Has anyone used Hydroxo (as chloride)?

I have had an adverse reaction (felt nauseous and had to stay close to bed all day) after the B12 shot at the Dr surgery. I did not think any more of it until I happened to check the product I'd used. I had given them the ampoule from a new box sold to me by the chemist here in Australia. I checked the box and it is different from my normal product. Box says 'Hydroxo-B12 Injection Hydroxocobalamin (as chloride). My normal ingredient is Hydroxocobalamin (as acetate).

Does anyone have any experience or information about this Hydroxo' Chloride?

Obviously, I'll have to use it again to confirm my suspicions but I'm suspicious about this Aspen product.

Thanks, Beth

24 Replies

  • Here in New Zealand the only cobalamin available on prescription (and subsidised by the government) for injections is called NEO-B12 which is hydroxocobalamin (as chloride).

    In NZ, this is supplied by a company called Hospira but was previously supplied by Pfizer. The ampoules come in a white plastic container in a box, three ampoules per box. Here is a link to the consumer information pamphlet on NEO-B12. medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datas...

    It would not surprise me if this is the same product as the 'Hydroxo-B12 Injection Hydroxocobalamin (as chloride) that you have from Aspen in Australia. Here is the link to the Consumer Medicine Information pamphlet.


    I have a family member who has been resident in Australia for many years and who recently retired after over 46 years in the pharmaceutical industry. A few months ago we were talking about Aspen in relation to another product of theirs which was previously supplied by the big pharma company my family member worked for. From all accounts, Aspen is a reputable company which has taken over supply of such products as B12 from the bigger companies. See this link which also mentions this aspect of their business


    So I would not worry about Aspen per se.

    I personally have had no problem with the NEO-B12 (hydroxocobalamin as chloride) but it is the only cobalamin that I have tried to date. (Diagnosed with PA a year ago and have been able to supplement with purchase of NEO-B12 from local pharmacies*)

    I will be interested in other people's experiences of hydroxo as chloride.

    * As I have benefited so much from this forum in terms of learning about B12 deficiency etc, I am in the process of pulling together information on the legalities etc of purchasing/self injecting B12 here in NZ to do a post on this.

    I have found a couple of posts/comments by fellow NZers which indicate they may have been given misinformation on this. EG it is legal to purchase B12 over the counter from pharmacies and online; ditto in respect of buying syringes and needles. More to come with details.

  • Addendum - I have just noticed that the NZ NEO-B12 includes acetic acid as well as sodium chloride. No mention of this in respect of the Aspen product. So maybe not the same ....

  • Deuto, thank you for your reasoned response. There does seem to be a difference in ingredients as the previous product I was using is from MercuryPharma and while it does list sodium chloride 9mg it also lists glacial acetic acid q.s.

    So, maybe it is the acetic which my body prefers. Who knows? To complicate matters I only have one ampoule left in the original packet and I'm on Norfolk Island for another 15 days. There is a pharmacist here so I'll high tail it to her tomorrow to see if she has what I need.

    I will try the Aspen product again but will wait until I'm stable again before I do. It will be interesting to hear what you can hear from your contact in the industry.

    Thanks for your help.

  • I hope the weather is better on Norfolk than it is here in Wellington! We are still waiting for summer.

    Was your previous product this Vita-B12 from MercuryPharma?


    While it seems closer to the NEO-B12 formulation in including Acetic acid, the Vita-B12 refers to hydroxocobalamin acetate as the active B12 whereas the NEO refers to Hydroxocobalamin anhydrous ...

    Anyway the pharmaceutical oracle (aka my brother) is passing through Wellington on Tuesday with his wife doing an 11 day cruise from Sydney around NZ on the Emerald Princess. Nice for some. They are taking me (the very poor sister) out for lunch so know what the conversation is going to be about!

    Aspen; various forms of hydroxo etc - and I want him to find out about this company in Sydney that supposedly sells B12 injections (hydroxo; cyano; methyl) online with free delivery worldwide.


    There has been mention on this forum about this company but I cannot find them again. They sound a bit too good to be true. Any info very welcome.

  • Yes, the weather and the water is glorious atm. (2 swims- 12 noon and 5pm- today!) We did have 2 weeks of gloomy overcast skies but no rain at all since October so I have cracks in the lawn!

    Yes the product is the same . Mine says made in France but has the same Crows Nest (Sydney) address.

    I've checked out the vitamin12online.com/ but would never buy B12 on the internet. I guess there is money to be made but I'd need sound proof of the credibility of the supply. We buy lots of stuff online but so far I'm resisting B12. Of course, I'm so lucky that it is readily and cheaply available otc. And it is so cheap - about $2.50 an ampoule, with my Senior's discount. If I were on a pension it would be even cheaper.

    I hope you have a lovely lunch - don't let B12 spoil the atmosphere!!

    Look forward to hearing what you discover.

  • Enjoy! I haven't been to Norfolk Island but have really good things about it.

    My experiences to date here in NZ is that there is a lack of knowledge by doctors, pharmacies etc that B12 (injectionable) has been approved for over the counter sales here since 2010 or 2012. So it is not widely available or you meet with resistance from pharmacies or ridiculous price quotes. We do not have the big 'health supplements' stores you have in Australia so online sales outlets here offer much bigger ranges of such products and are usually much cheaper than sales of vitamins, supplements through pharmacies and supermarkets.

    So, as well as researching the legalities, medical guidelines and protocols associated with B12 deficiency treatment here in NZ, I have been researching what injectable B12 and other forms are available in NZ or able to be bought in from overseas, safe sources and types, prices etc - and the same for syringes, needles etc.

    As I did not know where to begin a year ago when I was finally diagnosed with PA, I want to share this with other NZers as there is a lot of ignorance and sadly misinformation circulating out there in NZ. For example, people being told they cannot legally buy injectable B12, syringes, needles etc when within certain limitations/criteria it is legal.

    Anyway, this is my 2017 project aimed at doing something positive rather than wallowing in depression etc as I did for a while in 2016. Research and analysis was a major part of my career, so cannot help myself from doing this in my retirement!

    Enough the sun is smiling, and having injected yesterday, my energy is feeling quite good this morning.

  • Deuto, you may also like to look into the Comfort-In self inject pen. Originally, Injex pen. I tried to use it before I was desperate enough to learn to si. It was sold in Australia but it bruised my tummy too much so we do not use it at all now. It seems they might not be trading now as none of the sites will open. I'm not surprised as I don't think the pen worked very well. It used methylated B12 and this I have since found does nothing for me anyway. Just another avenue of thought.

  • Thanks for that suggestion. I will look into it, but have not to date found any form of prefilled cobalamin syringes, pens etc available in New Zealand. In NZ, cynacobalamin was the first form of B12 injections available in NZ, but then virtually replaced by hydroxocobalamin in the 1990s as the medically preferred form. Injectable methylcobalamin does not seem to have featured. Still checking all of this. Got some useful info from discussion with my brother yesterday, but am sending him queries re Aspen etc by email once he is back in Sydney.

    Cheers for now. Wild weather on its way here tonight. At least we have not had any quakes the last few nights ... but don't want to speak too soon!

  • Hi again. We also had very blustery weather off the front that hit NZ over the last couple of days. We even had a short shower of rain last night. The Comfort In injex pen had to be filled from methy' purchased from a compounding chemist. It turned out to be pretty expensive because the minimum quantity was excessive ... but it expired before we could use it . Twice that happened so it was frustrating. I was not receiving the improvement needed and it was bruising me so we gave up. The pen is at our other house. Will send a pic early next month if you are interested. I didn't mean to cast aspersions re Aspen - just that the formula is different from Neo but was sold to me as B12 and I didn't think to check the packets; until it was too late. The Chemist on Norfolk had supplies of Neo so I'm all good on that front. Hope brother was enjoying his cruise.

  • I have had two b12 injections using Aspen and I can't believe how bad I feel. Not working! I have written to the company and am waiting to hear from them. Bring back the other B12 product!!

    Good luck

  • On closer inspection my old Neo product (which is now available again, thank goodness) also used (as chloride). As fbirder has explained the chloride is no different from the acetate. However, maybe the new product does have some difference. The jury is out!

  • Aspen may generally be a reputable company. They have had their problems, though.

    The levothyroxine product Eltroxin (and by this, I do NOT mean the UK product of the same brand name), was made in north America (I think by GSK). The worldwide [1] rights to that brand were sold on to Aspen and manufacturing moved to Germany. And the formulation changed.

    This resulted in a major problem in New Zealand because it affected patients. The UK's MHRA produced a report on the saga.

    My point being, just because it seems to have been sold by one major company to another doesn't mean it is identical. Nor that it is biologically equivalent.

    If interested, this link will get you started:


    [1] That is worldwide except areas like the UK and Ireland which have their own different formulation/make. And not north America.

  • Thanks so much for that information Helvella. It certainly is well worthwhile knowing as much as possible. I have only skimmed the link so far but will read it in detail.

    What a difference a small change in formulation can make. The situation with Eltroxin sounds similar to one or two experiences of mine when I have been changed over to a generic and then had a reaction due to slight differences in the extra ingredients.

    Returning to the Aspen Hydroxo-B12 Injection Hydroxocobalamin (as chloride) vs the NEO-B12, as I mentioned in my addendum, the NEO-B12 also contains acetic acid, so seems to have slightly different formulation to the Aspen product.

    I have also now found information on the box itself that the NEO-B12 is actually manufactured in Germany by Hamein Pharmaceuticals GmbH, Langes Feld 13, 31789, Hamein.

    My apologies, BethattheBeach, I did not mean to hijack your thread. I would also like to ask you a few questions re sources of B12 in Australia but will do so in a specific post sometime soon. Thanks.

  • We all refer to variations in amount of active ingredients, to the differences in excipients, and so on. Trouble is, we often miss the impurities which could quite possibly have significant bioactivity.

    A recent post of mine:


  • An excellent post and response! Well done.

    Will be sending it and this thread to my brother - and will use then to wind him up on the motives etc of 'big pharma' - LOL! Seeing him here in NZ on Tuesday so can do it face to face. Great timing.

  • An excellent read, helvella. Thank you. I think I might be on the right track to suspect this new product I've purchased. I'll retest it and then will have more hard evidence. Your help is much appreciated.

  • Best of luck. I know nothing about injectable B12 so it is your own efforts that are getting you somewhere.

  • Deutro', you have not hijacked the post at all. This information is exactly what I need to hear. This disease make me suspect that I'm not quite right in the head sometimes! You are helping me believe in listening to my own body - regardless what others more medically qualified are saying!

  • Yes, so it seems that a small alteration in the ingredients can make a surprising difference. Quite a complex situation for the pharma' companies. And quite a minefield for patients!

    Thanks for your information, helvella. Much appreciated.

  • I'd have a lot more, umm, understanding for the pharma companies if they shared what they undoubtedly know with the rest of us.

  • I did, for about a week. I didn't have a reaction but felt it was less effective, but who knows. Here's some info from fbirder about the chloride form: (ok my stupid phone doesnt want to copy paste links so go to my profile and scroll down or search for the post on chloride vs acetate, it's from maybe 2 months ago).

    You might have had a reaction to one of the fillers or preservatives rather than the form of b12? for example the chloride form i had said it needs refridgeration, whereas all my acetate ones say just room temp, so they must be different (and from what i remember the chloride one had a different preservative). Hope you feel better soon.

  • I presume this is the link to the post and responses, jade_s.


    Very interesting discussion. and information. I also thought the discussion under this other post of yours could also be relevant.


    (I am not sure which brand of hydroxocobalamin Clivealive is referring to, but again a different list of fillers and preservatives to those discussed above.)

    It is all so complicated at times!

  • Hi, bought the B12 injections from chemist and noticed a new package. More expensive and one less vial. I got my monthly injection as always and thought it was ok but by the time i had my next monthly injection I noticed I was not good. My energy did not pick up instead I'm walking around like a zombie. Then thought maybe its the new company's B12. Then came across this sight. It just isn't working for me and I can't keep up my normal hours at work anymore. Just want to sleep my life away. Is there any alternative????????? Please don't tell me this is it! How can it make such a difference to my old B12 shots. Can anyone please shed some light on this for me.

    Thanks Karen (Australia)

  • Hi there, I too felt terrible after having this Aspen B12. I didn't think anymore about it but only put two and two together when I had my next shot. I was walking around like a zombie. Yesterday I found B12 Neo and boy thank god is all I can say. I'm so much better today. I have a spring in my step.

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