From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton
By Darin Ingels, ND
EDITOR’S NOTE: While I appreciate this was written in 2003 I do know that many fibromites are regularly given the ‘Myers Cocktail’ to relieve pain. I felt the background would be interesting. However I would recommend you read the Consumer Alert written May/June 2007 on the FM Net News website (http://www.fmnetnews.com/resources-alert-product8.php) for another view point. Please do not shoot the messenger I am merely reporting what I have found. I have a good friend who has these injections from time to time and she believes they do her the world of good. See the FM Net News report. Without prejudice. JH)
Healthnotes Newswire (January 16, 2003)
Administering a vitamin and mineral formula (known as the Myers cocktail?) intravenously may be useful in treating a variety of medical problems, according to a report in Alternative Medicine Review (2002;7:389?403). Although few studies have been published on this therapy, many physicians have observed its benefit in treating migraine headaches, fatigue, allergies, heart disease, acute asthma attacks, fibromyalgia, infections, and other conditions.
The Myers cocktail was pioneered by John Myers, MD, a physician from Baltimore, Maryland, who developed this treatment more than 30 years ago. The doses of the various nutrients were subsequently modified, based on more recent information, by Alan R. Gaby, MD, the author of the report.
The vitamin-mineral combination includes magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12 (hydroxocobalamin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B5 (dexpanthenol), vitamin B complex, and vitamin C. Intravenous therapy can raise blood levels of nutrients to a considerably greater extent than oral therapy can, and some doctors believe that achieving these high blood levels has therapeutic benefits in certain clinical situations. The benefits of the Myers cocktail may be due to the drug-like (pharmacological) effects of some nutrients (for example, high concentrations of vitamin C kills viruses), or to improved transport of nutrients from the blood into the cells. More research is necessary to clarify this issue.
Some physicians who use the Myers cocktail report that it is particularly useful in treating acute asthma attacks and acute migraine headaches. Relief of symptoms usually occurs within minutes of administering the concoction. It is not clear whether the benefits are due to one nutrient or to the combination of nutrients, but other studies have shown that intravenous magnesium alone can reduce the symptoms of asthma and migraines. However, the author?s observation is that the Myers cocktail is more beneficial for acute asthma attacks than is magnesium alone.
The author and other physicians have found that the Myers cocktail is also useful in treating angina, chronic fatigue syndrome, bronchitis, sinusitis, fibromyalgia, hayfever, chronic hives, narcotic withdrawal, hyperthyroidism, muscles spasms, tension headaches, and some cases of mild to moderate depression. While many people improved after the first treatment, others required several treatments to achieve the maximum benefit, suggesting this therapy may have a cumulative effect. The number of treatments needed varies by person and condition. Some individuals obtain long-lasting relief after a few treatments, while others require ongoing treatments to maintain the benefit. The risk of serious adverse reactions is said to be low and the treatment is usually well tolerated.
The most common side effect of the Myers cocktail is a sensation of warmth, particularly if the injection is given rapidly. This effect is primarily due to magnesium, although calcium may also be a contributing factor. People with low blood pressure may be more prone to this side effect than those with normal or high blood pressure. People taking digoxin (Lanoxin®) and medications that deplete potassium should be cautious in using this treatment, since giving magnesium intravenously to such individuals could induce an irregular heart beat. The Myers cocktail can be prescribed only by a medical doctor, osteopath, or, in some states, a naturopath.
Although most of the reported benefits of the Myers cocktail are anecdotal, doctors who use this treatment are convinced that it often produces results not achievable by any other means. Controlled studies are needed to verify these clinical observations.
Darin Ingels, ND, MT (ASCP), received his bachelor?s degree from Purdue University and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. Dr. Ingels is the author of The Natural Pharmacist: Lowering Cholesterol (Prima, 1999) and Natural Treatments for High Cholesterol (Prima, 2000). He currently is in private practice at New England Family Health Associates located in Southport, CT, where he specializes in environmental medicine and allergies. Dr. Ingels is a regular contributor to Healthnotes and Healthnotes Newswire.
Copyright © 2003 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. Healthnotes Newswire is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Healthnotes, Inc. shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Healthnotes and the Healthnotes logo are registered trademarks of Healthnotes, Inc.
Consumer Alerts Myers’ Cocktail
Courtesy Fibromyalgia Network
Many treatment centers for fibromyalgia are heavily promoting the use of intravenous (IV) Myers’ nutrient therapy, or what many call a modified Myers’ cocktail. The advertisements often boast that you can receive up to 60% reduction in pain and an 80% reduction in fatigue. They also claim that you will notice these symptom improvements within two days of receiving the Myers’ IV cocktail.
Myers was a physician who believed that an IV infusion of the ingredients below would help jump-start symptom improvements (especially fatigue) in people with chronic illnesses, but never published data to substantiate his theory. So why is it that treatment centers are claiming you can reap amazing improvements in pain and fatigue with the Myers’ cocktail? They are basing it on a report of seven women with fibromyalgia (and no control subjects for comparison) by Patrick Massey, M.D., Ph.D., of Elk Grove Village, IL.*
Although Massey is to be commended for trying to evaluate a nutrient treatment for fibromyalgia patients, the results of his study are being taken out of context for the promotional use of this expensive therapy ($200 – $300 a shot). Massey selected seven fibromyalgia patients who were already under his care and tried to help them with eight weekly Myers’-type IV infusions. He asked the seven patients to rate their pain and fatigue prior to the first IV, and then to rate these symptoms as a weekly average when they returned to his office for the next infusion. The seven patients knew that they were being given something new to help ease their fibromyalgia symptoms, which could understandably lead to high expectations for health improvements. This was not a blinded or placebo-controlled study.
Massey states in his report that the eight-week therapy reduced pain by 60% and fatigue by 80%. However, due to the lack of a placebo comparison group, the small number of patients in the study, the power of suggestion (the “white coat” effect because doctors often wear white lab coats), and the fact that all seven patients knew they were receiving the nutrient therapy and not a placebo, patients cannot bank on these results. The mere power of suggestion by the person in the white coat (even if it is not intended) may produce phenomenal results from a placebo or sugar pill.
In the discussion part of the report, Massey comments that the therapy is short-lived-lasting between 24 and 48 hours. Yet he provides no data to substantiate this claim. Promoters of the IV Myers’ cocktail may reference the 24-48 hour time frame to imply the speed at which patients should notice symptom improvements, but it is actually the estimated duration of the relief. If you have received IV nutrient therapies before, only to find that they do not produce long-lasting symptom benefits (if any at all), this could be the reason why. Yet, regular infusions of this nature are not practical and they are expensive (approximately $250 per infusion).
Why is the Myers’ cocktail so expensive? Any treatment approach that includes an IV is costly. The ingredients in this IV therapy are relatively cheap when taken orally as nutritional supplements. If one were to take the nutrients in the IV dose over 48 hours as an oral supplement, then the cost per month would be less than $15, as compared to four IV treatments a month totaling about $1,000. (See the third column in the table above for the daily equivalent oral doses.) Patients who are concerned that their diet is deficient in these essential nutrients have little to lose by trying this oral supplementation approach. All you need to do is purchase three supplements: 1) vitamin B complex, 2) vitamin C, and 3) magnesium. The vitamin C formula should be buffered and the magnesium should be chelated so these supplements are gentle on your stomach.
* Massey PB. Alternative Therapies 13(3):32-34, May/June 2007.
Modified Myers’ IV Formula (may provide up to 48 hours of relief) includes the following:
Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Calcium gluconate, Vitamin C , Hydroxocobalmin (B12) , Pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), Dexpanthenol (B5) Riboflavin (B2), Thiamine (B1), Niacinamide (B3).
Estimated Costs $250/IV Dose, $15/Month. For quantities please log on to the Fibromyalgia Network website as below.
All information on this site is copyrighted by Fibromyalgia Network, P.O. Box 31750, Tucson, AZ 85751 (800) 853-2929.
This site is provided for informational purposes only. To remain unbiased, we do not accept endorsements, advertisements, or pharmaceutical industry grants. Patients should always consult their physician for medical advice and treatment.