Moderation, not unproven IV treatments, the key: Harvey


alcohol promotion: spilled wineglass

Attempts to rid oneself of hangover and other fatigue symptoms by purchasing IV and other cures from pharmacy are not the answer to the problem, Dr Ken Harvey, Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University and executive member of Friends of Science in Medicine, told the AJP.

Dr Harvey recently penned a complaint to the Pharmacy Board of Australia regarding the IV.me Hydration Clinic in South Yarra, which purports to offer a “state of the art intravenous vitamin clinic providing the opportunity to fuel your body back to maximum hydration” as well as a complaint regarding the Surry Hills, NSW “Hangover Clinic”.

The IV.me clinic team is led by Shadi Kazeme, who currently holds a provisional registration according to AHPRA.

Her preceptor, Nima Alavi‐Moghadam is based at the Como Compounding Pharmacy, which “presumably supplies the vitamin infusions used by the former,” writes Dr Harvey.

“The clinic promotes a range of IV infusions with numerous claims which I allege breach Section 133 of the National Law that prohibits advertising that:

  • is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to be so;
  • creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, and
  • encourages the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of health services,” he wrote in his complaint about IV.me.

IV.me clinic products include treatments which claim to detoxify and cleanse vital organs, improve the immune system and rebalance electrolytes. Claims about the safety and efficacy of these treatments, which vary in cost from $65 to $349, cannot be substantiated, he said.

Dr Harvey said in his complaint that the case also raises “serious questions about compounding pharmacists” and that Kazeme and Alavi-Moghadam may be in breach of the Pharmacy Board’s Guidelines on compounding medicines.

Dr Harvey also recently issued a complaint to the ACCC and the Medical Board of Australia regarding the hangover.clinic in Sydney, which promotes IV hydration packages to “give you a speedy recovery” from hangovers, flu, jet lag and exhaustion.

Dr Harvey told the AJP that the best answer to hangover was simply to drink in moderation, and that pharmacists participating in unproven IV “cures” will be called before the Pharmacy Board.

“[Pharmacists should] suggest that although symptomatic relief (e.g. paracetamol) may help, you are poisoning yourself with acetaldehyde and rehydration and vitamin infusions are NOT the answer,” he says.

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