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Intravenous means "within a vein." It usually refers to giving medications or fluids through a needle or tube inserted into a vein. This allows immediate access to the blood supply. For example, your doctor may prescribe medications to be given through a vein, or an intravenous (IV) line.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.