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Frequently Asked Questions
Vitamin B12 Injection FAQS
1. Is it safe to have Vitamin B12?
For the great majority, yes. B12 is a water soluble vitamin - which means that surplus is not retained in the tissues, it is passed out of the body via the kidneys and therefore will not reach toxic levels. B12 itself is effectively stored by combining with protein molecules in the liver and muscle. The only people who need to be wary are those with known allergy to cobalt, and those who are suffering from a few illnesses - please refer to our self declaration and consent forms.
2. Why can't I get B12 injections from my own GP?
You might be able to do so, therefore it is always worth asking - and of course you will receive them if you have a diagnosed B12 deficiency - but many of our clients come to us because their GPs are unwilling to offer treatment more frequently than every 3 months, which is the currently advised interval for treatment with B12 for proven deficiency.
3. I have been told my levels are fine, are they?
There are two things to consider here - first, what is a true adequate level of B12, and second, how well your body is handling B12 once it is in the system. On the first matter, the textbook definition of B12 deficiency is set at a low level (in the region of less than 200 pg/ml). Some experts advise that levels of 400 or higher should be considered as the lower limit of normality. Then there is the question of how effectively the individual handles B12 once it is in the system. Some believe that the standard B12 test is too crude, as it measures all forms of B12 in the blood - including the inactive form, which may be up to 90% of the total measured. It is possible to measure Active B12, and other B12 related compounds such as MMA and Homocysteine, which may paint a more accurate picture of the true state of play
4. I'm not sure, my test says I'm ok, but my symptoms suggest B12 deficiency...how will I know?
Whilst of course helpful, and to be encouraged before embarking upon treatment, testing for B12 is imperfect, and many believe (even those that have apparently normal levels) that regular B12 injections can result in considerable relief from many symptoms.
5. I would like to try it, how often should I have the injection?
Ideally, you will be in discussion with a medical or other professional who has a good understanding of B12 and its role.We cannot recommend a particular regime, but many believe monthly injections are beneficial and some opt for more frequent regimes, even daily in a few situations. Importantly, as already stated, assuming there are no contraindications to treatment, frequent B12 injections are safe.
6. Can I just order the kit from you?
No, the reason we have set up this service in this way is to ensure good practice is followed - the B12 will only be delivered to the individual who has placed the order and declared themselves free from contraindications. Furthermore, by utilising professional nursing staff only, we know that the injection will be delivered in the safest possible way via the most appropriate route, which is intramuscular.
7. Where will I be injected, does it hurt?
Usually the upper arm (deltoid muscle), although the buttock (gluteus) or thigh (quadriceps) are equally acceptable. A brief sting is possible, but will not be long lasting. Reactions at the site of the injection are possible (redness, swelling) but are rare and short lived.
8. I have heard that Methylcobalamin may be more effective than Hydroxocobalamin when injected. Is that true?
It may well be, and some do indeed prefer that form when they have compared the effects of both forms. There is limited evidence available at the moment to support its use (in preference to Hydroxocobalamin), and there are some concerns about interaction with Folic acid in those who are supplementing with this Vitamin too. For the time being, we are not offering this form of B12 but if there is significant demand it may be considered in the future.
9. Is there anything else I should know about your service?