Patients normally receive injections of vitamin B-12, or methylcobalamin, from their health care provider at a clinic or a doctor's office, according to Empower Pharmacy. Doctors may teach patients how to inject this medication on their own under certain circumstances.Continue Reading
These injections occur just beneath the skin or deep into muscle tissue, says Empower Pharmacy. Injections of this medication are intended for adults only. Doctors must determine whether or not vitamin B-12 shots serve a benefit to the patient by performing a thorough medical history, noting other medications taken by the patient and describing other diseases or conditions the patient has in addition to a vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Vitamin B-12 injections are only available as a prescription in the United States, notes the National Institutes of Health. Supplements come in the form of methylcobalamin, cyanocobalamin or hydroxocobalamin, and they treat vitamin B-12 deficiencies caused by malabsorption. Doctors also use these shots to treat pernicious anemia. Doctors may provide intranasal medications, although medical studies have shown injections are the most effective means of delivering this vitamin, as of 2015. Intravenous vitamin B-12 typically bypasses common barriers to absorption.
Vitamin B-12 occurs naturally in meat, fish and dairy products, according to WebMD. Vitamin B-12 works with other B vitamins to produce energy, develop nerve cells, help brain function and produce red blood cells. Nonprescription vitamin B-12 supplements can be taken orally by mouth or topically on the skin, depending on what the supplement tries to treat.Learn more about Medications & Vitamins