England’s top doctor has declared that the rise of the so-called ‘party drip’ is both ineffective and potentially harmful. The NHS’ medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, has criticised companies for pushing fake health remedies to the public when there is no concrete evidence to support claims that intravenous infusions offer any health benefits or hangover cures.
We’ve been hearing about IV vitamin drips for a good few years now, beloved by a certain brand of celeb that hails them as a failsafe hangover cure or the ultimate quick pick-me-up. Injecting a potent cocktail of health-boosting vitamins straight into your veins sounds like a sure-fire way to feel at your very best, doesn’t it? But while the jury has long been out over how effective these drips really are, new claims have revealed that they may actually be doing us more harm than good.
While drips have recently become popular among the young Hollywood elite, they have actually been around since the Fifties, when US doctor John Myers first started injecting potent mixes of vitamins B and C as well as calcium and magnesium straight into the bloodstream of his patients in a bid to treat fatigue, migraines and even heart problems.
New research has now revealed that there can be major health risks related to the use of drips and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has actually prohibited companies from offering the drips without screening liver and kidney function in advance. Several stars have fallen foul of dodgy reactions to drips in the past, including Kendall Jenner, who was hospitalised in 2018 after having a bad reaction to a ‘Myers cocktail’ vitamin IV drip.
While IV drips used to be fairly hard to come by and spenny enough to price out most non-celebs, in recent years they’ve popped up everywhere from high-street salons to shopping centres, with some companies even delivering them straight to people’s homes. With the trend for them only increasing, experts warn that there is always a risk of infection with IV vitamin therapy, as any time an IV line is inserted it creates a direct path into the bloodstream.
“People who are healthy do not need IV drips,” said Professor Powis, who offered some sage words of advice to drip fans. “At best they are an expensive way to fill your bladder – and then flush hundreds of pounds down the toilet – but at worst they can cause significant damage to your health. Miracle hangover cures and quick fixes simply don’t exist, and anyone online who says they do is probably out to make a quick buck at your expense.”