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What are the side effects of vitamin IV therapy?

Vitamin IV therapy has become quite a popular treatment over the last few years. Vitamin IV therapy involves using an IV drip line to administer vitamins, minerals, hydrating salts and fluids to patients. It is an elective procedure that is often done at health spas or in the home and is not covered by insurance. This is beneficial because nutrients are delivered directly to the bloodstream where they can be quickly utilized. Absorption of vitamins is greatly increased over oral supplements which must pass through the digestive system to be filtered out.

Is vitamin IV treatment safe?

I was only able to find one instance of a death related to a vitamin IV treatment. The man fell seriously ill during treatment, went home, continued to feel seriously ill, went in to the hospital and died three days later. The autopsy revealed it was organ failure due to underlying health conditions. Investigators attempted to inspect the IV bag that had been used but it had already been disposed of. Because people are getting vitamin IV treatments all the time--it's a very popular treatment!--it's not surprising that someone would succumb to underlying conditions during a treatment one time. So the treatment is generally considered very safe.

What are the side effects of vitamin IV treatments?

No negative side effects would normally be expected but in some cases they could occur. Consider the following:

  1. It's possible that the injection site could become infected. This is true for any IV drip insertion, or any deep penetration of the skin. It's unlikely to occur if you work with trained, credentialed medial providers.

  2. It's possible to get too high of a vitamin dosage. You may think you're low in a certain vitamin or mineral but you instead have very high levels of that nutrient already. Different nutrients cause different issues when they are over-consumed. Some vitamins are nearly impossible to over-consume. Other vitamins and minerals may cause issues. For example, there is a medical condition called hemochromatosis that causes the body to store too much iron in its organs, leading to organ failure.

Generally any side effect of vitamin IV treatment is likely to be mild and temporary.

What does the FDA say about vitamin IV therapy?

According to my research, the FDA has weighed in at least twice:

  1. In 2018, the FDA targeted companies that were making unsubstantiated promises about vitamin IV treatments. Many of the companies that sell the products have claimed it's a panacea to cure all ills when in fact it's just vitamins, minerals, water and hydrating salts.

  2. In 2020, the FDA targeted companies that were claiming vitamin IV therapy was an effective treatment for Covid-19. At the time there were no treatments for covid that were proven to work

Other than that, the FDA has mostly been silent. The FDA has generally allowed any kind of supplement as long as there is no over-claiming in the advertising of the product.


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