High-Dose Intravenous Vitamin C as Adjunct Treatment for COVID-19 Patients

High-Dose Intravenous Vitamin C as Adjunct Treatment for COVID-19 Patients

In challenging times like these, many of you may be inclined to search for information online on how to boost your immune system. In addition, you might be in search of successful therapies or treatments to combat the virus named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes — coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

With almost everyone having an opinion — and not being afraid to share it via email or one of the social media platforms many of use these days — it’s difficult to know what’s real and what to avoid. With that in mind, we’re writing today to share what we know about the value of high-dose vitamin C in the effort to combat COVID-19.

At the end of this post is information about our new Mega C, 4,000 supplement, which when taken in consultation with your Restoration Healthcare physician, may aid in supporting your body’s immune system during these challenging times.

Recent News and Research on Intravenous Vitamin C

According to a recent article in the New York Post, “Seriously sick coronavirus patients in New York state’s largest hospital system are being given massive doses of vitamin C . . . in addition to such medicines as the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin, various biologics, and blood thinners.”


Intensive care patients receive approximately 1,500 milligrams four or five times daily, each dose being more than 16 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Doctors started administering intravenous high-dose vitamin C to their sickest patients upon learning of its reported success in COVID-19 patients in China.

During the recent COVID-19 outbreak in China, one facility with a patient load of 358 provided about 50 of those patients suffering moderate to severe COVID-19 with intravenous high-dose vitamin C (IVC) as an adjunct treatment (meaning in addition to primary treatments). All 50 patients in the IVC group improved, none of them died, and they reported no side effects. While China’s COVID-19 patients stayed 30 days in the hospital on average, IVC patients were able to leave the hospital three to five days sooner, which not only saved money but also freed up hospital staff and resources. (Note that the use of IVC was in conjunction with all standard hospital therapies.)

Vitamin C’s Impact on Sepsis in COVID-19 Patients

While more than 80 percent of people with COVID-19 have only mild symptoms, approximately 14 percent develop severe respiratory illness that requires hospitalization and oxygen support. Approximately 5 percent require admission to an intensive care unit. In severe cases, COVID-19 can be complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, and septic shock. Sepsis occurs when cytokines (chemicals released by the immune system to fight infection) trigger inflammation throughout the body, which can damage organs, including the kidneys and the heart, and may even result in death.

During sepsis, vitamin C levels in coronavirus patients drop dramatically, so it makes sense for doctors to try to restore healthy levels of vitamin C in patients who have moderate to severe symptoms.

In severe cases of COVID-19, when sepsis happens, the cytokine surge results in an accumulation of neutrophils (white blood cells) in the lungs, destroying capillaries that carry blood to and from the alveoli (air sacs). Early clinical studies show that vitamin C may prevent or interrupt this process. In addition, vitamin C may help to eliminate alveolar fluid in the lungs. Researchers hypothesize that through these two processes, vitamin C restores healthy lung function and the patient’s ability to breathe more freely. More research is planned to test this hypothesis.

Using High-Dose Vitamin C to Supercharge the Body’s Immune System

The possible effectiveness of vitamin C used as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 patients doesn’t surprise any of us here at Restoration Healthcare. We have been recommending high-dose vitamin C to supercharge the immune system for patients who qualify for this type of supplementation ever since we opened our practice. Recently, we even published a blog post on the topic titled, “Beat the Flu with High-Dose Vitamin C.”

As a potential preventive supplementation for patients who qualify, we recommend and administer an intravenous (IV) vitamin C drip called Restore 25, which delivers 25,000 mg of vitamin C straight into the bloodstream. That’s more than four times the dosage being administered to seriously ill COVID-19 patients in some New York hospitals and twice as much as in Chinese hospitals. This powerful immune-enhancing IV vitamin therapy is often used in a medically supervised plan of care for Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, other autoimmune disorders, and cancer. Now, according to the research referenced above, it is being used as an adjunct treatment in the fight against the coronavirus.

We certainly don’t recommend it as a cure-all or claim that it’s 100 percent effective in preventing infections, but vitamin C has proved to be valuable in supporting immune function — and it’s known to be safe and affordable. In fact, we often recommend it as a preventative measure to help ward off infection. However, during the current pandemic, we strongly encourage you — in consultation with your Restoration Healthcare physician — to use it as an adjunct to other commonly recommended preventive measures for COVID-19, including the following:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Keep a safe distance from others (at least six feet), especially when you or they are experiencing symptoms.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, do it into a tissue if possible (and dispose of it properly).
  • Don’t share linens, eating utensils, or dishes used by someone else without washing them thoroughly first. You can wash dishes and eating utensils in a dishwasher or by hand with soap and water. You don’t need to wash them separately.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect any touched surfaces at home, work, and other spaces, especially if someone in these spaces is ill.

Restore 25 IV Vitamin C Details

The number of Restore 25 applications varies according to each patient’s need. You may need only a single application, after which your body may begin to experience the benefits. More severe cases of the flu or other illnesses may require more frequent applications, such as 1-2 IVs weekly.

Other considerations include:

  • Therapy time is about an hour and a half.
  • Same-day appointments may be available soon at the Restoration Healthcare clinic in Irvine. (Stay tuned for information about your plans to reopen the Irvine clinic.)
  • Current Restoration Healthcare patients whose G6PD test results are within normal limits may be eligible to start this potentially helpful therapy immediately. (Note: G6PD stands for the Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase test, which enables our medical team to determine if you’re able to tolerate high doses of vitamin C.)

One Alternative to Intravenous Vitamin C

One alternative to intravenous vitamin C — especially while our Irvine clinic remains temporarily closed due to COVID-19 — is our new RH Mega C 4,000 supplement. Delivered in powder form, RH Mega C 4,000 is formulated for immune support. For more information on  RH Mega C 4,000 and to check on its availability for shipment to your home, please contact us using the OnPatient Portal or call our office during business hours at (949) 535-2322.