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April 2020

Addressing Questions About High-Dose Vitamin C for COVID-19

New data out of China suggests that critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients might benefit from high-dose IV vitamin C treatment. Help put this new information into perspective for your patients.

Tell patients that these results are based on only observational data. There’s no strong evidence that high dose IV vitamin C treatment is beneficial for COVID-19. And promising data from observational studies often can’t be reproduced in higher quality clinical studies. For instance, there’s been recent interest in using IV vitamin C in patients with sepsis and ARDS due to promising results obtained in observational studies. But more recent clinical research shows that IV vitamin C is unlikely to benefit these patients.

Also explain to your patients that the dose of vitamin C used in this study cannot be safely obtained from vitamin C dietary supplements. Most patients in the study received vitamin C 10,000 mg – 20,000 mg daily; some received doses up to 50,000 mg. These doses can only be administered by a qualified healthcare provider through an IV. Orally, similar doses of vitamin C could cause serious gastrointestinal side effects.

Emphasize that there is no evidence that taking vitamin C supplements can help manage or prevent COVID-19. Reinforce for your patients that the most effective way to avoid COVID-19 is to stick to proven prevention methods.

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The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2020 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.