IV Therapy

Intravenous (IV) therapy is a safe and effective means of delivering nutrients directly into body tissue and cells via direct infusion into the bloodstream. The IV administration allows much higher concentrations of a substance to be achieved and circulate in the blood than what is possible by other routes of administration. For example, the use of IV therapies can help correct low nutrient levels by achieving blood concentrations not obtainable by ingestion. Support is realized quickly and typically without side effects like diarrhea, heartburn, etc.

For individuals with chronic and depleted health conditions, IV therapy bypasses the digestive and liver filtration systems, and can provide a more rapid and efficient delivery of nutrients. There can be benefits to metabolism, energy, immune function, and disease prevention achievable from IV therapy.

IV treatments are provided in a group setting at the CHI by Registered Nurses (RNs) and IV-certified Naturopathic Doctors (NDs).

Eligibility for IV therapy is determined through visits with your CHI care team including ND, MD, and NP. IV therapies are not suitable for every patient under our care.

IV Therapy - Supportive Cancer Care

Certain infusions like high dose vitamin C, mistletoe, and other therapies are used in application for supportive cancer care.

IV therapies may:

  • Support quality of life during treatment for cancer
  • Reduce cancer-treatment related symptoms including: fatigue, nausea, and lack of appetite

IV therapies at the CHI are supportive and not intended as alternatives to chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other hospital based treatments.

To receive IV therapy, visits with both a naturopathic doctor and nurse practitioner at the clinic are required. Bookings for IV can be made by calling the clinic at 613-792-1222.

To read the research summaries about these IV therapies, please see the Research Summaries for Integrative Therapies section of our Research Page.

IV Clinic Hours

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

9:30 am - 12:30 pm
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Fees

Initial IV Consultation with Nurse Practitioner
25 - 40 Minutes: $95 - $145

IV Therapies - Dose Determines Fee
Requires prescription from Nurse Practitioner

Ascorbic Acid (IVC) (<25 g, 25 to 75 g, >75 g)
$125, $180, $210
Myers & Immune Support
$150 & $180
Mistletoe (does dependent)
$150 - $245
Curcumin (does dependent)
$125 - $270
ALA & DCA (does dependent)
$195 - $245

Ports $10
Grippers $20

Intravenous Therapies FAQs

IV therapies are treatments that are administered via an intravenous (IV) drip in your arm or through a central line (PICC, Port-a-cath) if you have been given one. The IV route allows much higher concentrations of certain substances, such as vitamin C, to circulate in the blood than what is possible when ingested orally.

IV treatments are provided by Registered Nurses (RNs) and IV-certified Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). IV treatments are administered in a group setting in our IV Suite, with up to 5 patients receiving treatment at the same time.

At the CHI, we offer the following IV therapies: 

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

  • ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)

  • Curcumin

  • DCA (Dichloroacetate)

  • Mistletoe

  • Myers & Immune Support

At the CHI, the most commonly used IV therapies are high dose Vitamin C and mistletoe. 

Please see the patient Research Summaries section under Research for more information about each IV therapy offered at the CHI.

When considering IV therapy, please keep the following four considerations in mind:

  1. First, your ND will discuss the possible benefits, possible risks, and any alternative treatments that may help you achieve your goals to help in the decision making process.
  2. Second, consider the cost of each IV treatment. A complete list of costs can be found here.
  3. Third, consider the impact of traveling to the CHI on a regular basis. Patients typically come to the CHI once or twice per week for IV treatments. This can be difficult for people who live far away. You can discuss this in more detail with your team of practitioners at the CHI.
  4. Fourth, consider the process that a patient must complete before beginning their IV treatments to ensure their eligibility. These are outlined below under “What steps must I follow to receive IV therapy at the CHI?”

These four items should be considered in the context of the likely or possible benefits of IV therapy for you to determine if this is a good treatment to initiative.

Please see the FAQs below for more information about IV Therapies at the CHI.

Before receiving an IV treatment at the CHI, the following 3 steps must be followed:

1. An Appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) at the CHI

NDs are knowledgeable about intravenous therapies, and can discuss IV therapies with you. Your ND will review the therapy in depth – including its potential benefits, contraindications, risks and/or side effects as well as alternatives. In appointments, your ND can also answer specific questions about IV treatments. If your ND determines that an IV treatment is safe and appropriate for you, they will refer you to CHI’s Medical Doctor (MD) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) for further consultation. 

2. An Appointment with an MD or NP

Our MD/NP will further assess if IV therapy is safe and appropriate for you. In this appointment, the MD/NP will discuss treatment, follow-up and blood tests required. The MD/NP will also review the relevant consent forms.  If they are in agreement that an IV therapy is appropriate, they will write a medical order (prescription) so that you can receive your treatment through the nursing team at the CHI.

3. Medical Records & Blood Test Results Received

At your appointments with your practitioners at the CHI, the paperwork needed to gather these records and results will be reviewed with you. We require medical records providing proof of a cancer diagnosis. These can be accessed by us after a patient signs a consent form to release their medical records to us, or the patient can bring in their own copies of these records. 

The following blood tests are required prior to starting any IV therapy:

  • Complete blood count (within 4 weeks of starting IV treatments)
  • Creatinine (within 3 or 4 weeks of starting IV treatments)
  • *For intravenous Vitamin C (IVC), a G6PD (glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase) blood test is also required

Ongoing blood tests are needed periodically during treatment. A care provider outside of the CHI can run these tests for you but we will require a copy of your results. If your results are outside of the normal range, it may not be safe for you to start or to continue receiving IV therapies.

This process can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on appointment availability and ability to obtain blood work and medical records.

Your CHI care team will review your entire case to determine if IV therapy is appropriate for you. 

IV therapy is most often used in people with more advanced cancers to support quality of life and side effect management during cancer treatments that may be used long-term.  IV therapy is not often used for people with early stage cancers, and is not recommended for prevention of recurrence in people who have finished curative-intent treatment. If you are unsure, please discuss with one of our Naturopathic Doctors.

As described above under “What steps must I follow to receive IV therapy at the CHI” you will have a consultation with an CHI Naturopathic Doctor (ND), and a separate consultation with an CHI Medical Doctor (MD) or Nurse Practitioner (NP). It is at these appointments with an ND and MD or NP that IV therapies are considered for your cancer type, stage, situation, etc.

Kindly note that our intake coordinator and reception staff are not able to determine eligibility for IV therapy.

No. There is no research to indicate that any of our IV therapies can cure cancer. The CHI does NOT offer these treatments as alternatives to chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other prescribed treatments. 

IV therapy is most often used in people with more advanced cancers to support quality of life and side effect management during cancer treatments that may be used long-term.  IV therapy is not often used for people with early stage cancers, and is not recommended for prevention of recurrence in people who have finished curative-intent treatment. If you are unsure, please discuss with one of our Naturopathic Doctors.

To read more about the typical uses of IV therapies, please see the CHI’s Research  Summaries, which can be found under our Research Page. 

The  Research Summaries provide more in depth descriptions of the IV therapies that we offer, as well as an overview of the available published research for each CHI IV therapy. There are short summaries for patients and more detailed referenced summaries for interested patients and for health care practitioners.

IVC may:

  • Support quality of life during treatment for cancer;
  • Reduce cancer-treatment related symptoms including: fatigue, nausea, and lack of appetite
  • Improve treatment outcomes or slow cancer progression (*research is not conclusive on this point, and this should be discussed with your ND

IVC is a supportive therapy. IVC is not meant to be used as an alternative to chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or other prescribed treatments. 

Side effects are uncommon and generally mild in most patients. Your CHI care team will discuss potential side effects of IV treatments during your appointment.

A list of potential side effects for IV therapy is included in the patient Research Summaries under our Research Page.

Please see the Fees Page under Our Services for a complete list of costs.

IV therapies are not covered by OHIP; however some of the cost may be covered by your private health insurance. Some of the fees may also be claimed as medical expenses on your tax return.

This depends on your individual treatment plan but a typical prescription is 1-2 times every week.

We realize that frequent treatments are not possible for patients living a long distance from the CHI. If you live far from the CHI, it may not be appropriate for you to receive IV therapies at our clinic due to the impact of long travel.

IV therapies are usually given during active treatment, 1-2 times per week over a period of a few months. In rarer cases, treatments are used ongoing over the long term. Your CHI care team will establish the expected duration of your IV treatments during your appointment.

We realize that frequent treatments are not possible for patients living a long distance from the CHI. If you live far from the CHI, it may not be appropriate for you to receive IV therapies at our clinic due to the impact of long travel.

Infusions can take between 30 to 150 minutes, depending on your individual treatment. Most commonly, treatments are 1-2 hours in length.

IVC treatments generally contain between 40-75g of Vitamin C, depending on an individual’s need. Dosing is increased with each treatment until a blood test shows that you have reached an appropriate level of Vitamin C. This process can take between 2-6 infusions.

Central lines such as PICCs, Ports, Hickmans, and Broviacs can be used for IV treatment at the CHI. You will need to bring in your device card or paper (given to you when your device was placed) in order for us to verify that our protocols and equipment are safe to use with your device.

Kindly note that there are additional charges for accessing a Port and for using a Gripper. Please see the Fees Tab under Our Services for a complete list of costs.

No. The protocols used at the CHI are unique to our clinic and cannot be prescribed by another practitioner. It is essential that the different members of your care team can communicate easily while you are receiving IV therapies, which is best done within the CHI. This ensures that order adjustments and management of side effects can be done quickly and efficiently to ensure patient safety at all times.

If your doctor or ND would like to refer you to our centre for IV treatments, please obtain a referral form from our Reception and fax it to our clinic.

Please see “What steps must I follow to receive IV therapy at the CHI?” above for more information.

The order for an IV therapy from our Medical Doctor (MD)/ Nurse Practitioner (NP) is only valid for use at the CHI.

However, we are happy to assist patients in transferring their treatment to another IV practitioner. Once established, a patient’s IVC protocol can be communicated to another care provider who would then write the prescription for the patient and monitor care ongoing.

Patients must have follow-up appointments with their ND at least every 2-3 months and prescribing Medical Doctor (MD) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) at least every 6 months. Appointments should also be arranged any time there is a significant change in your health (eg: new medications, treatments, or symptoms)

Bloodwork (Creatinine and CBC levels) must be monitored every 1-3 months during treatment (unless otherwise specified by ordering MD/NP).

If you are a potential new patient who would like to receive care at the CHI, including IV therapy, our Intake Coordinator will be happy to help you set up your initial appointments and review what’s needed to make this all possible.

If you are a current patient at the CHI, please call our reception. Please be advised that if you have not previously discussed IV therapies with your Naturopathic Doctor (ND) at the CHI, a follow-up appointment may be required. Please be advised that if you currently see other practitioner(s) at the CHI and have not previously seen one of the NDs at the CHI, you will need to book a 90 minute initial consultation with an ND.

You can reach our Intake Coordinator and our reception at:

All patients must follow the steps outline above under “What steps must I follow to receive IV therapy at the CHI?” This process is in place to ensure safe care for all patients.

Every effort will be made to book patients for the first available appointments. However, please note that depending on the volume of patients currently at the clinic, the wait times until the first available appointments may vary. Upon request, we are happy to add patients to our Cancellation List.

No! IV therapies are offered to patients on a case-by-case basis and are not appropriate for all patients in our care.

No therapy or therapies are mandatory to become or remain a patient at the CHI.

Fees: Please see Fees Tab under Our Services for a complete list of costs.

Process: The process is outlined above under the question “What steps must I follow to receive IV therapy at the CHI?”  If you have any general questions about the process of receiving IV therapy, our Intake Coordinator will be pleased to speak with you. You may reach them at 613-792-1222 or 1-855-546-1244 (toll-free).

Determining if these Therapies are Right for You: In order to determine if you could benefit from these therapies, you will need to have consultations with your team of practitioners at the CHI. Patient-specific questions such as eligibility, feasibility, dose, frequency, etc. can be discussed in an appointment with the your Naturopathic Doctor at the CHI.

Evidence and Research Summaries: We offer a summary of the current published literature on CHI’s patient Research Summaries, which can be found under our Research Tab.