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How do you make a vitamin C shot at home?

Vitamin C shots have become increasingly popular due to their many potential health benefits. Some of the top purported benefits of vitamin C shots include immune system support, increased collagen production, and antioxidant protection. While vitamin C shots are commonly administered in medical spas and by intravenous (IV) therapists, it is possible to make your own vitamin C shots at home.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for human health. It acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C also supports immune function, wound healing, and collagen formation.

Unlike most mammals, humans cannot synthesize vitamin C endogenously. Therefore, we must obtain vitamin C from dietary sources such as fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and strawberries are among the foods highest in vitamin C.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75-90 mg for adults. While vitamin C deficiency is rare today, symptoms include fatigue, weakness, joint pain, and susceptibility to infections. Smokers have an increased vitamin C requirement due to the oxidative stress caused by cigarette smoke.

Benefits of Vitamin C Shots

Vitamin C shots provide a large, concentrated dose of ascorbic acid directly into the bloodstream. This allows for higher vitamin C levels than what can generally be achieved through diet alone. Some potential benefits of vitamin C shots include:

  • Supports immune function – Vitamin C supports the production and function of lymphocytes and phagocytes, two types of white blood cells instrumental for immune defense.
  • Increases collagen formation – Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein found in skin, bones, blood vessels, and other connective tissues.
  • Acts as an antioxidant – Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals and reactive oxygen species that can damage cells and contribute to aging.
  • Fights viral infections – High-dose vitamin C may interfere with viral replication, potentially shortening the duration of viral infections.
  • Enhances wound healing – Vitamin C promotes collagen formation and new blood vessel growth, important factors in healing wounds.
  • Improves absorption of non-heme iron – Vitamin C enhances the bioavailability of iron from plant foods by converting ferric iron to the more bioavailable ferrous form.

However, it’s important to note that some potential benefits of vitamin C shots are not yet conclusively proven. More research is still needed on the efficacy of high-dose vitamin C.

Is it Safe to Make Your Own Vitamin C Shots?

When prepared properly using sterile technique, it can be safe to administer your own vitamin C shots at home. However, there are some important safety considerations:

  • Use only sterile pharmaceutical-grade ascorbic acid intended for injection. Food or supplement grade vitamin C products are not safe for injections.
  • Adhere to proper sterile technique when preparing the shots to avoid infection. Wash hands thoroughly and wipe down the preparation area with disinfecting wipes.
  • Use new, sterile needles and syringes each time. Never reuse needles.
  • Rotate injection sites to allow areas time to heal between injections.
  • Start with lower vitamin C doses and increase slowly while monitoring for side effects.
  • Do not make vitamin C shots for others unless you are a licensed medical professional.

When manufactured in regulated pharmaceutical facilities, intravenous vitamin C is well-tolerated with minimal side effects. However, use caution when preparing your own shots due to increased infection risk. Seek medical advice if you experience any signs of infection at injection sites or have other reactions.

What You’ll Need

If you decide to make your own vitamin C shots at home, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Ascorbic acid powder – Pharmaceutical grade only, do not use food or supplement grade.
  • Sterile water – Use distilled or bacteriostatic water.
  • New sterile syringes – 1mL insulin syringes work well.
  • Sterile needles – 25-27 gauge is recommended.
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Gauze
  • Tourniquet
  • Sharps container for needle disposal
  • Sterile glass or plastic mixing containers

These supplies can be purchased online or from medical supply stores. Only use pharmaceutical grade products intended for injection.

Choosing a Vitamin C Dosage

When administered by a trained professional, vitamin C shots can deliver very high doses in the range of 25,000-100,000 mg. However, when preparing your own shots, it’s best to start low and gradually increase the dosage.

Here are some general dosage guidelines when making your own vitamin C shots:

  • 1,000 – 3,000 mg per shot – Beginner dosage for self-administration.
  • 3,000 – 10,000 mg per shot – Intermediate dosage after building tolerance.
  • 10,000 mg+ per shot – Advanced dosages that require more precautions.

Start with 1,000-3,000 mg 1-3 times per week and monitor your response. Increase the dose gradually while staying below bowel tolerance levels. Do not exceed 10,000 mg per shot unless you are already accustomed to high-dose IV vitamin C administration. Consider seeking professional medical supervision for advanced dosing.

Determining Bowel Tolerance

Bowel tolerance is the maximum dose of vitamin C that can be taken orally without causing gastrointestinal side effects like cramping and diarrhea. Bowel tolerance varies substantially between individuals, with some able to tolerate 50,000+ mg per day. Bowel tolerance can help guide your upper dosage limit when self-administering vitamin C shots.

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to prepare vitamin C shots safely at home:

  1. Gather your sterile supplies – You’ll need pharmaceutical grade ascorbic acid powder, sterile water, sterile syringes, needles, mixing containers, alcohol swabs, etc.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly – Thoroughly wash hands and forearms with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds. This helps prevent contamination.
  3. Disinfect your preparation area – Wipe down your entire preparation area including the counter and any supplies with disinfecting wipes or 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  4. Draw up sterile water into the syringe – Remove the cap from the syringe and needle. Draw your desired amount of sterile water into the syringe.
  5. Add vitamin C powder – In your sterile mixing container, dilute your chosen amount of ascorbic acid powder in a small amount of sterile water. Draw this solution into the syringe with water.
  6. Gently mix the solution – Turn the syringe upside down and gently pull back on the plunger to mix the powder evenly into the water.
  7. Inspect for particles – Ensure the solution is fully dissolved without any undissolved powder particles which could block the needle.
  8. Find injection site – Suitable injection sites include the upper arm, thigh, abdomen, or top of buttocks.
  9. Clean injection site – Use an alcohol swab to disinfect a 2-inch area around your chosen injection site.
  10. Remove excess air from syringe – Hold the syringe upright and gently push the plunger to remove any air bubbles from the syringe barrel.
  11. Insert the needle – Quickly insert the needle firmly into the injection site at a 90° angle. For intramuscular (IM) injections, insert the full length of the needle.
  12. Pull back to check for blood – Pull back gently on the plunger and check for blood entering the syringe barrel. If present, withdraw and insert in a different location.
  13. Inject the solution – If no blood appears, slowly and steadily depress the plunger fully to deliver the vitamin C solution.
  14. Withdraw the needle – After fully depressing the plunger, smoothly withdraw the needle straight out.
  15. Apply pressure – Use gauze to apply firm pressure to the injection site for 1-2 minutes to avoid bruising.
  16. Dispose of used needle safely – Do not recap or reuse needles. Dispose of used needles in a sharps container.

After administering the injection, monitor yourself for any side effects like flushing, dizziness, headache, or nausea. Seek prompt medical attention if you experience concerning reactions.

Precautions and Warnings

While considered generally safe when used appropriately, there are some important precautions regarding vitamin C shots:

  • Do not exceed 10,000 mg vitamin C per shot until you have built up substantial tolerance.
  • Monitor for gastrointestinal side effects and adjust dosage downward if bowel tolerance is exceeded.
  • Use only freshly prepared vitamin C solutions – do not store used solutions for later injection.
  • Rotate injection sites and allow areas to fully heal between injections.
  • See a doctor immediately if injection site redness, swelling, or drainage occurs.
  • Do not administer vitamin C IV injections without specialized training – serious complications can result.
  • Consult your physician before use if pregnant, breastfeeding, or chronically ill.

High dose vitamin C injections are not recommended for people with the following conditions:

  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • Iron overload disorders like hemochromatosis
  • History of kidney stones
  • Renal impairment or failure

Discontinue use if you experience concerning side effects or an adverse reaction occurs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to buy vitamin C powder for injections?

In the United States, it is legal to purchase pharmaceutical grade injectable vitamin C online without a prescription. Some countries classify high-dose vitamin C injection solutions as prescription medicines.

How long does a vitamin C shot last in your body?

When administered intravenously, vitamin C levels peak within 30 minutes. Levels start to decline as vitamin C gets excreted from the body through the kidneys. However, some studies indicate the biological effects of a vitamin C injection may persist for up to 2 weeks.

Can vitamin C shots boost immune system?

Some research indicates high-dose vitamin C may support immune cell function and protect against infections. More evidence is still needed to conclusively determine if vitamin C shots can boost immunity.

Do vitamin C shots hurt?

Vitamin C shots should not be very painful. You may feel a quick pinprick as the needle goes in followed by a burning sensation as the vitamin C solution is delivered. Use a thin needle, inject slowly, and massage the area afterward to minimize discomfort.

How often should you get a vitamin C injection?

Frequency depends on your individual dosage and goals. Those using lower doses may inject 1,000-3,000 mg once or twice weekly. With higher doses over 10,000 mg, spacing injections at least 3 days apart allows for absorption and clearance.

The Bottom Line

When prepared properly using sterile technique, vitamin C shots can be safely self-administered at home. However, use caution and start with lower dosages below bowel tolerance. While vitamin C injections are generally well tolerated, monitor closely for side effects and seek prompt medical attention if any concerning reactions occur.