The Growth of Alternative IV Therapies
Within the last 4 years the growth of “party IVs”, Vitamin IVs, and other forms of alternative IV therapies has been tremendous. Throughout the United States, swanky clinics have opened up in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. Many practitioners in other states have simply added Vitamin IVs to their menu of available products.
Although the main stream Vitamin IV phenomenon in the US and Canada are relatively new, Vitamin IV drips have been offered throughout Europe and Asia for years now. Even within the United States, the movement can be traced back to the mid-60s and 70s and the work of the late Dr. Myers.
Dr. Myers designed and administered a solution of different vitamins and minerals that later became known as the Myers’ Cocktail. Dr. Myers administered the solution to patients with a wide variety of chronic issues such as fatigue, depression, chest pain, etc. and had a loyal following of patients who regularly received the solution.
Although there are few clinical trials supporting the efficacy of the Myers’ cocktail, the number of anecdotal testimonials is tremendous, thus there is a significant amount of patient interest. Entrepreneurial clinicians have begun satisfying these needs across the nation.
In recent years, clinicians have built upon the support of the Myers’ cocktail and the interest in Vitamin C Infusions to begin to market vitamin IV solutions as a sort of “health living solution”. Thus, clinic owners have begun to appeal to athletes, mothers, the elderly, etc. as potential clients. The clinics themselves are now built to resemble luxury spas and high end retreats, and the costs of the infusions have increased tremendously. In some cities (Miami and Las Vegas), there are even practitioners who offer Vitamin IV therapies to hotel rooms, to homes, or even on a scheduled bus. In these cities, where there is a tradition of partying and heavy drinking, practitioners are capitalizing on both the healthy living and the hangover cure aspects of Vitamin infusions.
Celebrities and athletes are now frequent patients and public interest seems to be continuously increasing. As such, health care providers have begun to receive more and more inquiries into the safety of said infusions. Sadly, the amount of available online continuing education courses for nurses is minimal and there is a great deal of confusing messages in the space. Moving forward, both nurses and physicians will need to be able to communicate the benefits and potential complications of vitamin IV therapy to their interested patient populations.