Pernicious Anaemia Society
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How Long Before Therapy Works?

I know this is probably a stupid question, but I am scared that some of my symptoms will never go away and wondered if I am expecting too much too soon. I started increasing my B12 doses by adding injections about 3 weeks ago. I cut back on my transdermal B12 and added the injections but that didn't seem to work. Then I added sublingual B12 and gradually increased sub and transdermal adding an injection every 2 or 3 days. I am now taking 8 doses of transdermal B12 daily plus 4-6 doses of sublingual and a subcut jab every second day. The roof of my mouth had been extremely tender and my tongue was burning plus I had palpitations. These symptoms have largely subsided but my tongue remains swollen (has been for over 12 months) and my arms and especially legs feel weak and tired. They have improved over what they were but are not 100% yet. But I am wondering if they ever will return to normal. I am expecting too much too soon?

2 Replies

You might be expecting too much a little too soon. Nerve damage takes time to heal. Even with flooding your system with B12, you can't speed up the natural process of healing. You may also want to consider that, while it isn't possible to overdose on B12 (except in very rare circumstances), it is possible to throw some of your other vitamin levels out of whack. For example, you could become dangerously low in potassium. So you should keep an eye on other vitamin levels because low B12 is not the only thing that can cause unpleasant symptoms to occur.

Only time will tell how much healing you'll experience. I have heard some people say it took them months to even start to feel the benefit of getting more B12, so everyone is different. The important things are to keep a journal of your symptoms (because you may not even notice how much you're improving until you go back and look at your notes), and to try not to overdo things like exercise, alcohol, and sugar (things that can lower B12 levels).

The body seems to have it's own timetable. I had wildly erratic monthly cycles for over twenty years before discovering my B12 deficiency. It took nine once-a-month B12 shots for my body to suddenly right itself. Would that have happened sooner if I'd been getting more B12 at the time? Maybe, but probably not.


Well, I've been on injections for more than eighteen months, and it's been a long slow process. My GP has agreed to a trial of more frequent injections, so I'm getting them six weekly now. I can honestly say I feel much better over the last four months. I believe the amount of time it takes to recover is related to how long the deficiency has gone on. Mine must have started at least two years before it was diagnosed. I'm not sure if giving very large doses will heal you quicker or not. I can only wish you well with your recovery. MariLiz


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