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Many people use vitamin B12 injections to replenish their vitamin B12 levels, providing extra energy, vitality, and many other benefits. Vitamin B12 injections have different effects depending on your vitamin B12 status. Going to an injection clinic or doctor’s office for each injection is a hassle, and the fees add up. Learn how to self-administer vitamin B12. If the following instructions differ from what you were told by your healthcare provider, follow their instructions. Based on your health needs, your doctor has decided how much B12 to give you and where to give it.
Vitamin B12 injections steps may look a little intimidating at first glance, but once you get the hang of it, they will become second nature.
In a clean, well-lit room, collect all necessary items, including:
Intramuscular injections can be given into your upper buttocks, outer thigh, or shoulder muscle.
Ask your healthcare provider which injection sites are appropriate for you. Needle size and length may vary depending on the injection site.
The upper buttock is most commonly used for intramuscular injections. In order to avoid irritating the nerves, it’s important to inject in the upper outside quadrant of the buttock. This site is commonly used if someone is injecting the shot for you.
If you are injecting yourself, the outer thigh is commonly used.
Alternate injection sites and avoid any injection sites that are bruised, scarred, or covered with a skin rash.
Use an alcohol prep pad and a circular motion to clean your injection site well. Allow your skin to dry. Have a cotton ball or adhesive bandage ready. To lessen the pain, use your non-dominant hand to pull the skin tight around the injection site. Hold the syringe and needle, so they are at a 90-degree angle to the injection site. Push the needle into the muscle using a firm, smooth motion.
Slowly push the plunger in to fully inject the medication. Pull the needle and syringe out and place them in a sharps container. Apply pressure to your injection site using a cotton ball or adhesive bandage. Store your medication as directed.
Using a metal coffee can and duct tape, you can make your own sharps container. Make a slit in the plastic lid to insert the used needles. Duct tape the lid to the container. Label the container as used needles. Dispose of the container following local biohazard waste instructions.
As you become more comfortable injecting vitamin B12, you will probably develop your own techniques and preferred injection sites.
Yes, your needle length is chosen based on your injection site, body fat, and the consistency of the medication you are injecting. Push the needle into the muscle until the hub of the needle touches the skin.
Follow your doctor’s instructions when choosing your vitamin B12 injection site. Many people choose the upper lateral quadrant of the buttock when someone else is giving them a B12 injection and the outside of the thigh when they are giving themselves a B12 injection. If injecting into the outer thigh, the injection site is halfway between your groin and knee.
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg for nonpregnant, non-lactating adults.
Common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
People at the highest risk for vitamin B12 deficiency include:
The effects of a B12 injection should be noticed within 48 to 72 hours if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. A common vitamin B12 injection protocol is to inject weekly for four weeks. But your doctor may suggest different vitamin B12 injection schedules and dosages based on your symptoms and treatment goals. At the end of your treatment cycle, your healthcare provider will review your symptoms and response to vitamin B12 injections to determine whether you need a longer course of treatment or a higher dose.
Looking to get vitamin B12 injections? See how Invigor Medical can help today!
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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Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B(6), Folate, Vitamin B(12), Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1998.
Langan RC, Goodbred AJ. Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Recognition and Management. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Sep 15;96(6):384-389. PMID: 28925645.
NIH. (n.d.). Vitamin B12. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/#en5