Intravenous Vitamin C Increases Risk of Death From Sepsis, New Study Warns

Patients receiving vassopressor therapy and vitamin C infusions faced a higher risk of death and other health complications, researchers determined.

Researchers warn that intensive care unit (ICU) patients given intravenous vitamin C for treatment sepsis may face an increased risk of organ failure or death.

A study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 15 raises concerns over the use of intravenous vitamin C in sepsis patients that are already receiving vasopressor therapy, indicating the combination of therapeutic treatments had a higher rate of mortality or persistent organ dysfunction.

Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by infection. It typically stems from serious infections like pneumonia, appendicitis, infections of the blood, and other infections like urinary infections and skin infections.

Roughly 1.7 million adults in the U.S. each year are diagnosed with sepsis, which results in 250,000 deaths. It is estimated that one in three patients who die in a U.S. hospital have sepsis as either the primary cause of death or as a contributing factor.

In this new study, Canadian researchers reviewed data from the phase III LOVIT trial conducted in France, Canada, and New Zealand involving patients diagnosed with sepsis who were receiving vasopressor therapy and had been in the ICU for no longer than 24 hours.
Researchers randomized a 1:1 ratio of patients receiving intravenous vitamin C for a total of 872 participants, 435 to the vitamin C group and 437 to the control group. A comparison of patient condition was measured at 28 days.

The study revealed 152 of 429 patients given vitamin C infusions died by the 28th day, whereas 137 of 434 not given vitamin C suffered fatal outcomes. For comparison, the fatality rate for vitamin C recipients was 35.4% compared to 31.6%, which the authors stated is a statistically significant difference.

Those given vitamin C intravenously were also associated with a nearly 4% higher risk of organ dysfunction and risk of experiencing a severe hypoglycemic episode or serious anaphylaxis event.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

Vitamin C has been used in patients diagnosed with sepsis for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, however, study authors stated both groups of sepsis patients had similar scores for risks of acute kidney injury and hypoglycemic episodes.

Lead author of the study, François Lamontagne, M.D of the of Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, and colleagues concluded the findings show a need for additional, larger scale studies to determine the safety and efficacy of intravenous administration of vitamin C for sepsis patients receiving simultaneous vasopressor therapy.


Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M
Gilead Settlement Resolves 2,625 HIV Drug Lawsuits Pending in Federal Courts for $40M (Posted yesterday)

Gilead says it will pay $40 million to resolve HIV drug lawsuits over Truvada, Atripla, Viread, Stribild and Complera pending in the federal court system, involving claims that the the company sat on safer formulations of the drugs for years to increase profits.

Gardasil Vaccine Lawsuits Being Prepared For Early Test Trials in Federal MDL
Gardasil Vaccine Lawsuits Being Prepared For Early Test Trials in Federal MDL (Posted 2 days ago)

In advance of a a conference this week, lawyers report that progress is being made to prepare a group of federal Gardasil vaccine lawsuits for early test trials, to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.