Amid the Hype of Myers' Cocktail IV Treatments, Beware of Potential Side Effects


Sep. 26 2023, Published 10:20 a.m. ET

woman receiving liquid IV infusion
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Myers' cocktail is used in liquid intravenous therapies.
  • The Myers' cocktail ingredients are not standardized, but it typically contains Vitamin B12, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and magnesium.
  • There are serious potential side effects to the Myers' cocktail.
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For those who have considered alternative methods of receiving , you've likely heard that the Myers' cocktail may produce certain health advantages. Although some of its supposed benefits include improved metabolism and hydration, there are also serious Myers' cocktail negative side effects to consider.

Keep reading to learn more about Myers' cocktail and the potential risks it poses.

menu of liquid IV treatments like Myers' cocktail
Source: Getty Images

The menu at the Hydrate IV Bar in Denver, CO includes the Myers' cocktail.

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What is Myers' cocktail?

A Myers' cocktail, rather than being an alcoholic beverage, is a concoction of several vitamins that are delivered intravenously (through a small tube inserted into a vein). According to Merck Manuals, the Myers' cocktail was named for its original developer, Dr. John Myers, in the 1970s. It contains various B vitamins, vitamin C, minerals like magnesium and calcium, and more.

The Myers' cocktail is just one of many formulas used to deliver vitamins intravenously, and liquid IV infusions are popular with celebrities. You can go to a "drip bar" or "IV bar" to receive the treatment, which many claim offers beneficial therapy in an alternative way that can also complement your more traditional medicines.

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The National Capital Poison Center (NCPC) explains that the original intravenous nutrient therapy recipes of Dr. Myers are unknown. The ingredients aren't standardized, and although they are natural, this doesn't mean they are safe to use.

Liquid IV display at night
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Myers' cocktail negative side effects may vary.

Before even considering the risk factors, remember that the benefits of a Myers' cocktail aren't supported by much research-backed evidence.

"Overall, the Myers’ cocktail has not been proven to effectively treat any medical condition," the NCPC states. Add the possible side effects into the equation and Myers' cocktail doesn't sound so appealing.

According to SOHMA Integrative Medicine and the NCPC, a Myers' cocktail can trigger an allergic reaction or a dangerous interaction with certain prescription medications. As SOHMA Integrative Medicine explains, a person may be allergic to either something in the serum itself or even the instruments used for administering the IV.

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As you might expect, irritation or visible marks may occur at the site of your injection when getting a Myers' cocktail. SOHMA Integrative Medicine notes that patients may experience warmth or soreness at the injection site as well.

Merck Manuals notes that Myers' cocktail can cause light-headedness or fainting. Too-high doses of thiamine can also cause the allergic reaction anaphylaxis.

In addition, there are elevated risks for individuals with specific conditions. Those with abnormal magnesium or potassium levels may experience muscle weakness or abnormal heart rate. If you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, high vitamin dosage may cause overload and lead to permanent organ damage.

The NCPC recommends that if you do get a Myers' cocktail, be sure it is in a hospital or medical setting. And make sure to consult with your physician beforehand.

Other options to achieve the same benefits may be yoga, acupuncture, and "mind-body practices" that are safe and can help relieve pain.

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