1. Dayal, Sahil BS
  2. Kolasa, Kathryn M. PhD, RDN, LDN


Intravenous vitamin therapy (IVVT) has become increasingly popular in recent years promising to cure or improve a variety of health problems or infuse "wellness." Patients and consumers have intravenous vitamins or other nutrients and fluids infused into their arms outside the hospital setting in medical spas, hydration rooms, integrative medicine, and concierge primary care practices. The IVVT "menu" options include but are not limited to mixes containing vitamins C and B12, glutathione, electrolytes, and saline. In the United States, the intravenous administration of nutrients is considered drug or parenteral nutrition. In this article, we describe what we learned while trying to answer a question of a patient contemplating an IVVT treatment at a retail store. Discussion of the regulatory issues and pharmacokinetics associated with IVVT is complex and beyond the scope of this article. There is insufficient evidence to conclude there is benefit from these expensive services provided often without the knowledge of the person's primary care physician but there is a possibility of harm.