Pain and Vitamin C

Practitioner Guidance

Inflammation and Nervous Function

Pain is a common symptom in many different medical conditions, and may have a serious effect on a person’s physical, emotional and social functioning and overall quality of life. It is often associated with inflammation, injury or damage to part of the nervous system.

Vitamin C not only reduces inflammation and promotes healing but also plays a crucial role in maintaining the functioning of the central nervous system. An increasing body of evidence indicates that administering vitamin C can alleviate pain in some conditions. While it is not regarded as an analgesic, it does help modify pain and the use of narcotic medicines such as morphine.

What the Research Says

  • There is some evidence that intravenous vitamin C can be used as an adjunctive therapy to reduce acute herpetic pain and promote fast healing. 1
  • A recent randomized controlled trial has shown that patients who received 3g of vitamin C infusion at the beginning of the surgery had significantly less pain and reduced need for pain relief following the surgery without any side effects. 2
  • Intravenous vitamin C has been administered to cancer patients for decades to alleviate a number of cancer-related symptoms, including pain. 3 Most of the studies have reported at least 30% reduction in pain in patients with cancer who were administered intravenous vitamin C. 4 Read more about quality of life during illness and vitamin C.


  1. Schencking M, Vollbracht C, Weiss G, Lebert J, Biller A, Goyvaerts B, Kraft K. Intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of shingles: Results of a multicenter prospective cohort study. Med Sci Monit. 2012;18(4):CR215-CR224.
  2. Jeon Y, Park J S, Moon S, Yeo J. Effect of intravenous high dose vitamin C on postoperative pain and morphine use after laparoscopic colectomy: A randomized controlled trial. Pain Res Manag. 2016;2016:9147279.
  3. Carr AC, Vissers MCM, Cook J. The effect of intravenous vitamin C on cancer- and chemotherapy-related fatigue and quality of life. Front Oncol. 2014;4:283.
  4. Carr AC, McCall C. The role of vitamin C in the treatment of pain: new insights. J Transl Med. 2017;15(1):77.

The information provided here is only for general reference and cannot replace personalised professional medical advice from a doctor.

Introductory Material

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Vitamin C

EDTA Chelation