Risks of IV Vitamin D therapy include rashes, nausea, vomiting, headaches, constipation, growth problems, poor appetite, and pain at the injection site.
Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” and for good reason! This essential nutrient helps our bodies absorb calcium and phosphorus, which is important for strong bones and teeth.
According to Medscape reference,
- Adults aged 19-70 should receive 600 IU (15 mcg) of vitamin D per day.
- For adults over 70 years, it is 800 IU (20 mcg) daily.
- Pregnant or lactating women should also receive 600 IU (15 mcg) of vitamin D per day.
However, for some people, oral supplements and diets just aren’t enough to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels. That’s where IV Vitamin D therapy comes in.
But, before you consider this treatment option, it’s important to understand the potential risks and side effects.
What Is IV Vitamin D Therapy?
IV Vitamin D therapy is a medical treatment that involves infusing a solution containing vitamin D into the body through an IV line.
This method of delivery bypasses digestion by the liver, allowing for higher concentrations of vitamin D to be absorbed into the body quickly and effectively.
Oral supplements, on the other hand, need to be absorbed by the digestive system.
IV Vitamin D therapy has been studied in clinical trials and is effective in treating various conditions such as osteoporosis, rickets, and vitamin D deficiency.
It can also be used as part of a larger IV therapy treatment to provide additional benefits such as improved blood circulation and digestive health.
IV Vitamin D Therapy Side Effects (Mild Ones)
While IV Vitamin D therapy is generally considered safe, it’s important to understand the potential side effects before undergoing treatment.
Common side effects of this therapy include:
- pain or discomfort at the injection site,
- vein inflammation and bruising,
- blood clots,
- air embolism, and
- growth problems in children supplementing vitamin D.
In severe cases, too much vitamin D can cause kidney failure and the calcification of soft tissues throughout the body.
A review of intravenous versus oral vitamin D hormone supplementation found that side effects were noted in half of the articles studied.
Risks of IV Vitamin D Therapy (Rare but Serious Side Effects)
There are also more serious risks to be aware of.
For example, some people may experience an allergic reaction to the Vitamin D solution. This can cause symptoms such as hives, shortness of breath, and swelling.
Another serious side effect of IV Vitamin D therapy is hypercalcemia, which occurs when calcium levels in the blood become too high.
Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, and too much calcium in the bloodstream can be dangerous.
Symptoms of high calcium levels include frequent urination, thirst, confusion, and muscle weakness.
Other potential problems noticed after taking the therapy include –
- fragile or brittle bone structure
- poor digestive health
- weight gain
When bisphosphonates like zoledronic acid are given for the first time in conjunction with IV vitamin D therapy, patients may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle aches.
It is important to speak to a doctor before undergoing IV vitamin D therapy to ensure that any potential risks are minimized.
Choosing the Right Vitamin D Therapy for You
The best way to choose the right vitamin D therapy for you is to first determine your current levels of vitamin D.
This can be done through a blood test, which will provide an accurate measure of your vitamin D status.
- The National Institutes of Health defines a true vitamin D deficiency as a level below 12 nanograms per milliliter (12 ng/mL).
- It is considered inadequate for both bone health and overall health if the vitamin D levels are below 20 nanograms per milliliter.
- A reading of over 50 ng/mL is considered too high and also causes serious health problems.
Once you know your current levels, you can then decide if a supplement is necessary and how much to take.
Vitamin D3 is thought to be more bioavailable than Vitamin D2, but some studies have shown that either form can be effective in maintaining blood levels of vitamin D.
If you are vegan, look for a vitamin D3 supplement derived from lichen.
Optimal IV Vitamin D Therapy Dosage
The recommended dosage of intravenous (IV) vitamin D therapy depends on the individual’s age, health status, and vitamin D levels.
The optimal intravenous vitamin D therapy dosage for adults and teenagers is 0.5 mcg injected into a vein three times a week. For children, the dose should be determined by a doctor.
For those with a vitamin D deficiency, higher doses may be necessary.
Health professionals may recommend taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D intramuscularly monthly or twice a month.
If you’re considering IV Vitamin D therapy, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks, and work together to find the right treatment option for you.