What are they? What health benefits do they have? Where can you get them?
By Daniel Baldwin
When I first saw the words IV cocktail infusion, I first thought that it was some sort of alcoholic beverage.
These IV cocktails are made up of vitamins and nutrients. They are IV fluids that come in bags that are injected into a person’s vein, through an IV tube. The vitamins and nutrients are delivered straight into the person’s bloodstream.
The person trying IV cocktail infusion or iv therapy gets all the vitamins and nutrients in the bag. It is more than what they usually get eating fruits, vegetables, vitamins and other supplements.
“An IV cocktail infusion is concentrated delivery of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are delivered directly into the bloodstream,” said Barb Drake, owner of New Hartford Wellness at The Orchard Plaza in New Hartford. “When people take vitamins and minerals by mouth, your body will only absorb and use about 20% of that dose. The rest of it passes right thzrough you. So, with giving it through an IV [cocktail infusion], you get 100% of the dose.”
People who get IV infusion say they feel more energized and rejuvenated after the infusion.
“With all the things that go around in the wintertime, and COVID-19 still lingering out there, we get a lot of patients who are long-haulers with COVID-19 symptoms,” said Drake, who holds a degree of doctor of nursing practice (DNP). “You get over the acute illness and are negative, but still have ongoing symptoms, fatigue, cough or low energy. They feel like ‘OK this is now the new me. I just don’t feel good anymore.’ Then they come in here and we give them doses of the (IV) immune boost, and they feel 100% better.”
People, who have joint, back, or nerve pain, tend to feel less of that after the infusion.
“People with back pain, neck pain, arthritis disorder, Lyme disease and nerve pain, we have vitamin infusions to help reduce that ongoing pain,” Drake said.
Drake has a variety of IV cocktail blends/infusions at her New Hartford clinic. She has the IV blends that get rid of long-lasting flu symptoms and improve peoples’ immune system. She has the blends that reduce body pain. She has blends that rehydrate people and get rid of their nausea. Drake also has athlete-based IV cocktail blends, which improves a player’s on-field performance and repairs their tissue.
“Each blend is geared towards a specific health condition or a health and wellness goal people have,” Drake said.
She has done this IV infusion work for two years, since the opening of her clinic. After working in critical care and cardiac surgery for more than 25 years, she decided to leave her daily job at the hospital and open her own clinic. IV cocktail infusions/therapies have soared in popularity, according to Synergywellnessmedispa.com, but there are hardly any places in the Mohawk Valley to get this sort of infusion, according to Drake. Local residents have to drive long distances to get this type of treatment. The deficit, of IV therapies in MV, was the reason why Drake opened her own clinic and done these sorts of infusions.
“If you go to bigger cities, there’s a lot of choices for patients for holistic medicine, functional medicine and for these types of IV therapies, but like anything in medicine, it takes a lot of time for things to filter down,” she said. “From the university towns and the big cities into the smaller communities. There was really a deficit in this area.”
Now residents do not have to drive far, for this sort of treatment, as they could get their infusions at New Hartford Wellness. They can also get them at Renovatio Aesthetics and Wellness on Genesee Street in Utica.
Renovatio is Utica’s premier medical spa that opened during the pandemic in 2020.
It offers a variety of aesthetic treatments, ketamine treatments and IV cocktail infusions to their patients.
Andrea Zumpano, aesthetic nurse practitioner for Renovatio, knows the health benefits behind these IV infusions. The benefits alone are the reasons why she does them.
“I’ve been a nurse for 10 years,” Zumpano said, “and I see the benefits of IV therapy. A lot of people, especially around here, get seasonal allergies, depression and migraine. These cocktails can help treat them in so many different ways, rehydrating them, treating their illness and making them feel better overall. So, that’s why I started this.”
Drake and Zumpano both use needles, for this infusion, but the needles are small and painless. The whole procedure is painless.
“We have to put an IV catheter in the arm,” Drake said. “We use pretty small catheters; less pain when putting those in. Most people really like coming here. It’s a comfortable experience.”
The patients agree.
“It was a painless process and took about 30 minutes to complete,” Camden resident April Clark, 53, said. “The infusion was enjoyable and Andrea [from Renovatio] explained the procedure and answered all of my questions about the components of the IV solution. Andrea would check on me throughout the infusion to make sure that I was feeling OK.”
Clark said she felt fatigued before her first IV cocktail infusion. She needed more energy. Clark worked with Andrea at St Luke’s Hospital. The two met at work and set up an appointment at Renovatio. Clark said she felt more energized and less tired after her first infusion.
“What influenced me to start getting the IV cocktail infusion was when Andrea brought pamphlets to work at the hospital and I was reading one of them,” Clark said. “I was initially interested in the IV cocktail infusion. I decided to start the infusion because I felt I needed something extra for my health. I wasn’t nervous, but I was hoping that it would help me with my energy levels. Within a couple of hours afterwards, my energy level was increased. I would normally go to bed early because I was so tired. The first night (after the infusion), I had so much energy that I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up late.”
Glenfield resident Karen Gaesser, 55, also tried the IV cocktail therapy.
“I have chronic pain from back surgery,” Gaesser said. “I was relieved that I found something else (IV Infusion) because I tried everything to help with the chronic pain. I read a post on Facebook from a friend of mine. She posted about Barb and her clinic (New Hartford Wellness). I did my research and was like ‘alright I’m trying this.’ I was going there every week because it was working so well and it was giving me my life back. My normal pain was like a four to six every day, and it dropped down to a two. The people around me are looking at me going ‘what’s gotten into you?’ It’s the Myer’s cocktail.”
Myer’s cocktail was named after physician John Myers, who was the first person to develop and introduce this IV cocktail infusion, according to Empowerpharmacy.com.