IV drip in operation room with surgeon on backgroundBambu Clinic is excited to offer IV nutrient therapy to its patients. IV nutrients, in clinical practice, can provide rapid symptom relief in a wide array of situations. When vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are infused intravenously (IV), directly into your bloodstream, they avoid the potential loss of potency and poor absorption through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that can be a characteristic of nutrients taken orally. This makes IV nutrient administration a powerful therapy for numerous health concerns.

What types of conditions are IV nutrient treatments used for?

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Exhaustion
  • Pain
  • Acute or Chronic Infection
  • Poor Immunity
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Anti-aging
  • Addiction control
  • Bronchitis
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Viral and bacterial infections

In healthy individuals, the administration of certain vitamins and minerals intravenously is an effective way to boost your nutritional status and prevent illness. We also recommend a basic IV treatment during flu and viral epidemics and before or during stressful situations.

A number of nutrients play well-defined roles in the maintenance of a robust immune response, optimal energy, and overall health.

A typical restorative formula includes; 10g of Vitamin C, 2g of magnesium sulfate, 200mcg of selenium, 5 mg of zinc, 500 mg of dexpanthenol (B5), 100 mg of pyridoxine (B6), 2 mg of Methylcobalamin (B12), and B complex in a saline solution.

B6: Important for many metabolic process, including 60 different enzymes. It also helps in the production of neurotransmitters including norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.  B6 also supports healthy skin, the production of red blood cells and a healthy immune system.

B12: Essential for growth, cell production, DNA formation/repair, and myelin synthesis.

Calcium: Essential for the function of the neuromuscular system and for normal cardiac function.  Calcium also facilitates cell permeability and blood coagulation.

Magnesium: Many people are lacking in this essential mineral. Magnesium is an excellent therapy for patients with heart disease, respiratory problems, and more. It helps with arrhythmias and can arrest an acute asthma attack. IV magnesium is also beneficial if you have diabetes, as it improves insulin sensitivity and helps control blood sugar. And finally, it is very relaxing, something we could all use.

Glutathione: This is the major super-antioxidant and detoxifying agent of our body. The absorption of glutathione taken orally is difficult, but it can be made in the body. Whey protein and other amino

IV Therapy is offered at Bambú Clinic under the following circumstances:

  • Written prescription by a Bambú Clinic physician who is following your care.
  • Written prescription from a physician that works at an outside clinic with an exact formula, dosing, frequency, number of IVs prescribed, proper bloodwork (CBC and Basic Metabolic Panel within 6 months) and a written protocol (indicating follow up with prescribing doctor).
  • Acute, one-time IVs with proper bloodwork (CBC and Basic Metabolic Panel within 6 months) and a very brief visit with one of our Bambú Clinic physicians.
  • All IV patient whether currently being followed by a Bambú Clinic physician, referred from an outside clinic, or a one-time acute IV must complete and sign an IV consent form and HIPAA agreement with Bambú Clinic.

To acquire a written prescription from one of our doctors, you will be scheduled for a brief intake exam and the required bloodwork (unless you can show the physician recent bloodwork that meets our requirements).  At the intake, the physician will rule out kidney or liver disease by going over the required labs and ask some pertinent questions regarding your health.  You will then be required to meet with a physician every 4-8 weeks of your IV protocol to make sure things are proceeding as expected.

If you are coming to Bambú for a one-time acute IV therapy appointment and have not had the required bloodwork within 6 months, a CBC and a basic metabolic panel can be drawn at Bambú Clinic with a 24-hour turnaround and you can receive your IV the following day (assuming all bloodwork is normal).

IV nutrient therapy is not intended to diagnose or treat disease.  It is offered at Bambú Clinic as a supportive, adjunctive treatment.

IV costs and payment information:

  • Patients with insurance coverage for naturopathic care can bill the IV therapy procedure, but the cost of the actual vitamins delivered through the IV must be paid in cash.
  • For a basic Meyer’s cocktail, the cash price is $100 for the initial office visit and $80 for the IV (this includes $40 for the procedure and $40 for the nutrients).
  • For the same Meyer’s cocktail, a patient with insurance can bill the initial office visit and the IV procedure, so the out of pocket insurance costs will be $40 at the time of the service.
  • Bambú Clinic cannot guarantee insurance coverage for any patient and patients should be aware that after we bill for an IV, they may owe a balance for the visit or for the IV procedure.
  • This balance bill happens most often when a patient must meet their deductible before their insurance plan will cover IV therapy.
  • If a blood draw is required to be done by Bambu before the scheduling of an IV, the lab tests may be an additional fee and Bambu may charge a one-time fee of $15 for the blood draw service.

At Bambu Clinic, we offer IV therapy as an adjunct to conventional cancer care.  While many IV nutrient therapy cocktails are being offered in the health care setting on a clinical trial basis for cancer patients, IV high dose vitamin C is the IV nutrient therapy with the longest history of clinical use and, therefore, the most clinical research to support its use.

In the setting of cancer, there is an increasing body of evidence suggesting patients receiving IV vitamin C have improved quality of life during and after conventional treatment and this therapy, applied correctly, may also slow progression of malignancies. Below is a summary of the research adapted from the National Cancer Institute.

Have any clinical trials of high-dose vitamin C (7 grams and up) been conducted?

Several studies of high-dose vitamin C in patients with cancer have been done in recent years, including the following:

  • Intravenous (IV) vitamin C was studied in patients with breast cancer who were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The study found that patients who received IV vitamin C had better quality of life and fewer side effects than those who did not.
  • A study of IV vitamin C and high doses of vitamin C taken by mouth was done in patients with cancer that could not be cured. Vitamin C was shown to be a safe and effective therapy to improve quality of life in these patients, including physical, mental, and emotional functions, symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss.
  • Vitamin C has been shown to be safe when given to healthy volunteers and cancer patients at doses up to 1.5 g/kg, while screening out patients with certain risk factors who should avoid vitamin C. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C levels in the blood are higher when taken by IV than when taken by mouth, and last for more than 4 hours.

Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs

Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs have shown mixed results:

  • In a small study of 14 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, IV vitamin C was given along with chemotherapy and treatment with targeted radiotherapy. Patients had very few adverse effects from the vitamin C treatment. The nine patients who completed the treatment had stable disease as shown by imaging studies.
  • In another small study of 9 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, patients were given chemotherapy 1x/week for 3 weeks along with IV vitamin C twice per week for 4 weeks. These patients’ disease did not progress for a period of months. The combined treatment was well tolerated and no serious side effects were reported.
  • In a 2014 study of 27 patients with advanced ovarian cancer, treatment with chemotherapy alone was compared to chemotherapy along with IV vitamin C. Patients who received IV vitamin C along with chemotherapy had fewer serious side effects from the chemotherapy.
  • Patients with AML, metastatic colorectal or metastatic melanoma treated with IV vitamin C combined with other drugs had serious side effects and their disease got worse.

Currently more studies of combining high-dose IV vitamin C with other drugs are in progress.

Have any side effects or risks been reported from high-dose vitamin C?

Intravenous high-dose ascorbic acid has caused very few side effects in clinical trials. However, high-dose vitamin C may be harmful in patients with certain risk factors.

  • In patients with a history if kidney stones or kidney disease, side effects have been reported after IV ascorbic acid treatment. Patients with a tendency to develop kidney stones should not be treated with high-dose vitamin C.
  • Case reports have shown that patients with G6PD deficiency should not be given high doses of vitamin C, due to the risk of hemolysis (red blood cell destruction). Always determine G6PD status prior to IV vitamin C at doses greater than 10g/IV.
  • Since vitamin C may make iron more easily absorbed and used by the body, high doses of the vitamin are not recommended for patients with hemochromatosis (a condition in which the body takes up and stores more iron than it needs).

Have any drug interactions been reported from combining high-dose IV vitamin C with anticancer drugs?

High-dose vitamin C, when combined with some anticancer drugs, may cause them to be less effective. So far, these effects have been seen only in some laboratory and animal studies. No clinical trials have been done to further research these drug interactions in humans.

  • Combining vitamin C with an anticancer drug called bortezomib has been studied in cells studies. Several studies showed that vitamin C given by mouth made bortezomib less effective, including in multiple myeloma cells. A study in mice transplanted with human prostate cancer cells, however, did not show that giving the mice different doses of vitamin C by mouth made bortezomib therapy less effective.
  • An oxidized form of vitamin C called dehydroascorbic acid has been studied in cell cultures and in animals with tumors. Several studies have found that high doses of dehydroascorbic acid can interfere with the anticancer effects of several chemotherapy drugs. Dehydroascorbic acid is found in only small amounts in dietary supplements and in fresh foods.