Intravenous mistletoe is given in different ways and patients can see a variety of effects depending on exactly what is done. Generally intravenous mistletoe is an intervention that bolsters and supports the innate healing forces of the body. As these forces include the immune system it is possible to feel tired the day of or after the infusions though the majority of patients feel uplifted, stronger and find pain has diminished. Occasionally symptoms of muscle aches, headache or low grade fever can temporarily occur- these are a consequence of immune system upregulation and typically subside after a few hours or by the following day. Overt fever is quite uncommon but possible. In general these symptoms are best managed naturally and not with over the counter motrin or tylenol.
Though hypersensitivity to mistletoe is rare, it almost always occurs during the infusion. Patients get an itchy generalized rash without any other symptoms of unwellness. This type of reaction will subside with either natural treatments, benadryl, or just over time. It typically does not recur and is not an actual allergy.
We have encountered only one case of anaphylaxis in our many years of practice (the patient was fine after some interventions). Though extraordinarily rare, it is important to perform infusions only with a trained, experienced practitioner prepared for this reaction. Our team has experience in the ER, ICU, and other fast paced settings and are well equipped.
Mistletoe infusions are given in the clinic 3 days per week for 6 weeks, or an abbreviated course is possible daily over 2 weeks. During this time the dose is generally increased to a maximum and the duration is necessary to allow the mistletoe to have an effect on your body and against the tumor cells. Infusions last from 1 to 3 hours depending on the brand of mistletoe and if other nutritional infusions are infused that day.
Other therapies such as the Intense Dome Sauna, Hyperbaric Oxygen, Herbal Compresses, Eurythmy (a movement therapy with anti-cancer sequences), and organ stimulation can be done concurrently or on separate days.
MFIT: Mistletoe Fever Induction Therapy
Purposefully inducing fever with mistletoe is performed by using a high lectin content mistletoe intravenously together with a subcutaneous dose. It is more intense and less gentle than standard intravenous mistletoe and is unavailable in most clinics in the United States. In a patient who has never had mistletoe before, it is a method that can usually give a robust fever (often up to 104F). Usually the fever lasts a day, with a low grade the second day, and just flu-like symptoms the third day.
The skin injection area often is 3-4 inches, red, tender, and swollen (biopsies of these reactions in studies have shown the area full of Natural Killer cells). Typically afterwards patients feel rejuvenated. Fevers are usually provoked at most once per week. This can be done together with infusion of mistletoe during the rest of the week or subcutaneous injection of mistletoe at home. MFIT tends to work best with otherwise healthy immune systems. Unlike stand alone mistletoe infusions, it is usually not done concurrently with chemotherapy. On average, patients can do about 6 robust fevers with mistletoe (the fever effect starts to diminish after 3 treatments) though some patients can continue responding further out.