Intravenous Nutrient Therapy
You may have heard about intravenous (IV) vitamin and mineral therapies, or the “Myers' Cocktail,” but are unsure of what this therapy entails, and if it will benefit you. At Juniper Family Health, our naturopathic physicians provide IV nutrient therapy for a wide range of health concerns. Read on to learn more about this very beneficial treatment.
What is a Myers' Cocktail?
The Myer’s Cocktail is a very effective therapy that has been used by naturopathic physicians and other complementary and alternative health care practitioners for over half a century. This therapy was initially developed by Dr. John Myers MD, and further refined and popularized by Dr. Alan Gaby MD.
A Myers' treatment is typically a combination of vitamins C, B complex, B5, B6, B12, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, and selenium (blended with saline of sterile water). The amounts of these vitamins and minerals will depend on the patient and the particular health concern being treated. The nutrient combination is infused directly into the circulation, through a vein, generally over 10-20 minutes by a gentle “push,” or 30-45 minutes by “drip.”
Why give IV nutrients as opposed to oral?
Infusing a nutrient solution directly into the blood allows for more thorough and rapid absorption and utilization of the vitamins and minerals in tissues. This is because adding a mixture directly into the circulation will bypass the digestive system, where absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream can be impaired. Additionally, some side effects from high dose oral administration (for example loose stools from high doses of oral vitamin C and magnesium) are avoided.
Who can benefit from Myers' Cocktails?
Many individuals can benefit from this therapy. This includes those who feel healthy overall, but would like an additional boost in mood or energy. It may be useful in those that have higher needs for specific nutrients such as athletes, and students or professionals under high levels of acute and chronic stress. Those with lowered immune function, looking to prevent the onset of colds and flus, will also benefit from this therapy. Additionally, clinical improvement has been documented after administration of IV nutrients in people who suffer from the following health conditions:
- Migraine and tension headache
- Fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome and adrenal fatigue)
- Acute muscle spasm
- Muscle recovery from endurance activities
- Upper respiratory infections
- Chronic sinus infections
- Seasonal allergies
- Chronic hives
- Depression, anxiety, and acute and chronic stress
- Poor memory and concentration
- Chronic digestive concerns causing malabsorption
How often is a Myers' Cocktail given?
The frequency of treatments depends on the individual patient and what health concern is being treated. For acute health concerns, such as muscle spasms, sinus infections, or upper respiratory infections, only one or two treatments may be required. In anticipation of a high stress event (wedding, final exams, long hours at work), or in preparation for an athletic event such as a marathon or fitness competition, a Myer’s Cocktail may be given weekly for a period of three to five weeks or more. Frequency is tapered down when symptom improvement is noted. For ongoing chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic urticaria, or mood disorders, frequency is assessed on an individual basis.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effect of a Myer’s Cocktail is the sensation of heat. This effect is caused by magnesium, which is a potent vasodilator. Vasodilation can also cause your blood pressure to lower, which can lead to light-headedness and fainting. During the therapy, your naturopathic physician will watch for signs of heat, and low blood pressure, and adjust the infusion accordingly. These side effects are easily avoided with slower administration of the therapy. Other side effects may include redness or irritation at the site of injection, which resolves shortly after the treatment.