When Adele performed eight nights at L.A.'s Staples Center last summer, she wasn't running on stamina alone. She was getting an energy boost from IV vitamin infusions administered by Drip Doctors, the year-and-a-half-old Downtown go-to for stars including Chris Brown, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The $220 drip is called Limitless, the "celebrity favorite," says founder Dr. Jamila Sozahdah, full of antioxidants that are good for singers, especially, preventing bacteria and polyps from building up or developing on the vocal cords.
Dr. Sozahdah says while IV drips do help tremendously with a hangover, the majority of her DTLA clientele are there for wellness purposes, a vast difference from the mobile unit her team takes to Coachella: "I used to work at a trauma center in Palm Springs and all the celebrities would come in there because they're all dehydrated or have heat stroke. But [this] will give you energy, mental clarity, immune support, it balances you inside out," adding that regular clients come two times a month for an IV drip or IV push (a less hydrating vitamin-packed 60cc syringe that infuses in 6-10 minutes as opposed to an hour), sometimes before Pilates or Speedplay, or before traveling so they don't get sick from the plane's recycled air. Prices range from $89 for a strictly hydrating drip, to $220 for the Limitless. Booster shots ($25 to $50) are also a quick option, which still boast a 95 percent absorption rate to the 20 percent when you take vitamins orally.
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But, of course, just because it's a now trend, thanks to new affordability and access, doesn't mean it should be taken lightly. Dr. Sozahdah says "there are certain protocols that need to be followed. And New York's Dr. Svetlana Kogan, MD says, "It has to be only a doctor from the legal standpoint making up an IV solution with a very precise number of milligrams of substances X, Y and Z. A mistake can cost a human life." Miscalculating those doses, she says, can cause the patient to suffer a dizzy spell and nausea or at worst, lethal cardiac arrhythmia. For that reason, says Dr. Kogan, "People should not be using IV therapy frivolously." She's a fan of it being used occasionally by those who have a medical problem (chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, malnutrition, poor GI absorption, anorexia), get sick a lot or want an immunity boost before travel.
For Dr. Sozahdah, she's seen incredible recoveries for sick clients pointing only to IV drips. "Healthy people, cancer patients, people with chronic conditions - everyone can partake in IV vitamin therapy because it's preventative," she says. "Before the Grammys we had tons of people come in, and then of course after the parties it was the recovery, not the same people."
Drip Doctors (which also does fillers, Botox and vampire facials) is far from the only IV "spa" in L.A. now. The Solution IV, with locations in West Hollywood and Hermosa Beach, offers 12 different solutions or a custom blend that infuse over 10-40 minutes, while The Cure LA does half a dozen IV drips and as many booster shots, plus doctor house calls and IVs for two or three people, on demand. West Hollywood's Facile, a chic dermatology boutique, will do customized IV infusion and vitamin injection therapies alongside cryofacials, peels, injectables and lasers. Other go-tos for instant doses of vitamins: IV Therapy Center on Robertson Boulevard, and Beauty Park Medical Spa in Santa Monica, where Nurse Jamie's facials and tools draw the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Ruby Rose.
This article was originally published in The Hollywood Reporter.