“Myers’ Cocktail” probably brings to mind a highball glass, tinkling ice and a splash of whiskey. But this cocktail is decidedly different. 

In the mid-1980s, Alan Gaby, MD, a young medical doctor in Baltimore was asked for a Myers’ Cocktail by patients of the recently deceased physician named John Myers, MD. Dr. Gaby did not know Dr. Myers but learned that he had been a pioneer in the use of IV nutrients. Dr. Myers had found that putting vitamin C, B vitamins and the minerals calcium and magnesium directly into the blood with a syringe over a five-minute time period was highly effective in treating a variety of conditions including migraines…asthma…acute respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis…flu…sore throat…pneumonia…and chronic fatigue…and in speeding postsurgery recovery. Dr. Gaby began delivering a modified Myers’ Cocktail to patients and studying the effects. Over 11 years, Dr. Gaby and other physicians administered more than 15,000 Myers’ IV infusions. He taught many doctors (myself included) how to perform this therapy. 

If you want to pursue IV nutrient therapy, here’s my advice…

• Get evaluated by a licensed physician (ND or MD) who has experience using IV nutrients. Myers’ therapy and other combinations are generally safe for most people, but there are exceptions. People on blood pressure medications, patients with severe inflammation, vascular disease, dehydration and kidney disease, as well as those taking blood thinners, may not be good candidates. Before making an appointment, ask questions about the doctor’s training and years of working with IV nutrient therapy. The doctor’s training (supervised in a clinical setting) should cover the preparation and administration of this therapy and the applications for which it is most successful. Note: Patients with chronic medical conditions should involve their primary care doctor when treatment with IV nutrients is being considered.

• Be well hydrated. IV nutrients go into your blood and from there directly to your tissues and cells. But remember, your blood is mostly water. If you are dehydrated, IV therapy may be difficult or even painful. Helpful: It’s a good habit to drink one-half of your body weight in ounces of water daily…but be sure to drink at least half that amount the day of IV therapy.

• Ask about the cost of the IV therapy in advance. IV nutrients delivered via a syringe may be as low as $25, while a combination of nutrients delivered via an IV bag over an hour may cost $150 or more. Insurance may or may not cover the treatment. Don’t assume it will or you may be stuck with a big bill! Check with your carrier and your provider in advance.

• Work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. IV nutrient therapy works best when it is used in conjunction with an overall treatment plan. If you have the flu, a single Myers’ infusion can accelerate recovery. On the other hand, if you have a chronic disease, such as migraines, asthma or fibromyalgia, you may need weekly nutrient infusions over months, combined with a plan that includes conventional and/or botanical medicine. It’s essential to find a qualified doctor to help you develop this plan. Getting a recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague is always a good idea.