What a waste of NHS Hydroxcobalamin ampoules

At my GP surgery I have to get a perscription for b12 ampoules and take them with me when I get the injection. I am on 3 monthly injections and my on my repeat perscription I got 10 ampoles. the is the same as when I started on B12 a year ago when I had the loading injections. 5 of the ampoules have an expiry date of November 2017 and the other 5 are March 2018. I will only use 4 ampoules within the next 12 months. What a waste.

I once asked the nurse about self injecting to see if she would show me how, not that I really felt that brave. Her response was that it was impossible to inject in your own upper arm so you couldn't self inject!

20 Replies

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  • If you decide to bring up that subject with your nurse again, ask about the vastus lateralis muscle in the thigh. It is certainly possible to self inject into the thigh. Although your nurse may have to reach back into her memory a ways to recall that info. The subject is likely covered in nursing school, but they are likely to have forgotten afterwards due to how infrequently the subject comes up in their day to day experiences.

  • I inject successfully into my thigh . You can see a video on u-tube demonstrating it .

  • I do subcutaneous injections which are simple and painless and you can do them anywhere you have a bit of fat (which presents no problems for me lol). I alternate sides of my belly but you can also use your upper arm or thigh, just as if you were injecting insulin. I emailed the b12d.org site and was told there is little difference between subQ and intramuscular injections. I certainly wouldn't let the distinction stand in my way. :-)

  • Gluteus Maximus for me

  • I'm glad you "got to the bottom of things" pvanderaa :)

  • I'm a trained nurse but still wouldn't have the confidence to s/i into the muscle due to the fear of the pain (I was given an i/m injection whilst in labour with one of my children and it was done so badly it hurt more than the contractions!! I've refused them ever since). S/i subcutaneous is very easy and painless. Hydroxocobalamin is suitable for subcutaneous injection (which I was told on this forum).

    You can find lots of videos on you tube showing how to do a subcu injection on your tummy or upper arm (bit tricky on the arm but deffo possible)

    Lu x

  • seems rather crazy - my surgery certainly doesn't behave in this way - the ampoules are held at the surgery and used as and when so I never get given a prescription though the injections are on repeat prescription - which reminds me that I need to check when next one is due - I go back just to make sure it stays on my records but treat myself the rest of the time.

  • My GP is even more crazy as it doesn't have the b12 listed on the repeat prescription. I had to make a special request for them.

  • you could try writing to the practice manager and pointing out the discrepancy between the way they are behaving and the way other surgeries behave.

  • Hi, I am the same and have had 10 prescribed me... I'll look in the morning to see expiry dates, but like you, imagine they'll be out of date before I get to use them... I self inject with ones I bought in the thigh... It doesn't hurt, and I'm a real baby 😊 👶

  • I used to get the prescription to pick up but the nurse would keep the ampules. I think that's a better idea as they are getting used by others and someone else's will be used by me. That means there is less chance of waste as there are people getting prescriptions all the time. My doctor now does the prescription for the surgery to collect

  • Having only recently been diagnosed, I also wondered about the expiry date on the B12 ampoules. My initial 5 loading doses only had around 10 months on them, so when I order again, for the 3 monthly ones some will be wasted as they come in 5 packs! But yes, my nurse looked horrified when I casually mentioned self injecting!

  • Can you change your request for repeat prescription? I have to use eye drops and can write on the repeat request 1x bottle or 2x bottles. If you could request just 4 or 5 ampoules they wouldn't be wasted.

    Re s.i, I'm a wimp, had never stuck a needle in anything in my life but was ok from first self injection. Sat in a friend's house to do 1st, just in case I reacted ( I have lots of food allergies). I've stuck the needle into a vein twice but had no problems apart from a small bruise. I'd rather actually to the injection myself than have a nurse do it. ( no offence to nurses)

  • I checked mine and mine says B / N 60478 Exp 01/2018 !! So I'm not going to have used these up via the GP as these will be out of date. 😞

  • I strongly believe that using subcutaneous injections is the best, easiest and most efficient way to inject. You absorb the B12 faster through the IM method, however it's my opinion that the body excretes more of it due to this as the absorption rate is so much faster. It also hurts less and can be done much more easily particularly for those of us who are squeamish and hate injecting.

    You simply bunch a bit of fat near your belly button and jab a much thinner and shorted insulin needle into the fat and inject. IM is deep, painful and technically harder.

  • So easy to inject into your thigh

  • I SI into my upper arm. It's painless if u completely relax ur muscle . No probs!

  • Inject in the fat under your belly button

  • If you manage to do the intermuscular injections you are alot braver than me. When I get my injections from the district nurse that comes out, I always warn them that it really hurts me when I get them n I tend to swear while it goes in. I never thought I'd ever be able to inject myself but I got some methacoballin (spellings up the wall at the moment) that I could self injection just under the skin (subcut) first few times it made me feel sick n I thought I was gonna pass out. But I stuck with it and within a week it was okay no problems. It's worth trying to stick with it even if you feel sick or close to passing out doing it. Good luck xx

  • Anyone who's b12 that will be out of date before they can use them. When you see your nurse next ask them if they can use them so they don't get wasted. I do that with my nurses cause sometimes older people forget to renew their prescription in time for appointments or may forget to bring their b12 along (if their surgery doesn't keep hold of them) the nurses said it can come in handy for when it happens. It's just an idea n hopefully it will help stop any wastage

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