more. Click here to request your initial consultation for IV therapy in Toronto. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



Albumin Reviewers (Alderson P, Bunn F, Li Wan Po A, et al). Human albumin solution for resuscitation and volume expansion in critically ill patients.. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 : p.CD001208. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001208.pub3 

Alves de Mattos A. Current indications for the use of albumin in the treatment of cirrhosis.. Ann Hepatol. 2011; 10 Suppl 1 : p.S15-20.

Koeppen BM, Stanton BA. Physiology of Body Fluids. Elsevier ; 2013 : p. 1-14

Eljaiek R, Heylbroeck C, Dubois M-J. Albumin administration for fluid resuscitation in burn patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Burns. 2017; 43 (1): p.17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2016.08.001 

Erstad BL. Osmolality and Osmolarity: Narrowing the Terminology Gap. Pharmacotherapy. 2003; 23 (9): p.1085-1086. doi: 10.1592/phco.23.10.1085.32751 

Ho K. A Critically Swift Response: Insulin-Stimulated Potassium and Glucose Transport in Skeletal Muscle: Figure 1.. CJASN. 2011; 6 (7): p.1513-1516. doi: 10.2215/cjn.04540511 

Jaber S, Paugam C, Futier E, et al. Sodium bicarbonate therapy for patients with severe metabolic acidaemia in the intensive care unit (BICAR-ICU): a multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 2018; 392 (10141): p.31-40. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(18)31080-8 

Jung B, Rimmele T, Le Goff C, et al. Severe metabolic or mixed acidemia on intensive care unit admission: incidence, prognosis and administration of buffer therapy. a prospective, multiple-center study. Crit Care. 2011; 15 (5): p.R238. doi: 10.1186/cc10487 

Kurtz I. Acid-Base Case Studies. Trafford Publishing; 2004

Lewis SR, Pritchard MW, Evans DJ, et al. Colloids versus crystalloids for fluid resuscitation in critically ill people. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 2018 . doi: 10.1002/14651858.cd000567.pub7 

Mohammad Reza Khajavi, Farhad Etezadi, Reza Shariat Moharari, Farsad Imani, Ali Pasha Meysamie, Patricia Khashayar, Atabak Najafi. Effects of Normal Saline vs. Lactated Ringer’s during Renal Transplantation. Ren Fail. 2008; 30 (5): p.535-539. doi: 10.1080/08860220802064770 

O’Malley CMN, Frumento RJ, Hardy MA, et al. A Randomized, Double-Blind Comparison of Lactated Ringer’s Solution and 0.9% NaCl During Renal Transplantation. Anesth Analg. 2005; 100 (5): p.1518-1524. doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000150939.28904.81 .

Rhodes A, Evans LE, Alhazzani W, et al. Surviving Sepsis Campaign: International Guidelines for Management of Sepsis and Septic Shock: 2016. Intensive Care Med.. 2017; 43 (3): p.304-377. doi: 10.1007/s00134-017-4683-6 

Rochwerg B, Alhazzani W, Sindi A, et al. Fluid Resuscitation in Sepsis. Ann Intern Med. 2014; 161 (5): p.347. doi: 10.7326/m14-0178 

Sabatini S, Kurtzman NA. Bicarbonate Therapy in Severe Metabolic Acidosis. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008; 20 (4): p.692-695. doi: 10.1681/asn.2007121329 

Silverthorn DU. Isosmotic is not always isotonic: the five-minute version. Adv Physiol Educ. 2016; 40 (4): p.499-500. doi: 10.1152/advan.00080.2016.

Torres SF, Iolster T, Schnitzler EJ, Siaba Serrate AJ, Sticco NA, Rocca Rivarola M. Hypotonic and isotonic intravenous maintenance fluids in hospitalised paediatric patients: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Paediatrics Open. 2019; 3 (1): p.e000385. doi: 10.1136/bmjpo-2018-000385 

Uhlig C, Silva PL, Deckert S, Schmitt J, de Abreu MG. Albumin versus crystalloid solutions in patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Care. 2014; 18 (1): p.R10. doi: 10.1186/cc13187 

Upadhyay P, Tripathi V, Singh R, Sachan D. Role of hypertonic saline and mannitol in the management of raised intracranial pressure in children: A randomized comparative study. J Pediatr Neurosci. 2010; 5 (1): p.18. doi: 10.4103/1817-1745.66673 

Winters ME, Sherwin R, Vilke GM, Wardi G. What is the Preferred Resuscitation Fluid for Patients with Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock?. J Emerg Med. 2017; 53 (6): p.928-939. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2017.08.093 

Zou Y, Ma K, Xiong J-B, Xi C-H, Deng X-J. Comparison of the effects of albumin and crystalloid on mortality among patients with septic shock: systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis. Sao Paulo Med J. 2018; 136 (5): p.421-432. doi: 10.1590/1516-3180.2017.0285281017 


CALL US TODAY (416) 968-6961