URL of this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002383.htm


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



Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 24th ed. Intravenous. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company; 2021. www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/740587/0/intravenous?q=Intravenous. Accessed June 13 2023.

Review Date 4/27/2023

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.