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Intravenous means "within a vein." Most often it refers to giving medicines or fluids through a needle or tube inserted into a vein. This allows the medicine or fluid to enter your bloodstream right away. For example, your health care provider may prescribe medicines to be given through a vein, or an intravenous (IV) line.

Alternative Names



Stedman's Online Medical Dictionary. Available at: www.stedmansonline.com/content.aspx?id=mlrI1400022864&termtype=t. Accessed April 21, 2015.

Review Date 4/11/2015

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.