Kendall Jenner’s ‘IV Cocktail’ Scare Is a Wellness Wakeup Call

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A popular hangover cure—Sofia Vergara even had an “IV truck” come to rehydrate guests the morning after her wedding to Joe Manganiello—IV “cocktails” are similar to what you’d receive at the hospital if you were admitted for dehydration or excessive alcohol consumption, but packaged in different doses and laced with different vitamins and minerals depending on the concern you’re looking to address.

It’s no secret that many Hollywood elite rely on this remedy for a quick refresh or energy boost, and outpatient clinics offering these “drips” are popping up everywhere. “A medical physician or registered nurse administers an intravenous (IV) line into your vein and connects it to a drip bag containing a mix of fluid, vitamins and minerals, known as the Myer’s cocktail. These treatments can help you feel energized and replenish your deficiencies quickly,” says celebrity nutritionist Brigitte Zeitlin.

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It almost seems too good to be true, and maybe it is. Supermodel Kendall Jenner made headlines this week for her recent hospitalization in Beverly Hills following an adverse reaction to an IV drip of assorted vitamins. Additional details about her health scare have been kept pretty hush-hush, but nevertheless it begs the question: Are these “wellness wonders” actually safe?

Zeitlin says healthy people, without medical reasons, are not meant to have their vitamins directly inserted into their blood stream. “We are designed to get our vitamins and nutrition through our GI tract, (meaning eating and digesting from our mouths to our stomachs), unless we have a medical condition that requires another route of nutrition. IV treatments always have the risk of bruising, pain, vein inflammation, and infection, as you are inserting a needle into your blood stream. You have to be very careful of who you are trusting to do this, ideally an MD or perhaps even a nurse practitioner.” 

It’s also important to keep in mind this type of IV therapy is not regulated by the FDA. “When it comes to IV clinics, you want to find out exactly where their vitamins are sourced from and how they are controlling for purity,” says Zeitlin. “You also want to make sure you are not getting IV treatments more than once a month, and if your clinic is suggesting sooner, that’s a red flag. Another red flag is any clinic that routinely treats you without running blood tests on your current vitamin levels. There is a limit to how much of a certain vitamin or mineral we should have in our bodies, and going beyond the tolerable upper intake level can lead to toxicity.”

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While we aren’t sure it was a hangover that prompted Jenner to get the IV, whatever the reason may be that leads you to this type of clinic, or “truck” if you were lucky enough to attend Vergara’s nuptials, make sure to do your homework and ask questions beforehand so you can avoid an unnecessary health scare.

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