The Myers cocktail is a concoction of essential vitamins and minerals that are thought to help the body recover from various disease states. Although not many rigorous scientific tests have been done on this treatment, a great deal of anecdotal evidence exists to support its efficacy, especially for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common clinical disorder of unknown etiology characterized by widespread pain and muscle tenderness often accompanied by chronic fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depressed mood. Approximately 3.4 percent of women in the United States suffer from FMS, which is ten times the prevalence in men. A Myers cocktail was named after physician Dr. John Myers who came up with this mixture in the 1960s. The vitamins and minerals contained in the Myer’s cocktail are important in the normal functioning of nerves and muscles (magnesium and calcium), metabolism and conversion of food into energy (vitamin B complex), and protection against cell damage (vitamin C). The mixture is given via the intravenous route, so your digestive system is bypassed, and a much higher level of nutrients is directly delivered to your cells throughout the bloodstream. It is infused over a slow IV drip that can take between 30 to 60 minutes.
The Myers cocktail infusion is used most commonly for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Most studies into this medication have focused on this condition. Much of the evidence for this treatment is anecdotal, but many patients find that it helps significantly relieve their pain and tender points and improves their quality of life. Magnesium is a key ingredient in the Myer’s cocktail. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 7 out of 10 of Americans don’t get enough magnesium from diet alone. Low magnesium is associated with some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia such as muscle cramps, weakness, insomnia and fatigue. Chronic sleep deprivation, common in fibromyalgia,has been linked to low magnesium levels. Low magnesium levels can occur in as a result of other conditions such as diabetes, with elevated calcium, poor diet or dehydration, long term diuretic treatment,or thyroid replacement. If magnesium intake levels are low, the body will release magnesium from bones, which is our major source of magnesium storage in the body. This will deplete calcium from bones in the process and contribute to osteoporosis. Low magnesium levels have also been linked to hypertension and asthma.
We will check your electrolyte levels, especially magnesium and calcium before starting your series of infusions. You will be offered a referral to a nutritionist for evaluation of your diet. Our protocol includes weekly Myer’s cocktail infusions for eight weeks. The patients who experience relief with this treatment usually see an improvement after six weeks. After the 8 week protocol is completed, a maintenance program is continued as needed, which usually entails monthly Myer’s cocktail IV infusions. Since this medication is administered intravenously, you will need to set aside some time for the infusion to be completed. This treatment is given in the office. It will start through an IV in a vein in your arm. This will hurt, a little more than a simple puncture for blood drawing, and the IV can be placed in your hand, forearm, or the bend of the elbow. It is advised that you drink plenty of fluids before the appointment and dress warm so that your IV will be more easily inserted. Once an IVline has been established, the technician will hang the bag of medication on a pole and hook it into the IV line. You may feel a cold, tingling sensation as the fluid infuses into your arm. If you feel burning, tightness, or see redness or swelling, you should tell the technician. This could indicate that the IV is leaking into the surrounding tissue. Most infusions are completed within an hour. When it is complete, the IV will be removed, and a small bandage will be placed over the insertion site. You will have no restrictions following the infusion.
The studies conducted into Myers cocktail infusions indicate that it is a safe treatment. You may experience some local redness from the IV site or may experience a warm feeling in your arm. These are not common reactions, though, and no other side effects are generally noted after this type of infusion. The research studies into this method of treating chronic pain are promising, but they are not as definitive as many would like. A study published in the Journal of Alternative Complimentary Medicinein 2009 compared the effects of pain, tender points, quality of life, and depression in a small group of subjects with fibromyalgia. Each group received eight weekly infusions of Myer’s cocktail or normal saline. It was foundthat there was significant improvement in measurements in both groups, similar to other effective interventions at the end of eight weeks of treatment. At fourweeks after the treatment was finished, those treated with Myer’s cocktail had significantly improved tender points, pain, and quality of life, while the placebo group only had improvement in tender points, but at eight weeks no difference could be seen between the groups.Because the study size was small, no statistically significant conclusions could be drawn. We recommend, that if there is benefit from the eight weekly Myer’s cocktail infusions, you continue these infusions on a monthly basis. May of our patients do find these infusions helpful In lowering their pain and trigger points and improving their quality of life. Since it is safe, it may be a treatment to consider when dealing with persistent chronic pain conditions, such as:
Your insurance may not cover this treatment, so you will be asked to sign a waiver stating you willbe responsible for whatever your insurance company does not pay.