Look, it happens to the best of us. A boozefest leaves you feeling and looking like a monster.
You can barf it all out, chug some Sprite, or do whatever weird thing Google tells you. Or, if you're in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, you can just call the IV Doc. The service provides hangover house calls, administering relief via intravenous morning-after cocktails it claims are designed to detox, refresh, or revive.
The process of revitalizing your bad self is quite simple. You call them up or book an appointment online, then work with a nurse to figure out your condition. The nurse visits you at home or in your hotel to administer an IV treatment, including such options as "Cleanse," "Revive," "Jet Lag Relief," and "Food Poisoning Relief." Finally, there is follow-up should you have any post-revitalization questions or concerns.
There's one big catch: The treatments come at a price, starting at $199 and some exceeding $399.
“Sure, at first glance it may seem expensive... but the costs are a quarter of what you’d experience if you went to an urgent care center or emergency room and didn’t have insurance,” IV Doc cofounder, Dr. Adam Nadelson, says.
Of course, most people's hangovers don't require a visit to the ER. So while the IV Doc’s hangover cures are probably the trendiest, they actually aren’t the company’s most popular offering.
“The majority of our calls come when folks have food poisoning or the flu,” Dr. Nadelson says. “We’re able to make the right diagnosis for those patients, sometimes within the hour, get them the volume of nutrients they need, and get them back out of bed or off the toilet in no time.”
In 2014, the IV Doc saw its first patients in New York City and has since landed in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Denver, among nearly 20 cities throughout the country. When the service launched in LA, LA Weekly reported that it had only one nurse on call for the entire city. Since then, the company says its added more than 500 nurses on staff nationwide, with plans to open in Detroit, Atlanta, and Iowa City in the coming months.
Still, the IV therapy industry has been met with skepticism by professionals who believe it's just the latest medical scam. Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, told New Times last year that the treatments were akin to "the latest snake oil off the huckster's cart."
Still, even the LA Weekly reviewer admitted she felt hydrated and with a vastly reduced headache after her treatment. However, there's a lack of scientific evidence to back up many of the claims made by IV treatments.
“Basically, if you tell them how you’re feeling — whether it’s that you’re low energy or jet-lagged — they will bring over the absolute best concoction to make you feel better,” says Devon Brodsky, an NYC-based marketing executive who has used the services ten or so times over the years.
Brodsky says her favorite go-to treatment is the "Beautify" option, which, according to the IV Doc’s website, is loaded with B vitamins and helps folks “look and feel your best with healthy radiant skin and hair.”
“I travel a lot, too,” she adds. “I’ve been jet-lagged beyond belief and so exhausted... and they’ve been over to my place within the hour. They gave me a huge burst of energy and are a lifesaver."
Jesse Scott is a freelance writer for Miami New Times covering culture and entertainment. He moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2016 and previously resided in (and played ungodly amounts of roulette in) Sin City. He is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and has covered entertainment for his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, for more than 15 years.
- Twitter: @jesseRscott