What to Expect from B12 Injections
If you enjoy the effects of your B12 injection, you will be able to continue using them for the rest of your life, unless advised by a medical professional. Every person has different needs though, so it’s important to pay attention to your body when deciding how often to get injections. You may get several shots the first week or two after, but then decrease the frequency to once a month, while still maintaining the benefits. Once you begin noticing longer-lasting results, we may encourage you to switch to a six-week interval, then increase it to two months between shots.
There are a few things that can make your B12 injection less effective or shorten the length of time you can enjoy the benefits. People with certain liver disorders may need the shot more often. If you do not eat a diet rich in B12 vitamins or drink alcohol regularly, you may need to supplement with an injection sooner rather than later. To prolong the effects of the extra boost, be sure to eat a well-balanced diet that includes fish, beef, liver, eggs, dairy, and foods fortified with B vitamins, and limit your consumption of alcohol.
In most cases, an injection of vitamin B12 is going to make you feel fantastic. Right after you receive the shot, however, you may see some slight skin irritation at the injection site. Redness and swelling may occur, and the area may be painful for a few hours. Give yourself the time to avoid vigorous activity right after the treatment to minimize these side effects.
You may also experience some other reactions immediately after the injection is administered. The sudden increase in B12 can cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches when first injected into the muscle. The human body is usually quick to adjust, though, so these symptoms should fade soon afterward.
Generally, the risk of B12 toxicity or overdose is only low, but keep in mind that vitamin B12 shots may probably give other side effects. It’s recommended to seek medical advice if experiencing the following or if these issues persist or worsen:
- Mild diarrhea
- Redness and pain at the injection site
- Swelling sensation in the body
- Temporary itching of the skin
There may also be a risk of:
- Anaphylaxis (body goes into shock)
- Congestive heart failure
- Peripheral vascular thrombosis (involves blood clots)
- Polycythemia vera (a type of blood cancer)
- Pulmonary edema (too much fluid in the lungs)
If you begin experiencing difficulty breathing, swelling, and hives, patients must seek emergency medical help. If experiencing anaphylaxis, or a severe allergic reaction, we encourage you to seek immediate medical advice, whether that be through our practice or your physician.
Megadoses of up to 2,000 mcg are considered safe in treating a B12 deficiency, but it’s best to avoid excessive amounts of any vitamins, especially when not needed. Daily high doses of B12 may not likely cause harm in most people, but extremely high doses should possibly be avoided unless a healthcare professional prescribes it.
Common Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Eating a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet should provide all the B12 their body needs for those not at risk for B12 deficiency. Sources of vitamin 12 would come from red meat, eggs, seafood, poultry, milk, yogurt, fortified cereals, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast.
Anyone who has signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia should consult a doctor. The signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:
- Difficulty thinking and remembering
- Heart palpitations
- Low appetite
- Mood changes
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Pale skin
- Sore tongue
- Weight loss