Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that plays an important role in several functions in the body such as red blood cell production and normal nerve and muscle function. B12 is a vitamin used to treat vitamin B12 deficiency in people with pernicious anemia and other conditions. Vitamin B12 is a an essential vitamin found in foods of animal origin such as meat, eggs and dairy. Vegetables provide a poor dietary source for vitamin B12. Deficiency in B12 in healthy individuals is rare. However, as we age our ability to adequate absorb B12 from our diet diminishes and medications we take may also interfere with our ability to absorb B12. Strict vegetarians/vegans and patients with malabsorption problems are more likely to become deficient. If left untreated anemia can occur. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to abnormal neurologic and psychiatric symptoms including shaking of the extremities and unsteady gait, muscle weakness, decreased sensation (neuropathy), incontinence, vision problems, dementia, psychosis, and mood disturbance.
What are the benefits of Vitamin B12 injections?
- Improvement in cognitive function
- Increased energy
- Increases metabolism
- Reduces anxiety
- Supports hair growth by improving red blood cell production which helps to provide nourishment to the hair follicles.
- Reduces the frequency of headaches
- Improves cardiovascular health by reducing homocysteine levels in the blood.
How is the injectable form of Vitamin B12 different from the over the counter oral version?
The injectable form of vitamin B12 is absorbed more effectively by the body than other forms of the vitamin particularly the oral form. The injectable form of vitamin B12 is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, bypassing absorption thru the stomach, making it more readily accessible to the body for use.
What are the most common side effects of injectable Vitamin B12?
- Mild Diarrhea
- Upset Stomach
- Joint Pain
* Discomfort, redness and swelling at the injection site are common. However; any significant discomfort or pain as well as increasing warmth, fever, streaking or significant swelling should be reported immediately to ANEWU Medical Spa, P.C. or your primary care provider.
What are the less common side effects of injectable Vitamin B12?
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Chest Pain/tightness
- Flushed Face
- Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing
- Rapid Weight Gain
- Rash or Hives
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Pulmonary Edema
- Blood Clot
- Low Potassium Level
How often should I receive Vitamin B12 injections?
Everyone’s body chemistry is different and therefore the number and frequency of vitamin B12 injections can vary between patients. Typically patients that have a documented vitamin B12 deficiency will require 1-2 injections of vitamin B12 a week for the first 1-2 months and then monthly injections to maintain levels thereafter. Often times dosing and frequency of treatments is based on patient’s reported symptoms.
Do you check blood work prior to or after Vitamin B12 injections?
We do not check blood work prior to or after Vitamin B12 injections. The use of B12 injections in the medical spa industry are intended as an overall supplement to one’s health. Improvement in one’s symptoms is subjective. Patient’s individualized treatment schedules are determined based on their reported concerns and symptoms. We do ask that patients maintain a routine relationship with a primary care provider which generally requires annual blood work as well as a routine annual physical exam as it is important to report any changes in one’s medical health prior to treatment.
Are there any contraindications to Vitamin B12 injections?
- Pregnancy (or trying to become)
- Pernicious Anemia
- Leber’s Disease (a hereditary eye disease)
- Megaloblastic Anemia
- Kidney Disease
- Active Infection
- Iron Deficiency
- Folic Acid Deficiency
- Receiving any treatment that affects bone marrow
- Polycythemia Vera (a blood disorder)
- History of Gout
- Current/Recent Use of Methotrexate
Allergy or sensitivity to the following are contraindications to injectable Vitamin B12 treatment:
- Vitamin Dye
- B12 Containing Foods
- Benzyl Alcohol
Can I get toxic from too much Vitamin B12?
Elevated B12 levels that are the result from taking oral, nasal, or injected forms of vitamin B12, known as exogenous forms, are unlikely to cause any serious harm since B12 is a water soluble vitamin. Generally 50-60% of the vitamin is excreted by the body within the first 48 hours of injection or ingestion. Elevated B12 levels not related to taking “exogenous” or supplemental forms of vitamin B12 should be evaluated by a medical professional.