/Vitamin B12 Injections
Vitamin B12 Injections 2018-03-20T01:32:09+00:00

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B-12, also called Cobalamin, is a water-soluble B complex vitamin found naturally in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, and dairy products.

Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods and is available as a dietary supplement.

After the body uses  these vitamins, leftover amounts leave the body through the urine.

The body can store Vitamin B-12 for years in the liver.

Woman Confused

Benefits of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B-12 injections are commonly prescribed to help prevent or treat pernicious anemia, a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the intestines cannot properly absorb Vitamin B-12, and B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B-12 is needed for normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. Vitamin B-12 protects the nervous system and without it, permanent damage, such as blindness and deafness, may occur.

Some weight-loss clinics offer Vitamin B-12 injections as part of their weight-loss programs. To work properly, users of B12 should follow a diet and exercise regularly.

Vitamin B-12 is used to treat fatigue, increases immunity to diseases, ease anxiety, decrease hunger, and encourage normal sleep patterns.

Cyanocobalamin

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of B12 which can be used to prevent or treat low levels of Vitamin B12. It provides your body with the ability to maintain healthy blood cells, nerves, and metabolism.

When using Cyanocobalamin, be wary of using high doses of Vitamin C as it may interfere with B12 absorption.

Cyanocobalamin is indicated for use in people experiencing pernicious anemia, gastrointestinal pathology, fish tapeworm infestation, malignancy of pancreas or bowel, and folic acid deficiency.

Be sure to tell your physician if you are allergic to Cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, multivitamins, have multiple sclerosis, or an allergy to cobalt. Also, there are possible negative reactions with the following medications so mention them to your physician; Chloramphenicol; colchicine; folic acid; methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall); para-aminosalicylic acid (Paser); and pyrimethamine (Daraprim).

This medication should be given by injection into a muscle or subcutaneously. It is important to note that if the medication is given intravenously that most of it will be wasted and expelled in the urine instead of being absorbed.

Injections should be scheduled at a normal interval to help maintain your B12 levels at an acceptable level.

Methylcobalamin

Methylcobalamin is a cobalamin form of Vitamin B12 which differs from Cyanocobalamin by replacing the cyanide with a methyl group.

A methyl group is an alkyl derived from methane, containing one carbon atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms — CH3. Besides the composition, Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin are used in very much the same way. The main differences are that Methylcobalamin uses a methyl group and is said to last longer while Cyanocobalamin uses a cyanide group.

Cyanide is a poison and is not used by the body so it is subsequently expelled. Although there is cyanide in Cyanocobalamin, it has not been proven that there is any negative effect in the body.

There are contraindications for Methylcobalamin such as allergic reactions to Methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin, cobalt, have multiple sclerosis, or a folate deficiency.

This medication should be given by injection into a muscle or subcutaneously.

It is important to note that if the medication is given intravenously that most of it will be wasted and expelled in the urine instead of being absorbed. Injections should be scheduled at a normal interval to help maintain your B12 levels at an acceptable level.

Classification

Vitamin Supplement – Vitamin B-12 is a synthetic vitamin for individuals who have a deficiency in Vitamin B-12 or for individuals with pernicious anemia

Availability:

  • Solution for injection

Administration:

Intermuscular

  • Give deep into a large muscle

Therapeutic Effects:

Effective for treatment of:

  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency – low levels of stored B-12 in the body
  • Pernicious anemia – a blood disorder caused by inadequate Vitamin B-12 in the blood

Indications:

Vitamin B-12 injections are recommended for use in individuals with pernicious anemia, and Vitamin B-12 deficiency

Contraindications:

  • History of sensitivity to Vitamin B-12
  • Indiscriminate use in folic acid deficiency

Cautious Use:

  • Pregnancy
  • Lactation

Patient Education:

  • Notify prescriber of any current disease or infection.
  • It is imperative to understand that drug therapy must be continued throughout life for pernicious anemia to prevent irreversible neurologic damage
  • Neurologic damage is considered irreversible if there is no improvement after 1 – 1.5 years of adequate therapy
  • Dietary deficiency of Vitamin B-12 has been observed in strict vegetarians (vegans) and their breast-fed infants as well as in the elderly

Side Effects:

Taken at normal doses, side effects are rare

Body – these effects can appear anywhere on the body

  • Itching
  • Pain/redness at the injection site
  • Feeling of swelling all over the body

Hematologic – these effects are disorders which affect the blood

  • Hypokalemia – low potassium levels in the blood

Gastrointestinal – these effects are found in the digestive tract which begins at the mouth, goes through the stomach, and ends with the intestines and rectum

  • Mild diarrhea

Central Nervous System – these effects impact the brain, spinal cord, and nerve messages throughout the body

  • Dizziness
  • Headache

References