Do I Need to Take Vitamin B12 Shots

Vitamin B12 is essential for normal functioning of your body. Without it, you cannot make red blood cells or absorb oxygen from the air. You would die without it. A deficiency of vitamin b12 can cause mental retardation, blindness, heart failure and even death. Your doctor will prescribe a daily dose of 10 micrograms (mcg) per kilogram (2 pounds). The recommended amount of vitamin b12 is usually given once every two weeks.

The Recommended Amount of Vitamin B12 Is Usually Given Once Every Two Weeks

In order to ensure proper absorption, it’s best if you take the vitamin b12 injections at least one day before eating or drinking anything with alcohol. Also, don’t drink coffee within four hours after taking your injection.

If you’re concerned about getting sick from taking too much vitamin b12, then you can use a special form of the vitamin b12 called methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is not absorbed well through the skin so it’s best to inject it into your arm or leg rather than directly into your vein. It’s very important to only use the form of b12 called methylcobalamin as other forms will not work and can even be toxic.

If you’re unsure about the best way to inject the vitamin b12, then ask your doctor as it can differ from person to person. For instance, if you are obese or have trouble with your veins, then your doctor may advise you to inject the vitamin b12 into your leg. If you haven’t had a shot for many years, then your doctor might advise you to inject vitamin b12 into your arm as it is easier than the leg.

If you’re concerned that someone might mistake the needle for that of an insulin syringe, then ask your doctor or pharmacist for a syringe with clear markings of 1 and 2 on the plunger. The markings should be very clear and easy to see to avoid any confusion.

Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin, which means that any excess amounts that your body doesn’t need are simply passed out in your urine. You should, therefore, take the smallest dose of b12 every day that your doctor has recommended. Since the largest recommended dose is 1000 mcg (1mg), you shouldn’t start with that if this is your first time taking it.

Taking the right amount of B12 can help you to avoid the symptoms of a B12 deficiency which include:

Tiredness

Weakness

Do I Need to Take Vitamin B12 Shots - from our website

Weight loss

Loss of appetite

Mental confusion

Constipation

Pale skin

You can also ask your doctor for advice on how to get enough vitamin b12 in your diet. Good sources of b12 are meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.

 

Sources & references used in this article:

Update on vitamin B12 deficiency by RC Langan, KJ Zawistoski – American family physician, 2011 – aafp.org

Vitamin B12 by R Oh, DL Brown – American Family Physician, 2003 – aafp.org

Oral vitamin B12 can change our practice by E Nyholm, P Turpin, D Swain, B Cunningham… – Postgraduate medical …, 2003 – pmj.bmj.com

Efficacy of oral cobalamin (vitamin B12) therapy by E Andrès, H Fothergill, M Mecili – Expert opinion on …, 2010 – Taylor & Francis

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Underdiagnosed, Overtreated? Case Commentary by RF Schilling, WJ Williams – Hospital Practice, 1995 – Taylor & Francis

ORAL TREATMENT OF PERNICIOUS ANEMIA WITH HIGH DOSES OF VITAMIN B12 WITHOUT INTRINSIC FACTOR by H Berlin, R Berlin, G Brante – Acta Medica Scandinavica, 1968 – Wiley Online Library

Vitamin B12 deficiency: recognition and management by RC Langan, AJ Goodbred – American family physician, 2017 – aafp.org