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Intravenous vitamin injections: where is the evidence?


The body needs small daily quantities of vitamins and minerals, which are usually obtained from the diet. Intravenous vitamins are used for a few serious medical conditions (eg, malabsorption syndromes with severe vitamin depletion, Wernicke’s encephalopathy or critical illness). Intravenous drips containing high doses of various vitamins and minerals (eg, the so-called ‘Myers’ cocktail’) have been promoted in popular culture to ‘reduce stress’, ‘increase energy’ or ‘boost immunity’, with claims that the intravenous route allows faster absorption of vitamins into the bloodstream than if they are taken orally. There is a lack of high-quality evidence to suggest that high-dose vitamin infusions are necessary or offer any health benefit in the absence of a specific vitamin deficiency or medical condition. There may be harms from taking high (non-physiological) quantities of some vitamins and minerals. Licensed forms of injectable vitamins that are prescription-only medicines should not be advertised to the public and should only be supplied and administered by appropriately qualified healthcare professionals.

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Inappropriate Prescribing

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