FDA issues warning to consumers of unlicensed medical spas
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Medical spas are popping up across the U.S. promising services to better your health, like IV drips to cure hangovers and injections to burn fat.
Officials value the medical spa industry at around $15 billion. However, the FDA issued a warning about consumers developing serious infections and deformities at unlicensed med spas.
“If you go to an unlicensed place, that could be the risk that they’re not adhering to those standards. And those are the questions you should ask at the very outset of your visit.”
Karl Miller opened Prime IV, a fully licensed IV drip clinic, earlier this month in New Mexico. While you’re there, a licensed physician walks you through the process every step of the way.
“It’s always a medical professional that you’re working with. And that is critical to make sure that the safety standards are in place for that particular location,” Miller said.
Melissa Frei has seen firsthand the positive effects of liquid IV treatment from her daughter, who has an autoimmune disease.
“Her jaw, she has some of the worst pain. She is now three weeks after she had her IV treatment and still doesn’t have any jaw pain. So for me being a mom, having this be something to alleviate her pain and being able to function is life-changing,” Frei said.
Depending on the treatment you get, they mix a cocktail of vitamins in a sterile chamber. Then, a licensed nurse administers the IV drip.
Miller says there’s a huge difference between taking supplements by mouth and intravenously.
“There is this gut barrier. Your stomach is filtering out some of the things, including the nutrients that you’re trying to put in. Going through an IV hydration spot actually helps to bypass that gut barrier and make sure that those nutrients are in near 100% absorption. It’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re going to a licensed and regulated place for IV drip,” Miller said.
As med spas grow in popularity, regulators say it’s important to know who operates them. They say it’s important to know who administers the treatment. They also say to ask if there is a licensed medical practitioner on-site in case anything goes wrong.
“I think the country as a whole is pivoting towards wellness. And this is driving part of that growth,” said Miller.