Do you know how to give vitamin B12 injections? If not, then all that you need to do is to read the following article that acquaints you with the same.
Also known as cobalamin vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin, which is stored in our kidneys, liver and body tissues. The amount of vitamin B12 which is produced in the human gastrointestinal tract is not sufficient for its requirements and hence it is gained by consuming animal meat and dairy products. Owing to a number of factors including several medical conditions like Crohn’s disease, atrophic gastritis, blind loop syndrome, vegetarianism and aging, etc. many people suffer from its deficiency. In order to increase its absorption, people are recommended with vitamin B12 injections.
Why Vitamin B12 Injections
There are varied vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms that are observed, including, bleeding gums, digestive problems, fatigue, sore tongue, weight loss, heart palpitation, numbness, dementia, depression, constant headache, etc. When all or some of these symptoms are observed, the health care provider is likely to prescribe vitamin B12 injections. Before finding out how to give the injections, let’s get to know some of its benefits.
Along with treating the aforementioned B12 deficiency symptoms, these injections are also effective for various other disorders and dysfunctions. Vitamin B12 shots are beneficial for improvement of immune system, brain and central nervous system, improve rate of metabolism and stamina; prevention of diabetes, asthma, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, food allergies, skin allergies, osteoporosis, anemia, etc. Since it improves rate of metabolism, administering these injections for weight loss is also a common practice.
Since there are limitations when it comes to vitamin B12 absorption, one needs to make sure that it is provided in a restricted amount only. The dosage is prescribed as per the symptoms and severity of deficiency. Typically 1 mg vitamin B12 should be administered after every 2 days. A 3 week course of vitamin B12 supplementation is normally administered. This dosage can vary to 1 mg daily, if they are prescribed for several neurological disorders and severe nutritional deficiency. One thing that everyone needs to understand is that these shots are administered intramuscularly. Overdose of vitamin B12 may result into a few side effects like pain, headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, etc. Hence, monitoring appropriate dosage is extremely important.
Self administration is pretty challenging at the start. Hence, seeking help of a family member or a friend is always recommended. Material which is needed to administer vitamin B12 injection include, vial of vitamin B12, sterile syringe, latex gloves, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, band aid, etc. Here are the instructions:
- Wear latex gloves and clean the vial with alcohol and cotton ball. Take unused syringe and insert it in the vial of vitamin B12. Turn the vial upside down and fill syringe with the required dosage.
- Push a small amount of liquid out to ensure that there are no water bubbles present in the syringe. Then cap the syringe and place it aside. Then you need to prepare the location where the injection is given. Typically, vitamin B12 injection is given on the upper arm, at the intersection of bicep and deltoid, that are also called shoulder muscle and upper arm muscles, respectively.
- Then cleanse the location with alcohol and take the syringe in your dominant hand in such a way that your thumb is placed on the plunger of the syringe. Then uncap the syringe with the other hand.
- Pull the skin taut between the index finger and the thumb, and hold it.
- Then push the plunger down, very smoothly and completely. Push back the needle and cap the syringe as soon as possible. Lastly, place a cotton ball on location of the injection, press it for a few seconds and put band aid on it.
Learning how to give these injections is not enough and hence one should also learn about a few precautionary measures that are needed to be taken. First of all, check the expiration date on the vial and confirm dosage with the health care provider and nutritionist to stay away from the possible vitamin B12 side effects. Disposal of the used needle (in biomedical wastage box) is also extremely important, to avoid infections of any sorts.
Administration of these injections is pretty challenging and hence, if you are not fully confident of it, you can always seek professional help.