Does IV Vitamin Therapy Actually Work?

A lot of buzz has circulated around IV (intravenous) vitamin therapy lately, a procedure in which a medical professional administers a mixture of vitamins and minerals directly into the blood stream. The first known IV vitamin drip was formulated by Dr. John Myers in the 1970s, coined "the Myers cocktail," and is said to help treat many ailments from migraines to allergies. Since then, drips have been created and marketed to treat an array of conditions from hangovers to  jet lag and more (per Harvard Health Publishing).

CBS news reports that many celebrities, from A-lister Rhianna to B-lister Lisa Rinna, have publicly shared their use of IV vitamin therapy. With an increase in "drip bars" and mobile IV therapy busses, as well as celebrities praising its benefits, you may be wondering if IV vitamin therapy is worth a try. According to internist and functional medical Dr. Dana Cohen, who has been treating her patients with infusions for over 20 years, they are effective for specific ailments. "IV vitamin therapy is giving vitamins and minerals intravenously. It is impossible to obtain the same tissue levels of these nutrients by giving them orally," Dr. Cohen states.

What ailments can IV vitamin therapy help?

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Cohen tells Health Digest that IV vitamin therapy is beneficial for hangover recovery, headaches, PMS, and performance and recovery in athletes. In regards to the detrimental daily effects of fatigue and fibromyalgia, she says "I have found it to be hugely helpful in many of these patients." This type of therapy is also effective at treating those suffering with asthma, Cohen states, "specifically IV magnesium high dose." 

A particularly controversial topic surrounding IV vitamin therapy is its role in treating cancer. Dr. Cohen says that while she does not treat cancer in her own practice, she has been privy to seeing the benefits of IV vitamin therapy with other professionals. "Having worked for Dr. Atkins many years ago, this was the main reason he used high dose vitamin C intravenously and I saw first hand miraculous results from this treatment," she says, continuing, "For example, patient after patient would tell me they were diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer or some other metastatic cancer and given six months to live. When I was talking to them it was now 10 years later and they were doing great. Still with the cancer but not progressing."

Other surprising benefits of vitamin infusion therapy

Currently, people all over the world are concerned with maintaining a healthy immune system, and Dr. Cohen says that infusions can be used, as needed, for an immune system boost. Regarding the concerning COVID-19 virus, she shares "I have also been seeing great results with post-COVID refractory symptoms, specifically fatigue and trouble breathing — after recovery from the virus." 

Dr. Cohen, who is also the medical advisor for Cure Hydration, leaves us with one last piece of health advice: "With all these pop-up IV places, if you are receiving anything more than a few grams of IV vitamin C, you need to have a blood test to check for G-6-P-D deficiency."  This is a genetic disorder that affects the red blood cells (per Healthline). 

According to Dr. Cohen, IV vitamin therapy is promising and if you are feeling fatigued, hungover, or even under the weather, the procedure is an excellent remedy. Always make sure your drip bar or clinic is managed by trained and certified professionals, and for more serious medical concerns, your first step toward any treatment should be speaking with your doctor.