Pernicious Anaemia Society
14,674 members10,448 posts

b12 ampule question

So my b12 finally came from Goldpharma after 13 days, it was the UK delivery system that messed up not Goldpharma (typical).

So as soon as it came I looked at advice how to self inject just to double check and I've ran into a problem ... many people said that when opening an ampule you need a filter straw as when as the syringe but I don't have a needle like that or a filter straw. What I have is a 0.5ml typical insulin needle 0,30mm (30g) x 8mm, I am a bit worried because they said when you break the ampule it could be contaminated with glass pieces but considering my needle is so small do you think I need to worry about this?

I want to get started right away with self injecting but of course I would like advice from anyone who has been in this situation regarding ampules, I don't want to be hasty and screw up big time, thanks :)

11 Replies

I wouldn't worry right at the neck of it graphics the top and snap it off its hard sometimes and sometimes it breaks I put cotton over the and draw it in that filters it or use some thing sterile the way their keeping it from us we have to do what we have to do r ask the pharmacy


I use 2 needles, one for sucking up and one for injecting. The sucking up is longer so I can get to the bottom of the ampoule and not worry about blunting it etc, then I change to the injecting needle so I do not end up with a possibly blunt needle, I use a tissue to break the top of some B12 ampoules that I know are difficult to break off (the hydroxo ones in my case). I do not believe a filter needle is necessary, its not used at my surgery, I was not told to do so.


Where do you get your needles from Marre? .. I am looking for a 30g 1ml syringe with a *filter* need like the one you were speaking off, I am worried about glass shards being sucked up into the needle, apparently this is cause for concern.


Hi Krealan ,

I do not worry about glass shards, they seem on the out side of the ampoule, but I do use 2 needles so I can suck up with out worrying about blunting the needle (very easily done) to then use a new sharp needle for injecting. I get mine from:

They do spam you though!

I use:

BD Microlance 3 Needles Green 21g x 1.5" x 100 for sucking up the liquid out of the ampoule, but its not a filter needle, and then change to BD Microlance 3 Needles Blue 23g x 1" x 100 to inject IM inmy leg.

Kind regards,



Could i ask what needles you use.where do you buy from please.chomping at the bit 6wks after my doctors b12 injection will only give it 3 monthly. Thankyou.


No idea what a filter straw is!

I do this - shake the ampoul so all liquid down the bottom, have the white dot to the front, cover with something (I use the syringe wrapper), with your thumb over the white dot snap off firmly. I've only had one shatter, so I discarded that one. Never heard anyone say anything about glass contamination, my nurse certainly never did anything different.

I use 1 1/4" needle, but if your needle does reach the bottom, just tip ampoul until you've sucked it all up. Some people use a longer needle for drawing up - I don't.

Good luck!


I use a 13mm diabetic needle and it's not possible to change the needle on these. I've never heard of needing to worry about contamination from glass. Once the top is snapped off the vial you can actually tip it completely upside down and insert the needle into the liquid and draw it up that way. It won't pour out at all...I promise! It means you can get all the liquid and don't need to touch the tip of your needle against any glass that may blunt it.


Just before breaking an ampule flick the top of the ampule to " drop the fluid down "

It's easier to suck up the fluid with a " bigger needle ie a 1 inch 23 guauge needle then swap needles over .

I break ampules all the time for injections and IV use and have never had glass inside .

Though some ampules don't break clean its not a problem in my experience


Don't worry about it at all. It's a bit more tricky using a shorter needle but still perfectly safe. Go for it.


Im given "Blue Needles" from my surgery which are 0.60x25mm needles. I always flick the top of the vials so that the liquid is sent below the line which indicates where the top will break off. I then get a tissue and while holding in one hand, with the dot facing me,snap the top off. Its always a clean snap and Ive never had any issues with any bits of glass.

I then put the needle in and draw out the liquid, tilting the vial slightly so that all the liquid is taken up. It doesn't matter if you take up a little air. I then cover the needle and hold up so the needle is upwards. I take off the cover, tap the injection so the liquid settles and air bubbles come out and push the plunger on the injection slightly so that the liquid goes to the top of the needle releasing any air and I see a little liquid come out. I replace the cover over the needle.

The injection is then ready to use.

Just go for it as Im sure you will find your own method and once you have done it you will wonder what all the fuss is about!


Thanks for all the replies in this post it really set my mind at ease. I had a bit of trouble with the first vial but not with opening the ampule I gently tipped the vial on its side to try and draw it out easier and somehow it spilled because I think I took the needle out and popped the *air pocket* .. I ended up injecting 3/4 of the vial and feel kind of proud of myself now that I can get b12 injections whenever I need them.

I would like to thank everyone on this forum/website for all the help that was provided I think without reading all the posts and good information that was at hand I wouldn't of gone through with ordering from online.

Feeling great :D


You may also like...