Vitamin intravenous (IV) therapy infuses vitamins directly into the bloodstream. It can also offer the body some extra hydration.
While many people take vitamins and supplements each day or on a regular basis, another form of vitamin therapy is growing in popularity.
This IV method has endorsements from celebrities, offering people a way to inject extra vitamins and hydration directly into their bloodstream.
Vitamin IVs can be used to aid people with digestive or respiratory conditions. They’re also advertised to help in sports recovery or hangovers, though there are some risks and potential drawbacks of which to be aware.
This article will explain vitamin IV therapy, the benefits, potential risks, and what you may want to consider when consulting with a healthcare team.
Vitamin IV therapy is also sometimes known as “intravenous micronutrient therapy.”
In vitamin IV therapy, IVs are used to infuse vitamins and fluids directly into the bloodstream. The exact vitamins and fluids given through the IV, as well as the frequency of these infusions, can vary depending on your health needs and goals.
Although 86% of adults in the United States take vitamin supplements, many are considering vitamin IV therapy as an alternative. Because the IV fluids bypass the digestive system, you can
Vitamin IV therapy can be a way for those with serious digestive conditions to absorb the necessary nutrients to live a full and healthy life.
Benefits of vitamin IV therapy
- helps address vitamin deficiencies (especially those related to digestive issues)
- offers the body additional fluids
- allows for more accurate doses of vitamins
- enables a quicker feeling of the vitamins’ effects
Drawbacks of vitamin IV therapy
- release from the body of many extra water-soluble vitamins after a certain amount has been consumed
- possible serious side effects from high levels of certain vitamins in the body
- raised likelihood of IV-related risks
You may experience IV-related
- bruising and inflammation at the injection site
- rashes or other allergic reactions
- blood clots
- air embolisms
Unbalanced levels of some vitamins may lead to side effects, including permanent nerve damage. It’s important to discuss any supplements or medications you take with a healthcare professional before getting a vitamin IV.
Read more about the effects of overusing vitamins.
How often you choose to get vitamin IV therapy is a personal decision. Some factors that may affect the frequency include:
- your budget
- the extent of any vitamin deficiencies
- the presence of health conditions
You may wish to use vitamin IVs only when you have an illness or other life event that leaves your body feeling more drained than usual.
Alternatively, if you have trouble digesting or absorbing nutrients from food, you may wish to plan for regular weekly vitamin IV therapy.
Even if you decide to use vitamin IV therapy to increase the amount of vitamins in your body, a doctor may still recommend taking daily supplements for the nutrients not included.
If your vitamin IV therapy is spaced out, a doctor may also recommend the use of oral supplements on days when you aren’t getting a vitamin IV.
It’s important to talk with a doctor about your specific nutritional needs when deciding if you want to take daily vitamin supplements.
The cost of vitamin IVs can vary greatly, depending on the part of the country you live in and where you get it done. Prices can range across the United States from $200–$1,000 per bag, according to published reports and media stories about the therapy.
The more vitamins you wish to include in your IV, the more you can expect it to cost.
Vitamin IVs that aren’t medically necessary may not be covered by health insurance, which means you’d have to pay the full cost.
There’s no shortage of testimonials online from people raving about how they felt more alert and healthier after vitamin IV therapy, but not everyone reports such drastic changes.
Doctors have also raised questions about the need for vitamin IV therapy in many cases.
Some doctors warn that taking unneeded supplemental vitamins can be costly and wasteful. It can also be harmful to the body and decrease the effectiveness of some medications.
Many people can obtain all their nutritional needs through their diet.
In a poll performed for the American Osteopathic Association, only 24% of people taking supplements had test results showing that they were vitamin deficient.
Vitamin IV therapy infuses vitamins directly into the bloodstream. In addition to vitamins, the IVs also add extra fluid to the body, which may leave people feeling energized and healthier. Vitamin IV therapy isn’t without risks, though.
Infections, allergic reactions, and nerve damage can result from vitamin IV therapy. It’s important to discuss any supplements or medications you’re currently taking with a healthcare professional before getting a vitamin IV, as unbalanced levels of some vitamins can lead to serious side effects.