Intravenous Medication Administration: What to Know

What are IV medications?

IV drugs are medicines used to treat various diseases or conditions. They include antibiotics, anti-infectives, blood thinners, anticoagulants (blood thinner), analgesics (pain killers) and antipyretics (antidepressants). There are several types of IV medications including injectable and intramuscular. The most common type of IV medications is the injectable ones such as penicillin and insulin. These medications are usually given through a needle into the patient’s vein. For example, insulin is injected into the arm. Other commonly used IV medications include cortisone cream, which is applied directly onto cuts and burns; acetaminophen (Tylenol), which relieves pain from minor aches and pains; and methotrexate (Diflucan), which kills cancer cells.

How do I administer IV medications?

There are two main ways to administer IV medications. One way is by using a syringe and needle technique. The other method involves applying liquid medicine directly onto the skin. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. A nurse can choose one or both of these techniques depending upon the situation at hand. When administering IV medications by using a syringe and needle technique, it is best if the patient does not feel any pain during injection or when removing the needles from the body after use. It is also important that the medication is injected slowly into the patient’s vein. When drawing up the medicine with a syringe, it is important not to draw in air bubbles. If there are any air bubbles when injecting, these may block blood flow through vessels or cause damage to organs. For these reasons, it is necessary for the nurse to be highly skilled and trained in this technique.

What are the different types of IV medications?

Sources & references used in this article:

Understanding the causes of intravenous medication administration errors in hospitals: a qualitative critical incident study by C Case-Lo – … /intravenousmedication-administration-what-to-know, 2016

Causes of intravenous medication errors: an ethnographic study by RN Keers, SD Williams, J Cooke, DM Ashcroft – BMJ open, 2015 –

Interruptions during intravenous medication administration: a multicentre observational study by K Taxis, N Barber – BMJ Quality & Safety, 2003 –