Anaphylaxis Campaign highlights risks of intravenous vitamin products for those with allergies

Anaphylaxis Campaign highlights risks of intravenous vitamin products for those with allergies

  • 14 April 2020
  • News

The Anaphylaxis Campaign is aware of a number of companies offering intravenous vitamins which they claim can boost nutritional wellbeing.

As a charity that supports the allergic community, we have concerns about the potential risks of these treatments should the companies involved not ensure that such treatments are only performed by qualified and experienced medical professionals who are able to take a full medical history and ensure the safety of the product for intravenous infusion which includes full details of known allergies.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign is so concerned about the possible risks to the allergic community that we sought the opinion and advice from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). Their response is below:

Our (MHRA) current position is that vitamin and mineral products which are not medicinal products administered intravenously for non-medicinal purposes are not medicines and that they fall outside the remit of the MHRA. They are regulated in accordance with the General Products Safety Directive.

The legal advice we have received is that, unfortunately, products cannot be classified as medicines by route of administration alone (i.e. IV/IM).

We do however have ongoing concerns about the use of medicinal claims and unsubstantiated non-medical claims by clinics in their advertising of nutritional therapy products and we take action where medicinal claims are made.

Clinics with which we have contact are advised that they may wish to seek legal advice in respect of product safety, the services being offered and the professional obligations of those who administer such products. We also advise that while the administration of non-medical IV or injectable treatments is not currently regulated, industry guidance states that such treatments should only be performed by qualified and experienced medical professionals. Professional advice should be sought on the appropriate qualifications necessary for IV and injectable administration of nutritional therapy treatments.

We are continuing to monitor the activities of companies offering IV and injectable nutritional therapy products and while we are not currently minded to classify all such products as medicines this is a decision that is reviewed periodically.

MHRA Guidance Note 8: a guide to what is a medicinal product gives more information on how we classify medicinal products: