Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Supply shortage of cyano still an issue

Some friends invited me to tag along on a spur of the moment day trip up to Canada. While I was there I decided to try to buy some B12. We were in Vancouver and we stopped first at a London Drugs. They were out. The next place we stopped was Shopper's Drug Mart. They were also out. I asked that pharmacy to call their White Rock store to see if that store had any B12. They were out too. We tried to check at Costco, but it was a Sunday and they closed just before we got there. So I was unable to get any B12 on that trip.

The next day I went online to order B12 from the same place I got some last April. I discovered that the webpage I had ordered from has now vanished. That puzzled me a bit so I searched for "Sunshine Labs" and came across an FDA page warning against using B12 from Sunshine Labs:

Well that was disconcerting. I had just about finished the vial by the time I read that news.

I decided to get my prescription refilled through a local pharmacy (although I wasn't sure if I would be allowed to since my GP doesn't see eye to eye with me on this subject). That pharmacy is still out of the 10ml vials but had 1ml vials in stock so they gave me 10 1ml vials instead. (And they charged me $75 for them!)

Now I have some B12 but my doctor expects me not to need to refill my prescription for another 10 months. I'm left wondering how I'm going to function on 1ml a month when I've been taking more than 1ml a week for the past 2 years. With the skyrocketing costs, I'm not in a particular hurry to try to buy more. This shortage sucks.

3 Replies

Hi. I am surprised to hear about the shortage again. You have my sympathy. It is so scary to be in short supply and have the worry of what symptoms might be facing you. Have you tried OTC sublingual B12 and gotten any help? I use it when I go downhill in between injections. It is definitely not the same, but it does mute the symptoms for me. The last shortage here in central MN USA was last spring. My clinic could not gets its order filled, but I was able to get individual vials at the drugstore with a prescription at that time. The situation you describe sounds more serious. I wonder what I will hear at the clinic next week.


I've tried a couple different types of sublinguals. I get no benefit from methylcobalamin versions and a very limited benefit from cyanocobalamin ones. I plan to add some sublingual B12 to my regime, but I don't have a lot of hope that it will keep me symptom free. Depending on how badly I crash (which seems more like a 'when' rather than an 'if'), I might try again to find injectable B12 online. After finding out that the Sunshine Labs B12, which was labeled as made in the US, was actually made in the Dominican Republic, I'm understandably wary of online products at the moment.


I contacted the UK manufacturer and the UK shortage is now over. :) It lasted about 4 months. Phew.


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