Patients with chronic conditions should consider this excellent flu shot alternative

Doing a few shots

It’s that time of year again.

No, I’m not talking about flu season. I’m talking about “should-I-get-a-flu-shot?” season.

The flu shot presents a special dilemma for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. These patients sometimes have severe reactions to vaccines. But they’re also more likely to get very sick for prolonged periods when they’re hit by the flu.

I have two points for these special patients to consider…

ONE: Consider Cochrane

As I’ve mentioned before, in 2009, the Cochrane Collaboration (an independent research organization) reviewed every influenza vaccine study conducted between 1948 and 2007.

Their conclusion: “There is no evidence whatsoever that seasonal influenza vaccines have any effect, especially in the elderly and young children. No evidence of reduced cases, deaths, complications.”

TWO: Consider a cocktail

Happy hour

About 50 years ago, a doctor here in Baltimore named John Myers began treating patients with a mix of vitamins and minerals — given intravenously — which came to be known as the Myers Cocktail. His mix included very high doses of vitamin C, B complex, magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients.

Over the years, Dr. Myers used his “cocktail” as an immune system booster, which is basically all a flu shot is supposed to do: jump-start your immune system.

But Myers mostly used his therapy to treat chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, fatigue, depression, and even asthma.

After reading a Vancouver Sun article about Dr. Myers’ protocol — referred to as “rocket fuel” by some patients who enjoy a physical and mental boost from their IV session — I checked in with Dr. Spreen.

It’s no surprise, really, that our “Nutrition Physician” is not only familiar with the Myers approach, he also used it in his own practice.

Dr. Spreen: “Forget poor digestion, malabsorption, or first-pass liver filtration — you’re getting the straight stuff, and I can’t picture it getting much better than that.”

“People loved it. I can’t say how much was placebo effect or not, of course, but I sure can’t think if ANY downside (other than the hassle/needle/cost, of course). I have no doubt it did a huge amount of benefit.

“I have to say that I got very similar comments from patients just from the use of quick (tiny) shots of vitamin B-12, alone or with folic acid, so a lot of the positive ‘feelings’ may have been the B-12.”

The recipe for the Myers Cocktail is likely to vary slightly from doctor to doctor. For instance, some include glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, while others, like Dr. Spreen, will opt for higher doses of vitamin C.

Half a century after Dr. Myers mixed his first IV cocktail, it’s now much easier to find doctors (mostly naturopaths) who will administer the IV.

If you think you might want to try a Myers Cocktail, you can locate naturopathic doctors, state by state, with the “Find a Doc” feature on our HSI website.

“Flu Shots With Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” Adrienne Dellwo, Guide, 10/8/11,

“IV ‘Rocket Fuel’ Gains Popularity” Martha Worboy, Canwest News Service, 3/14/10

Get urgent health alerts, warnings and insights delivered straight to your inbox