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Best Vitamin B12 Injection Site: Administering B12 Shots

Sep 24, 2020
Best Vitamin B12 Injection Site: Administering B12 Shots

Finding the Best Vitamin B12 Injection Site is a key aspect when Administering B12 Shots. After you find the best B12 Injection Locations, make sure you follow the steps here to avoid unnecessary discomfort or possible infection. Note: In the United States ALL injectables require a prescription from a licensed practitioner and can only be dispensed from a registered pharmacy.

What Is A B12 Injection?

Do you think your body gets enough vitamin B12? Vitamin B12 is an incredibly important vitamin used to keep the body, brain, nerve, and blood cells healthy. It also helps make your DNA. Luckily, vitamin B12 can be easily supplemented with B12 shots. There are also multiple locations on your body that can be used as a B12 injection site. If you are experiencing a vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms may include tiredness, weight loss, and constipation. B12 injections are an effective and rapid treatment for your body to quickly and efficiently absorb the vitamin it needs (NIH, n.d.). Symptoms can be subtle, but B12 shots can completely change how you feel on a day to day basis.

Best Vitamin B12 Injection Site: Administering B12 Shots

The Four Different Types Of Vitamin B12 Supplements:

  1. Methylcobalamin (Best) – Vitamin B12 injections also comes in the form of methylcobalamin, which is found naturally in foods, and is the most active form of B12. As opposed to cyanocobalamin, it is ready to be used by the body and is usually the most ideal and effective method for vitamin B12 injections.
  2. Cyanocobalamin – A vitamin B12 injection can contain cyanocobalamin, which is man-made. This is the inactive form of vitamin B12 that requires the body to expend more energy to convert and remove a cyanide molecule than other forms of B12.
  3. Hydroxocobalamin – Another man-made injectable form of vitamin B12 is hydroxocobalamin, which lasts longer in the bloodstream and requires fewer injections than cyanocobalamin.
  4. Adenosylcobalamin – The mitochondrial form of the B12 vitamin is adenosylcobalamin, which is naturally occurring but is the least stable of the four options.

Vitamin B12 Is Essential

B12 is an essential vitamin, which we typically get through our diet. Food sources of vitamin B12 include beef, dairy, poultry, and fish. There are many reasons why you may be low on vitamin B12, but treatment for these symptoms is fairly easy. B12 supplements come in multiple forms, one being an over the counter orally ingested pill.

Why Take Vitamin B12 Injections?

Some people who do not get enough B12 naturally in their diet. It’s no secret that we all live busy lives and often don’t have the greatest diets. Some people also have a hard time absorbing vitamin B12 through digestion. Vitamin B12 injections are an effective alternative method to treat symptoms and give your body the vitamin B12 it needs to function. Once you learn the options for B12 injection sites and you realize the benefits and straightforward steps of a vitamin B12 injection, it may be the best solution for you and an easy way to treat the symptoms of conditions such as a vitamin B12 deficiency and anemia.

Two Variations Of B12 Injections – Intramuscular And Subcutaneous

Vitamin B12 deficiency is most commonly treated with either intramuscular or subcutaneous injections.

  1. Intramuscular – These injections typically have better results and inject the medicine directly into the muscle, which is then absorbed by the surrounding muscle immediately.
  2. Subcutaneous – While less common, these injections are still an effective injection method where the needle is inserted just below the skin. For subcutaneous injections, the best site is your upper arm.

Intramuscular B12 Injections

Best Vitamin B12 Injection Site: Administering B12 Shots

The 3 Most Common B12 Injection Sites

There are 3 common B12 injection sites. A licensed practitioner from Invigor Medical can determine which site and method is best for you. They can also determine the right dosage, frequency, and injection site since it depends on your age, health, and comfort level.

  1. Upper Buttocks (Most Common)
  2. Shoulder
  3. Thigh

Experienced doctors commonly give a B12 shot in the shoulder, but this is more difficult to do if you are just learning. If you are alone, the outer- anterior thigh is likely the easiest way to administer the injection but may cause more discomfort than the upper buttocks.

Intramuscular – B12 Injection Locations

The Upper Buttocks

If someone is giving a B12 shot in the upper buttocks region, the injection is best done in the outer and upper region of the muscle. The person giving the injection will make a v-shape with their thumb and forefinger and hold the flesh inside the triangle tightly. Insert the needle in the center of the v-shape to administer the B12 injection. Unless instructed by a health care provider, this injected site is not recommended because untrained injectors may damage the sciatic nerve.

The Shoulder

If someone is giving you a B12 injection in the shoulder, have them make a downward-facing v-shape with your thumb and forefinger over the deltoid (shoulder) muscle. Insert the B12 injection needle into the center of the v-shape you created with your fingers.

The Thigh

If you are self-administering the shot, it is recommended that you use your thigh. To give an injection in your thigh, sit down and divide the top of your thigh into three equal parts. Make a v-shape with your thumb and forefinger and hold the flesh in the outer middle section of the thigh firmly. Give the injection in the center of the fingers in v-shape. This thigh muscle is called the vastus lateralis.

What Supplies Do You Need For Administering B12 Shots?

B12 Injections, once learned and practiced, are easy to administer and require few supplies. Vitamin B12 injection ordered from Invigor Medical include all necessary supplies at no additional charge.

Necessary B12 Injection Supplies:

  • Methylcobalamin, Vitamin B12 Vial
  • Clean Needle and Syringe
  • Alcohol pads, or cotton balls and rubbing alcohol

How Do I Inject A B12 Shot?

It is recommended that anyone who administers a B12 injection should receive training and guidance from a healthcare professional. The practitioners and staff at Invigor Medical are very helpful with patient questions and guidance. While needle size, dosage, and injection site will vary from person to person, these are the general tips and steps to follow when injecting a B12 Shot.

The way you inject a B12 shot depends on which B12 injection site you choose to use:

Loading The Syringe

To prepare the syringe for the B12 injection, you should:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Fasten the needle onto the end of the syringe.
  3. Remove the cap and seal on the vial.
  4. Clean the rubber membrane on the vial with an alcohol pad and let dry.
  5. Draw back the plunger and fill the syringe with air equal to the prescribed dosage.
  6. Remove the cap on the needle.
  7. Turn the vial upside down so when you puncture the rubber membrane the needle is pointing up.
  8. Insert the needle into the rubber membrane and inject the air from the syringe into the vial.
  9. Then slowly draw out the correct dosage of vitamin B12 into the syringe.
  10. Place the cap back on the needle until the injection site has been prepped.

Preparing The B12 Injection Site

  1. It is essential always to clean the injection area with alcohol pads.
  2. Allow the injection site to dry completely before administering the shot.
  3. It is important to rotate your B12 injection sites to keep your skin healthy, as repeated shots in the same site may cause scarring or swelling.

Intramuscular – B12 Injection Procedure

When performing an intramuscular injection, insert and withdraw the needle at a right angle (90 degrees). After you insert, pull back slightly on the plunger of the syringe. If you see blood enter the syringe this means you hit a blood vessel and you need to pull out and start over. You will need to replace the needle before you try again.

To replace the needle, draw a little air into the syringe. Place the cap on the needle and remove. Put on a new needle and remove the cap. Inject out any air bubbles in the syringe while being careful to not inject any B12. Now you are ready to inject again.

vitamin b12 injection site -intramuscular

After a successful injection, you may want to apply pressure with a cotton ball or bandage to stop any bleeding. Always place your used needles in an approved biohazard container and dispose properly of your injection waste. After injection, you can rub the B12 injection site in a circular motion, which will increase blood flow and ease any irritation. These tips will help ensure a painless and safe injection.

Subcutaneous – B12 Injection Locations

Best Vitamin B12 Injection Site: Administering B12 Shots

The 3 Most Common B12 Injection Sites

The Lower Abdomen

This is one of the most common subcutaneous vitamin B12 injection sites and is to be administered at or under the level of the belly button. It should be injected about two inches away from the navel itself. Take your thumb and index finger to pinch about 1 ½ inches of skin and inject the needle into the pinched skin. Slowly push the plunger to administer vitamin B12.

Front Of Thigh

The thigh is a popular option as well to self-administer a vitamin B12 injection. Pinch a layer of skin with your thumb and index finger, which should be about an inch and a half apart from each other, in the front area of the thigh. Inject the shot into this pinched layer.

Side Or Back Of Upper Arm

You can use the side or back of your upper arm for a subcutaneous injection. This may be easier when using the help of another person. Pinch a thick layer of skin on the upper side of your arm and inject the needle at the appropriate angle into this pinched skin.

Loading The Syringe And Preparing The Injection Site

Follow the same instructions for Loading the Syringe and Preparing the Injection Site as outlined earlier.

Subcutaneous – B12 Injection Procedure

Subcutaneous B12 injections are an alternative to intramuscular shots and may be a less painful method for some patients, although they are less common. A subcutaneous injection uses a shorter needle to inject the B12 solution into the tissue layer between the skin and muscle, but it may be a slower absorption rate than other methods of administration. The best method depends on you, your need, and your comfort level with B12 shots and the subcutaneous method may be the most useful, safe, and convenient way for you.

Subcutaneous injections are administered into fat under the skin, so instead of the needle going in at a 90-degree angle, the subcutaneous injection angle is at 45 degrees so that it pierces the skin but not the muscle tissue. The angle of the shot does depend on how much fat you have under your skin, so please consult with a trusted healthcare professional like the staff of Invigor Medical to determine what angle is best for you.

administering b12 shots - subcutaneous

For a subcutaneous injection, the B12 needs to be injected into the fatty tissue just below the skin. When you are giving a B12 injection subcutaneously, you pinch the fat to make sure you’re only penetrating the subcutaneous tissue (or the innermost layer of skin) and pull it away from the muscle, then insert the needle.

After a successful injection, apply pressure to stop any bleeding. Always place your used needles in an approved biohazard container and dispose properly of your injection waste. After injection, you can rub the B12 injection site in a circular motion, which will increase blood flow and ease any irritation.


Choosing the right injection site is key for maximizing the benefits of Vitamin B12 injections. Whether you’re looking to buy Vitamin B12 for boosting energy, improving metabolism, or overall health enhancement, understanding the proper techniques for administration is essential. For those ready to incorporate Vitamin B12 injections into their health regimen, exploring the best injection sites can significantly impact the effectiveness of the treatment. Learn more about optimal B12 injection sites and how to effectively integrate Vitamin B12 into your health plan by visiting Invigor Medical.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Benefits Of A B12 Shot Injection?

Vitamin B12 injections help combat B12 deficiency and can have various benefits. Benefits include increased energy levels, weight loss, increased hair growth or prevention of hair loss, and improved sleep in those with deficiencies.

Are B12 Shots Prescription-Only?

Yes, in the United States ALL injectable medications and vitamins must be prescribed by law.

Do The Injections Hurt?

While pain tolerance varies from person to person, there is a chance you may experience some discomfort or pain, especially around the vitamin B12 injection site. The key is to relax, breathe deeply, eat healthily, and to be well-hydrated.

Are There Any Side Effects Of A Vitamin B12 Shot?

Side effects are rare. There are a few mild side effects that you may experience with the B12 shots, including minor pain, bruising or redness at the B12 injection site, mild diarrhea, itching, or swelling. While these symptoms are usually nothing to worry about, if they persist or worsen, you are advised to contact your health care professional.

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.



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