Self Injecting of B12: Hi, This is... - Pernicious Anaemi...

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Self Injecting of B12

Booblet profile image


This is probably a story that you have ALL heard before: Went to my GP stating I do not feel any better on the dose - 3 monthly-B12 injections - He then looked at my B12 test results and stated that giving me extra B12 injections will not help...

The major problems I have is that 1) I only fell OK after one week of injection, 2) Before injection is due I feel: pins and needles in hands and feet, exhaused after very limited activity such as going up stairs WHICH end up with myself grasping for breath - which is relly frightening, 3) feel wobbly when trying to pursue any activity.

* I want to try and self medicate but I am terrified - never done this before....Dont know anything about needles ect.... Please can anyone help? Regards, GT

11 Replies

How terrible...uneducated doctor treating you like that.

I had a very hard time finding someone to teach me how to self-inject so I wouldn't mind helping someone but I guess you live quite far away from me so you'd be better off finding someone near you.

You've already had B12 injections so at least you don't have to worry about anaphylactic shock from it.

I hate needles and I have to use an autoinjector but at least I don't have to see the needle or have to jab myself.

I don't think talking to nurse at the GP will help you. They won't help because it's against GP's treatment plan and they are not going to assist in something that encourages people to self medicate.

It's your life, and since you are suffering so much, don't delay B12 that you need.

Remember, our nerve cells die and they won't comeback.

Almost all doctors seem to be completely useless with this condition!! I was fortunate that my pharmacist explained what to do...he then also told me to have a look on youtube, which was a great idea and very informative! I have just done my second injection successfully! I inject into the thigh with a small insulin needle. It only goes into the fat layer, but seems to work just as well and I find it less scary than a longer needle. I found I had no pain at all when the needle goes in, I hadn't even realised that I had broken through the skin the first time! I just gently and slowly push the needle in and then pull back to check for blood. The slower you push down to inject the liquid the less painful it will be.

I hope that is helpful for you!

Erainy profile image
Erainy in reply to purple-uni

Yes, insulin syringe is less scary than say 25G needle. I also second that you will hardly feel the needle going in...I had to take it out to make sure it went in. lol Also, if you inject it slowly, you will have less pain than as if you inject it quickly.

This whole process can be so annoying. I really feel for you as this was the situation I have been in. Luckily for me, my GP did eventually approve my treatment and a nurse showed me how to inject (although, bizarrely, no-one would advise me or prescribe for me the paraphernalia you need to self-inject!)

Basically, all you need for the injecting side of things can be obtained via Amazon: sharps bin; needles; syringes; antiseptic wipes. Set everything up in advance on a good surface.

If there is any of the injectable B12 in the bobble at the top of the ampoule, flick it with your finger until it drops down.

Use a cotton wool pad to snap off the top of the ampoule - the glass edge can be very sharp - and set aside.

Remove the syringe from its packaging and pump it up and down a couple of times to loosen it.

I use 2 different needles, one to suck up the liquid and one to inject with. That way, if I catch the side of the ampoule with the needle, I am then not using a blunted needle to inject with.

Swab the site with an antiseptic wipe.

Then attach the first needle firmly and suck up the liquid with it. Discard onto a safe mat at the side of you and out of the way. Push the liquid in the syringe right up to the top and then attach the second new needle.

To avoid any unwanted blood, take hold of the skin (I use my thighs) in one hand and hold/squeeze for a couple of seconds or so. Then push the needle into the skin. It is a bit weird first time round but you get used to it. Push the liquid in steadily and withdraw, placing the syringe and needle to one side.

Use a cotton pad to hold against the site of the injection for a minute. All should be well!

Needles go into the sharps bin.

The reply suggesting looking at a video on YouTube sounds like a good idea. It really helped me to have the nurse go through it with me first time round. I still got my first one horrendously wrong! But you only do that once!

If the needles business is too scary, there are high dosage sublingual products on the market. They may be worth trying if you haven't already. Good luck!


Erainy profile image
Erainy in reply to gmcg

In fact, if you go to needle exchange e.g. Boots or Superdrug, they will give you needle and syringe of your choice, alcohol wipes and sharps bin for free.

I self inject and have done so for the last 2 1/2 years. I inject sub cutaneously not intra muscularly any more. Injecting under the fat (sub cut) is just as effective but I found that it takes slightly longer to take effect than when injecting directly into the muscle. I am still injecting once a week and this has massively improved my quality of life. I use a company called medisave to get all of my syringes, needles, sharps bin etc, they are quite cheap, good products and reliable.

Have you looked at the Pernicious Anaemia society for self injecting advice? They helped me tremendously. My vet taught me how to inject as my GP was dithering about it. I use my thighs and tummy for sub cut injecting, rotating the site every week. Good luck!

ACritical profile image
ACritical in reply to Luna

I do exactly the same mostly in my tummy fat, keeping away, circle 10 cm, from belly button. So quite a good area as not to inject in same place all the time. Don’t feel a thing, go slowly and expect it might take a day or 2 to start working.

I have read some of the replies you have had. Be careful, where you get your B12 and needles. Also I would continue with the B12 you are getting from this out of date and rather unsympathetic Doc. I had to ask my lovely GP for more and got it without any argument. He said everyone is different and the point of the excercise is to make you feel better!!

If I get tired and dull brained I supplement with patches from Amazon which keep me up until my next fix!

I have been self injecting b12 over 10 years now. First time it took me 20 minutes to pluck up the courage, now it's second nature. I give it to myself when I need it, usually monthly. It sounds like you need it more often if you are still getting pins and needles etc. good luck.

Can I ask where you buy your B12 from , as here in the UK, you cannot get it without a prescription, and my GP, will not agree to me self injecting, even though I have had Pernicious Anaemia for over 20 yrs, & as a type 1 Diabetic, I have been injecting insulin for over 40 yrs. Beatrice 1

jade_s profile image
jade_s in reply to Beatrice1

Hi Beatrice1, this is a very old thread so it might be best to start a new one. But in any case most people seem to order from one of these 3 sources: Goldpharma, MyCare and Versandapo - see also for example

Mycare shipping seems to be more expensive than the other two.

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