Please consult with your doctor before beginning high dose IV Vitamin C

 

Safety of Intravenous Vitamin C:

A 2010 study evaluating the use of vitamin C amongst practitioners revealed, after calculating over 750,000 yearly sales and estimated yearly doses of over 350,000 in 2008, and after evaluating over 9000 patients,  only minor side-effects were noted that  included lethargy/fatigue, change in mental status, and vein irriation.  Clinically, if these effects occur they are temporary and easily corrected.

Precautions: 

The negative side effects of vitamin C IV are rare.  However, there are concerns and potential side effects to be considered:

  • Although it has been reported only once in the literature (Scot Med J 1979;24:151), tumor necrosis, hemorrhage, and subsequent death after a single intravenous 10 gram dose of vitamin C should be the highest priority for safety.  This is why we always begin with a small dose.

  • Another report described acute oxalate nephropathy in a patient with bilateral ureteric obstruction and renal insufficiency who received 60 gram IVC.  Consequently, we need to ensure that your kidneys are working well enough before beginning and especially with a higher-dose infusion.

  • A rare hemolysis can occur in patients with a red cell glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) and so this may be screened in select cases.

  • Localized pain at the infusion site can occur if the infusion rate is too high or the pH too low.  This is easily corrected by either slowing the rate or adjusting the formula.

  • Vitamin C may decrease the levels of calcium, chloride, and potassium and as a consequence some patients may experience shakiness or ache.  This is treated by further adjusting the formula with those ingredients.

  • Given the amount of fluid and sodium that is used as the carrier for vitamin C, any condition which could be affected by the increased fluid load (i.e. congestive heart failure, ascites, edema, pleural effusion, etc.) needs to be monitored more closely and a tailored protocol  given accordingly.

  • IVC may be dehydrating and cause a temporary lowering of blood sugar, and so proper hydration and nourishment needs to be emphasized prior to each treatment and following

  • As with any intravenous injection, infiltration or vein irritation is always possible

 

Disclaimer: Please consult with your doctor

before beginning high dose IV Vitamin C

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