Companies claim the infusions can offer health benefits or quick-fix hangover cures.
England’s top doctor slams the rise of the so-called ‘party drips’ as ineffective and potentially harmful.
Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS’ medical director, has criticised companies for peddling fake health remedies to the public after making claims the intravenous infusions offer health benefits or quick-fix hangover cures, when there is no evidence to support these claims.
Previously you could only access these treatments at costly celebrity clinics, the IV drips are now easily accessible, with some companies delivering them to people’s homes and in some of England’s biggest shopping centres.
While the ‘vitamin’ drips are still expensive, some companies offer discounts for multiple purchases or group discounts.
There are major health risks related to the use of these infusions and National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has prohibited companies from offering the drips without screening liver and kidney function beforehand.
Model Kendall Jenner was hospitalised last year, following a bad reaction to a “Myers cocktail” IV drip, made up of saline solution, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins and vitamin C.
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.
Yet, the drips are on sale on the high street, promoted by celebrities and influencers online with claims to cure hangovers, strengthen the immune system or burn fat.
There is no evidence to show that they can deliver on any of these promises, and clinics have already been warned by the official regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, that they must clearly advertise drips are intended for non-medicinal purposes only.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, said: “At a time when health misinformation is running riot on social media, it is reckless and exploitative of these companies to peddle ineffective and misleading treatments, and those celebrities and influencers who help them do this are letting their fans down.
“People who are healthy do not need IV drips. 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.”