Would You Try IV Therapy?

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Like many people, I get a lot of emails. Only my inbox is filled with pitches about the latest laser treatments and product launches and whatever TikTok trend is currently having a moment.

Most of it is all good and fun, but lately I’ve been getting pitches about a trend that actually concerns me: IV therapy, that is, getting IV infusions as a wellness booster, a hangover fix or even a way to “brighten your skin” though there is limited evidence to support the latter.

For the LA crowd, IV therapy is nothing new. Within a 15-mile radius of my apartment, I can choose between several “wellness spaces” that offer IV drips, along with infrared saunas and cryotherapy chambers. Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kendall Jenner have talked about their love of IVs for “increasing their energy levels and mental clarity,” among other things.

Here’s an email I got from one said space:

“Most people only associate IVs with hospitals, but now you can get personalized IV Infusions as part of daily prevention. Receive an IV cocktail of amino acids, vitamins, detoxifiers, antioxidants, fluids and other supplements personalized to your needs in less than an hour.”

Another pitch compared their service to Seamless, where you can order a nurse to your home and get IV therapy from the comforts of your couch. (Netflix & Fill…your body with fluids?)

As someone who has spent a lot of time in hospitals getting poked by enough needles to fill a large porcupine’s back, this casual use of IVs makes me nauseous to even think about. This, to me, is the very example of creating a problem. Still, out of curiosity (and to check my very clear bias), I asked my doctor about the overall safety and efficacy of getting a little drip.

First, she made this face -__- before saying, at best you’re filling up on expensive fluids that’ll mostly get urinated out. At worst, you can end up with an infection at the injection site, bruising, bleeding or even an excess of vitamins, some of which can result in toxicity to your internal organs. Yes, that’s an absolute worst-case scenario, but it’s a risk nonetheless, so maybe we think twice about mainlining our vitamins?

Trust me, if you’re feeling so unwell that you think you may actually need an IV, you should probably be evaluated by an actual healthcare professional first.

Alright, stepping down from my soap box now, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this—or any other trend you’ve seen lately that you have feelings about.

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...