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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New Yorkers get hooked up to IVs for a sunburns, hangovers, and even a quick energy boost, but is receiving intravenous medication for a common ailment a good idea?
Most people might expect to see IV drips in hospitals, and emergency rooms, but they are routinely showing up in spa settings as well.
“You walk in and you get it and you’re relaxing in a chair,” Valerie Yost said.
Yost, a patient at an IV clinic, recently told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson that she was looking for an energy boost.
“When you walk out you’re just fresh and ready for what the day brings you,” she said.
Other patients said they hope that the combination of vitamins and minerals will help cure their exhaustion.
“I’ve been really feeling very fatigued,” Elwanda Young said.
Yost and Young are part of a growing trend of people who seek out customized, intravenous cocktails at wellness centers and spas across the country. Experts told CBS 2 that the formula of vitamins and minerals could provide instant relief for a number of ailments.
“It’s applicable to many different ailments; dehydration, sunburns, poor nutrition, extreme activity, or even hangovers,” said Dr. Johnny Parvani of Reviv Medical Spa.
Experts say IV therapy was introduced 50 years ago. Today it is used as a complimentary treatment for everything from arthritis to asthma, Dr. Marcia Harris explained.
“It actually works at the cellular level,” she said. “When you take something orally it has to get metabolized and then it get into the blood stream, and by that time there’s no telling how much you’re actually getting.”
As the treatments catch on and become more popular, they are not without their critics.
“The amount of drug that is available immediately to the system is greater with intravenous, that is true, however it doesn’t insure safety or need or value,” explained Yale Department of Emergency Medicine Chair Gail D’Onofrio.
D’Onofrio told CBS 2 that there is no scientific research that supports the use of IVs for conditions like jet lag and sunburn, and that the therapy is not without risks.
“They range from as simple as inflammation to the vein, to more complex complications such as an infection,” D’Onofrio explained.
Doctors in the growing field counter that it is no different from an IV drip administered at a hospital, and that every patient goes through a thorough medical screening first.
“These therapies are extremely safe,” Parvani said.
Treatments can cost up to $400, and should always be administered by a medical practitioner.
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