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Vitamin B-12 Injection


Boost yourself up with a Vitamin B-12 shot! Vitamin B-12 offers a variety of benefits.

Vitamin B-12

Treatment Information

What is it?

Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. It is mainly found in animal-based food sources where it is bound to the protein molecules. Vitamin B-12 is most commonly found in dairy products, eggs, fish, and poultry. Other food products have been fortified with Vitamin B-12 to help combat vitamin deficiency. Vitamin B-12 is separated from the protein during digestion and is absorbed into the bloodstream. Adequate stomach acid is required to release the vitamin from the protein, and a substance called intrinsic factor is necessary to ensure its absorption. Vitamin B-12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt; compounds with vitamin B-12 activity are collectively called “cobalamins”. Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B-12 that are active in human metabolism. Vitamin B-12 status is typically assessed via a blood test.

Values below approximately 170–250 pg/mL for adults indicate a vitamin B-12 deficiency.. Only about 1.5 to 15% of the general populations are B-12 deficient. Those at risk for B-12 deficiency are older adults, those diagnosed with pernicious anemia, those with gastrointestinal disorders, those with previous gastrointestinal surgery or bypass, heavy drinkers, those with certain immune system disorders, vegetarians, and pregnant and lactating Vitamin B-12 shots are injections that can be prescribed to treat a vitamin B-12 deficiency. A deficiency in this essential nutrient can lead to an array of health problems, ranging from fatigue to permanent neurological changes.

Vitamin B-12 can be taken in the form of injections, allowing it to be absorbed into the bloodstream with or without adequate intrinsic factor.

The many other functions in the body where Vitamin B-12 plays a role:

  • DNA synthesis

  • energy production

  • nerve cell health

  • red blood cell formation

  • neurological function

What are the benefits?

There are several reasons to consider getting a B-12 shot, including:

Reduced risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency and associated complications The most obvious benefit of receiving vitamin B-12 shots is treating a vitamin B-12 deficiency and avoiding its associated symptoms.

In addition, B-12 shots reduce the risk of some serious complications associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency including:

heart disease: Vitamin B12 helps reduce the body’s levels of homocysteine, a sulfur containing amino acid present in the blood and thought to promote thrombogenesis (clotting) in the body’s vasculature. Elevated homocysteine levels are linked to Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke, both conditions where blood flow is impeded by a comprised vasculature.

neurocognitive disorders: Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Although we still lack research to show that increased vitamin B12 decreases the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, we do know that it lowers homocysteine levels and that it does no harm to our neurological functioning.

  • coordination problems (ataxia)

  • peripheral neuropathy

  • vision loss

  • infertility (although this usually resolves with B-12 treatment)

  • neural tube defects in the babies of women with B-12 deficiency


older adults: B-12 shots bypass the stomach and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Therefore, they are a better option than oral supplements for those who have gastrointestinal issues, including older adults who have low levels of stomach acid or intrinsic factor.

What is the recovery time?

There is no recovery time. Quick injection in the subcutaneous tissue above your deltoid muscle and you are done!

Who needs B-12 shots?

It is important to note that low levels are rare in most healthy adults because the human liver stores several years’ worth of vitamin B-12.

However, some groups of people are more at risk of deficiency than others and may wish to discuss the possibility of B-12 shots with their doctor. These at-risk groups include:

  • People with signs and symptoms of B-12 deficiency

  • Anyone who is displaying any of the signs and symptoms of a B-12 deficiency or pernicious anemia should consult their doctor immediately.


Some common signs and symptoms of B-12 deficiency:

  • decreased cognitive function, such as issues with memory or understanding

  • fatigue

  • lethargy

  • constipation

  • feeling faint

  • depression or irritability

  • headache

  • difficulty maintaining balance

  • sore, swollen tongue, which may be pale yellow or very red

  • heart palpitations

  • mouth ulcers

  • paraesthesia (pins and needles)

  • vision changes


Those with certain B-12 deficiency risk factors:

  • diabetes and some medications for type 2 diabetes

  • alcohol abuse

  • smoking

  • certain prescription medications, including antacids and some type 2 diabetes drugs

  • having an endocrine-related autoimmune disorder, such as diabetes or a thyroid disorder

  • eating a vegetarian or vegan diet

  • certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease

  • gastric bypass or the removal of parts of the stomach

  • aging


The Institute of Medicine recommend that adults over 50 meet their vitamin B-12 needs with fortified foods, B-12 shots, or other supplements, as these man-made forms appear to be more readily absorbed than naturally occurring B-12.


Vegetarians and vegans: as vitamin B-12 is found mainly in fish, meat, eggs, and dairy, people who do not consume these foods are at risk of B-12 deficiency and may benefit from regular B-12 shots or other supplements.

What are the side effect associated with B-12 injections?

There is no upper limit for the intake of vitamin B-12 because the risk of toxicity or overdose is extremely low.

However, B-12 shots may have other side effects.

Mild side effects and potential risks, which should be referred to a doctor if they persist or worsen, include:

  • pain, redness, or itching at the site of the injection

  • mild diarrhea

  • swelling sensation in the body


More serious side effects, which require immediate medical attention, include:

  • muscle cramps

  • irregular heartbeat

  • unusual weakness or tiredness

  • swelling of the ankles or feet


Severe reactions are very rare but require emergency intervention. These include:

  • itching and swelling of the face, throat, or tongue

  • breathing difficulties

  • severe dizziness

  • sudden vision changes

  • slurred speech

  • How long does it last?

How many injections are typically needed?

There is no set amount, unless you have been clinically diagnosed as Vitamin B-12 deficient. If you are at risk, vegetarian, or just taking extra precaution we recommend an injection once every two weeks at the most. An injection once a month is very common for any at risk groups.

How much does it cost?

  • One Time Injection $25

  • 5 Injection Package $100

  • 10 Injection Package $180

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