The use of intravenous micronutrients (calcium, magnesium, trace minerals, Vitamin C, and B vitamins) for patients with pain and fatigue has been used for decades, and was popularized by a Baltimore physician named John Myers.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that the human body requires in small quantities to efficiently operate basic functions of your metabolism. A deficit of certain micronutrients can alter the metabolism and result in dysfunctions that may result in pain and fatigue. Such deficits may not show up on standard blood tests.
Micronutrients are present in the diet, but sometimes are not well-absorbed, and giving them as supplements may upset digestion. Furthermore, oral intake of micronutrients may not result in blood levels that are high enough to correct deficiencies. Intravenous infusion can raise the blood levels of these substances directly and push them rapidly into cells where they can impact metabolism.
There are many anecdotal reports of the benefits of IV micronutrient infusion in patients with pain and fatigue/fibromyalgia. There are also some published studies, including one controlled trial, in which symptomatic improvement was achieved. A reference list can be found below. We view this therapy as potentially useful in conjunction with other treatments, including dietary changes, herbal therapies, mind-body techniques, regular exercise, and more.
Insurance does not generally cover this treatment, so we offer it as a self-pay service for which we will provide a receipt that includes diagnosis and treatment codes that you can submit to your health plan. The charge for the treatment is $140. You can expect to need to do at least two or three infusions, at weekly intervals, before being able to determine whether the therapy is helpful to you. If it helps, we’ll schedule a couple of additional infusions before reducing their frequency of administration.
Chronic pain and chronic fatigue can be helped by a variety of therapies, and we believe that micronutrient infusion has a place in the treatment approach. We will be collecting self-reported data on its impact to support learning and research in this area.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine Clinic at 410-448-6361 or email CIMClinicInfo@som.umaryland.edu.
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- Okayama H, Aikawa T, Okayama M, et al. Bronchodilating effect of intravenous magnesium sulfate in bronchial asthma. JAMA 1987;257:1076-1078.
- Sydow M, Crozier TA, Zielmann S, et al. High-dose intravenous magnesium sulfate in the management of life-threatening status asthmaticus. Intensive Care Med 1993;19:467- 471.
- Gaby AR. Intravenous nutrition therapy: the “myers’ cocktail.” Alt Med Review 2002;7(5):389-403.
- Ali M. Intravenous Nutrient Protocols for Chronic Fatigue States. The Canary and Chronic Fatigue.
- Reed JC. Magnesium therapy in musculoskeletal pain syndromes — retrospective review of clinical results. Magnes Trace Elem 1990;9:330.
- Ali A, et al. Intravenous Micronutrient Therapy (Myers’ Cocktail) for Fibromyalgia: A Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. J Alt & Comp Med. Vol 15.3. p247-257.
- Massey PB. Reduction of fibromyalgia symptoms through intravenous nutrient therapy: results of a pilot clinical trial. Alternative Therapies 2007;13(3):32-34. (14*)
- Consumer Alerts: Myers’ Cocktail. Fibromyalgia Network. Retrieved July 23, 2013, from, http://fmnetnews.iraherman.com/coping-resources/consumer-alerts/product-8
- Shealy CN, Cady RK, Veehoff D, et al. Magnesium deficiency in depression and chronic pain. Magnes Trace Elem 1990;9:333.
- Hauser RA, Lyons KE, McClain T, Carter S, Perlmutter D. Randomized, double-blind, pilot evaluation of intravenous glutathione in parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders 2009;24(7):979-983.
- Sechi GianPietro, Maria G. Deledda, Guido Bua, Wanda M. Satta, Giovanni A. Deiana, Giovanni M. Pes, and Giulio Rosati: Reduced intravenous glutathione in the treatment of early Parkinson’s Disease. Prog. Neuro-Psychopharmacol & Biol. Psychiat.1996;20:1159-1170.
- Dyckner T, Wester PO. Ventricular extrasystoles and intracellular electrolytes before and after potassium and magnesium infusions in patients on diuretic treatment. Am Heart J 1979;97:12-18.
- (2013, April 13). Myers’ (Intravenous) Cocktail. Hyperemesis Education & Research. Retrieved July 22, 2013 from http://www.helpher.org/health-professionals/myers-cocktail.php.
- Selby, J. (2009, April 3). Glutathione Therapy- An Interview with Dr. Perlmutter [Web log post]. Retrieved July 22, 2013, from http://thenaturalhealthguide.com.au/reviews/lifewave-glutathione-therapy/.