Intravenous therapy has certainly been in the public eye recently; last week our medical director Dr Joshua Berkowitz was in a Daily Mail article entitled ‘Women who risk their lives injecting vitamins to stay looking young: the new health trend growing in popularity’, which highlighted the concerns that many had about this relatively new treatment.

Women risk lives injecting vitamins stay looking young new health trend growing popularity – Daily Mail

This was followed up by a piece on Radio 5 that saw a doctor going undercover to investigate some of the clinics offering intravenous therapy and which certainly drew attention to some of the potential pitfalls that patients should be aware of before embarking on this treatment. Namely, potential risks and side effects not being properly explained to patients and intravenous therapy not being offered in the appropriate clinical surroundings.

So, what should patients be aware of when it comes to IV drips?

Choose your clinic carefully

Currently, the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency or MHRA, the government body that covers the use of medicines in the UK, deem vitamin and mineral drips as ‘borderline products’. This means they fall somewhere between being medicines and nutritional supplements and this grey area means that they can be offered in a non-medical environment.

The Department of Health advises that patients seek treatment from a doctor that is registered with the GMC – as Dr Berkowitz is – and in a clinic, such as Wimpole Aesthetics, that is registered with the Care Quality Commission. This can be checked by going to the websites for either body or by requesting that your practitioner furnish with you those details.

Be aware of potential side effects

We are continually replenishing our levels of vitamins and minerals throughout the day from the food we consume to the sunlight we absorb into our bodies, so one could think that topping up those levels with a vitamin and mineral drip will carry with it no possible complications.

Although side effects are very rare, they do exist and it is crucial that these are properly explained to you at your consultation before you make the decision to go ahead. These complications include allergic reaction, infection from the insertion of the IV and collapsed veins.

At Wimpole Aesthetics, you always see Dr Joshua Berkowitz for a thorough consultation to assess your suitability and to make sure you’re fully informed beforehand. As IV therapy is often administered over time in the form of a treatment programme, Dr Josh can be consulted at any point to assess how your treatment if evolving and he is always on hand to deal with any medical emergency if it was to arise.

In the Daily Mail article Dr Josh hit the nail on the head, taking a scientific approach to the treatment: “Is there any hard science that can prove it works? Not that I have read,” he says. “People may say the improvements in health could be psychosomatic, and I would accept that’s true. But perhaps there’s an element of that with everything in the medical world, other than surgery. What I do know is that patients report enough of an improvement to keep coming back.

For more information on IV therapy, including any potential benefits and all possible side effects, book a consultation with Dr Joshua Berkowitz by calling 020 3095 0002.