Have you joined the IV drip craze? If so, you’re not alone. At the beginning of 2019, Good Morning America called IV vitamin drips one of the biggest health trends of the year. Doctors, nurses and entrepreneurs are getting in on the action.

This is not surprising, given that The Global Wellness Institute claims that the global wellness economy was a $4.2 trillion market in 2017.

As a result, IV bars, lounges and clinics are popping up along with mobile units that come to your home or office. They’re offering everything from hangover cures to beauty enhancers and immune system boosts. Loyal fans spend thousands of dollars to get punctured, sometimes several times a month.

The treatments take about the same amount of time as an oil change on your car. But are they the miracle treatments that they’re touted to be?

Baltimore physician Dr. John Myers pioneered the use of intravenous fluids to treat fatigue and other conditions in the 1950s. Inspired by Myers, another Baltimore physician, Dr. Alan Gaby, created a specific IV vitamin blend he named the “Myers cocktail” in honor of the doctor.

In an op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun, Dr. Gaby writes about his observations using the Myers cocktail, “During 15 years of medical practice in Baltimore, about 15,000 Myers cocktails were administered in my office. This treatment can knock out acute asthma attacks and acute migraines in most cases within two minutes. One patient suffering acute morphine withdrawal become symptom-free within 5 minutes of receiving this treatment. Other conditions that improved included congestive heart failure, chronic fatigue, respiratory infections and fibromyalgia. Intravenous magnesium has been well-documented by medical research to be effective for acute asthma and acute migraines, but clinical experience suggests that a combination of nutrients works better than magnesium alone.”

Sounds pretty impressive, doesn’t it?

Not everyone is so impressed. In fact, many physicians discount the benefits as either nonexistent or say the results are due to the placebo effect.

Many also point out the ridiculous costs and the risks, which include minor bruising and bleeding, infection in the blood, or a reaction to the ingredients in the drip.

Also, the quality of the product can vary, so consumers need to check reviews and learn about the ingredients used by the professional or clinic.

Given the lack of research verifying the benefits, the costs and the risks, why would anyone decided to do an IV drip when it would be so much easier and less expensive to take oral supplements?

The simplest answer may be hydration. Dehydration makes the body feel weak, tired, dizzy and a whole host of other symptoms. So, when a large dose of fluids comes into the body bypassing the stomach, there can be immediate relief such as with a hangover or flu.

Beyond that, the jury is still out. As with any health trend, it comes down to individual choice and preference.

If you receive some benefit from it and you don’t mind shelling out the money or dealing with the possible risks, then it may be the right choice for you. Then again, it may eventually go the way of many other trends that have proven to be just another way to package up a healthcare protocol to make some enterprising entrepreneurs wealthy.