Q. About six years ago my doctor informed me that I had low vitamin B12 levels and started giving me monthly injections. Now he says that B12 pills are just as good as the shots.  Is this really true or is he just trying to cut back on my monthly office visits? What causes low vitamin B12 and what would happen if I remain untreated?
A. Your physician has been keeping up with the medical literature. Doctors once believed that the only way to replenish vitamin B12 was with injections. But research has shown that high-dose oral B12 tablets are also effective. Such prescription-strength supplementation should be supervised by a physician.  Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common than most people realize. Strict vegetarians are especially vulnerable, since this nutrient is only available from animal sources. Older people also seem susceptible (10 to 20 percent can develop B12 deficiency). And people who take powerful acid-suppressing drugs (Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid) for long periods of time may also have trouble absorbing this vitamin.  Consequences of inadequate B12 may include anemia or nerve damage which may show up as tingling or numbness, depression, insomnia and memory problems.

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  1. LAWRENCE
    Florida
    Reply

    I have been taking B12 injections for over a year and have noticed no boost in my energy level. I read that the B12 pills are just as effective. My question is, how strong a pill do I need to be equal to the injection?

  2. LAWRENCE STRAUSS
    Florida
    Reply

    I have been taking B12 injections for over a year and have noticed no boost in my energy level. I read that the B12 pills are just as effective. My question is, how strong a pill do I need to be equal to the injection?

  3. Ingrid
    British Columbia
    Reply

    I found that the b12 injections were much better than the vitimins. I feel great, I take a injection every 3rd. week, myself.Only feel tired just before an injection.My values from the lab are so much better as well.

  4. Trevor
    *Not Applicable
    Reply

    I am a 83 y old M in generally good health but suffer from anemia and have had b12 injection for years. My hands are freezing as I write this seated in a heated room. Also I freeze if I have a shower. Could I take tabs. Instead of 3 monthly injection?

  5. MTE
    Reply

    I had gastric bypass 20 years ago. I have to take b12 injections sometimes. I was told because I had the gastric bypass that the pills would not work, since the part of my stomach that absorbs the b12 , isn’t there anymore. Since then I have heard of the disolvable tablets that go under the tongue. Will this do instead of the injections? It seems this is absorbed not ingested. I am I right on this?

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