Vitamin drips — Hollywood A-list celebrities, athletes, and even busy moms are raving about this new trend, which promises a quick energy boost, numerous benefits to the immune system, and relief from chronic migraines.
The intravenous approach is meant to deliver a higher purity and concentration of vital vitamins and minerals than what can be achieved through diet alone. In this article, we explore the history and practice of using vitamin drips to treat migraines, along with some of the scientific evidence currently available.
What’s in a drip?
What many enthusiasts do not realize is that vitamin drips themselves are not a recent invention.
In fact, the benefits of taking vitamins and minerals intravenously have been discussed since the 1950’s, when a now-famous medical pioneer named John Myers, M.D. developed a preparation known as the “Myers cocktail” for the treatment of a wide range of clinical conditions, ranging from headaches and migraines to sinusitis and cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, Dr. Myers never wrote down the precise ingredients or concentrations of his secret concoction before passing away in 1984. However, the original preparation is thought to have contained magnesium chloride, vitamin C, vitamin B-series, calcium gluconate, thiamine and diluted hydrochloric acid.
After Dr. Myers passed, another doctor took over his practice. Alan Gaby, M.D. modified the Myers cocktail recipe to increase the levels of magnesium chloride and vitamin C, eliminating the hydrochloric acid and keeping the vitamin B-series (sans folic acid), calcium gluconate, and thiamine.
Dr. Gaby found continued success in treating the late Dr. Myers’ patients with this new vitamin drip formula, which he has presented at more than 20 medical conferences since the mid-eighties.
According to the National Institutes of Health, intravenous or infusion therapy has measurable delivery benefits over other forms of vitamin and mineral administration.
Of these, one of the most notable is the ability to quickly achieve adequate blood serum levels (concentration of the necessary minerals and vitamins) in the bloodstream, activating the vitamin drip’s therapeutic benefits.
Through this process the vitamins and minerals are delivered directly into the blood in their purest form, unaltered by the processes that would be required to break them down if they were ingested.
Meet the modern vitamin drip
Today, vitamin drips are administered in much the same way as they were in Myers’ years. Some clinics will use a standard IV drip, while others will use a needle only for insertion purposes and then remove it, allowing the catheter itself to deliver the vitamins into the bloodstream.
One intravenous delivery method is not better than another here, but is more a matter of provider preference. What can ostensibly make a difference is the actual cocktail you choose — numerous vitamin, mineral, and nutrient formulations options exist, each offering different health benefits.
These benefits may include reduction of stress, improved sleep, anti-aging, immune system boosting, detoxification and cleansing, weight loss, brain health, pain reduction, and allergy symptom relief. In some clinics, patients can even work with their provider and customize the drip recipe to their specific medical needs and cosmetic concerns.
Treating headaches and migraines with vitamins
There is anecdotal evidence of Dr. Myers and Dr. Gaby’s recipes being used effectively for treating headaches and migraines, as many patients will attest.
Although clinical research into these benefits is still under way, much is already known about the “active” ingredients for treating headache pain which are administered through intravenous therapy.
According to the American Headache Society (AHS), magnesium is about as close as it gets to the “miracle” headache cure.
In fact, physicians today often prescribe magnesium in oral form to patients with chronic migraines. When prescribed intravenously, it is typically given as magnesium sulfate.
In 2012, the researchers with the AHS reviewed the studies on medications used for migraine prevention and gave magnesium a Level B rating, stating that “it is probably effective and should be considered for patients requiring migraine preventive therapy. Because of its safety profile and the lack of serious side effects, magnesium is often chosen as a preventive strategy either alone, or with other preventive medications.”
Magnesium has shown results in both maintenance doses and for acute onset treatment and relief. It has also delivered results for different types of migraines, including aura, pregnancy-related and menstrual migraines.
Studies indicate that magnesium may hold off cortical spreading depression, a catalyst for aura forms of migraines, while blocking neural pain signals and blood vessel narrowing.
Glutathione has the power to detoxify the body and brain by stripping away heavy metals and other toxins, while promoting the liver’s capacity to filter them from the system. For this reason, pharmacy expert Suzy Cohen explains, glutathione offers a powerful source of relief from headaches and migraines.
Glutathione itself is an anti-oxidant that is produced naturally by the liver. However, poor lifestyle choices and diet can severely impact and deplete natural glutathione reserves, causing headaches, immune system suppression, and chronic pain.
Glutathione offers a powerful source of relief from headaches and migraines.
-- Suzy Cohen, “America’s Pharmacist”
Vitamin C is known to boost the immune system, support overall good health, protect cells from damage, and help guard the body from serious and chronic disease.
For ongoing health issues such as chronic headaches or migraines, research shows that receiving a high dose intravenously can jump-start and help sustain the healing process over time.
Will vitamin drip therapy help me?
The research to date indicates that the answer to this question is likely to be “yes.” With many medical providers and headache specialists already using intravenous or infusion drip therapy to treat headaches and migraines, it’s certainly worth a try.
Costs vary based on the provider, the recipe, the dosage and the frequency. Furthermore, it can be good to plan to receive more than just one vitamin drip to replenish depleted reserves and fully benefit from the treatment.
To find out more about our Vitamin Drip Lounge in Paramus, New Jersey, get in touch with The Breslow Center’s Medical Spa today!