London - Hours after the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Ball in May singer Rihanna posted a picture on Twitter of her arm hooked up to an intravenous drip, prompting media reports that she had been admitted to hospital with exhaustion.
But some medical experts now believe the 24-year-oldwas actually enjoying a “party girl” drip.
The singer is thought to be among a growing number of celebrities jumping on the latest health bandwagon by going to private clinics to have a high-dose cocktail of vitamins and nutrients administered.
The fad has taken Hollywood by storm and the drips are now becoming a popular hangover cure in Britain.
Celebrities said to have used the drips include Cindy Crawford, Geri Halliwell and Simon Cowell.
One beauty clinic, which first introduced the drips two years ago, said it has been fully booked since the photo emerged.
Alex Bridgwater, of the EF Medispa in Kensington, West London, said: “We have had so many people come in since the Rihanna picture.
“They’re going full throttle and not necessarily looking after themselves.”
The drips were originally used to treat the severely malnourished and clinically ill. But now people who are feeling run down are paying about £225 (R3 000) for these drips, which typically include vitamins B and C, magnesium and calcium.
Some doctors warn against using the drips to sustain a hedonistic lifestyle.
Professor Jonathan Chick, of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, said while users may feel a boost there is no medical evidence that the drips are helpful.
“A lot of the benefits are a placebo effect,” he said.
“They give a nice warm feeling, and it must be pleasant if you have a nurse pampering you.
“But people have died having vitamin infusions and any heavy drinking session does carry risk.”
Side effects can include fever, dizziness, inflammation of the vein, infection, and in some cases anaphylactic shock. – Daily Mail
Sobering effects of ‘Jetfuel’ cocktail
Dr Darren Green, who has a weekly advice column in the Cape Argus, said the concept of the hangover/party drip has been around for years.
“Science battles anecdotal reports on the degree of efficacy – but it has certainly helped many South Africans,” he said.
Vitamin depletion due to “binge-drinking” is common knowledge, so replenishing these elements are beneficial.
The psychological impact of receiving this cocktail “Jetfuel” drip also plays a role. Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B12 are essential and have medical complications when depleted.
“Medically, we use these drips to stabilise drunk patients and speed up their recovery or assist in alcohol withdrawal.”
Green said that as a doctor in the winelands, these drips were often used on drunk patients who arrived at casualty departments with multiple lacerations. - Cape Argus