Methylcobalamin, or vitamin B12, is a B-vitamin. It is found in a variety of foods such as fish, shellfish, meats, and dairy products. Although methylcobalamin and vitamin B12 are terms used interchangeably, vitamin B12 is also available as hydroxocobalamin, a less commonly prescribed drug product (see Hydroxocobalamin monograph), and methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is used to treat pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as to determine vitamin B12 absorption in the Schilling test. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin found in the foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products. Deficiency in healthy individuals is rare; the elderly, strict vegetarians (i.e., vegan), and patients with malabsorption problems are more likely to become deficient. If vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated with a vitamin B12 supplement, then anemia, intestinal problems, and irreversible nerve damage may occur.

Signs of B12 Deficiencies to look out for!

The most chemically complex of all the vitamins, methylcobalamin is a water-soluble, organometallic compound with a trivalent cobalt ion bound inside a corrin ring which, although similar to the porphyrin ring found in heme, chlorophyll, and cytochrome, has two of the pyrrole rings directly bonded. The central metal ion is Co (cobalt). Methylcobalamin cannot be made by plants or by animals; the only type of organisms that have the enzymes required for the synthesis of methylcobalamin are bacteria and archaea. Higher plants do not concentrate methylcobalamin from the soil, making them a poor source of the substance as compared with animal tissues.

How Are B12 Injections Administered?

  • Vitamin B12 is either injected under the skin or into muscle tissue. There are two types of synthetic B12. Synthetic B12 is simply the name for the vitamin when it is not found naturally in food. These two types are cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin.
  • These two forms of B12 have the same effects but have their own different strengths in different situations. We will discuss with you the most suitable method of injection and type of B12 for your needs during your initial consultation.

Injectable B12 Dosing

  • 1000mcg 3x per week

Additional Health benefits

Since vitamin B12 plays a vital roles in our bodies, developing a deficiency of the vitamin can have serious, adverse health consequences. In addition, B-12 shots reduce the risk of some serious complications associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency including:

  • heart disease
  • neurocognitive disorders
  • 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

When you get a vitamin B12 injection, you’re essentially getting a high dose shot of the nutrient to alleviate any symptoms involved in a deficiency. A B12 shot is used to rapidly elevate the blood levels of a person who is deficient. A prescription is required in order for this type of injection to be administered. Vitamin B12 shots are injected into the muscle tissue every other day for the first two weeks (or until an improvement is seen in your symptoms). After that, you’ll need a shot every 1-3 months but this can vary based on the age of the patient as well as their medical history.

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