Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Low B12 & Folic Acid

Hi I have just been diagnosed by my doctor as having low b12 and low folic acid. She said i need to get my folic acid levels up before she can treat my b12 and prescribed me a months course of folic acid then she wanted me to take another blood test. If everything was good with the folic she would then start treatment for the b12 ........ However when reading the instructions for the folic acid it states not to be taken if you have a b12 deficiency????? I rang my doctor but she is away ...... another doctor said not to take the folic acid but to take b12 tablets for 6 weeks then have a blood test. now I am totally confused as my first doctor said to get my levels of folic acid up before treating the b12.

What should I do ???

Should I just wait untill the first doctor who has been dealing with this is back from holiday?

5 Replies

I'm not medically trained but it is generally recommended to start B12 treatment before taking the folic acid. I guess you were not prescribed B12 tablets so I would suggest you ring back and ask for a prescription so that you are "in the system" rather than buying your own.

Well done for reading the leaflet.


Thank you for your reply

I dont know whether to just wait untill be original doctor is back from her holidays as she is the one who ive been dealing with for some time.

She has already made me an appointment for when she is back.

1 like

Its always been my understanding that if low in both that b12 should be given before the folic. Sure i 'll be corrected if im wrong.


I was given a prescription for b12 tablets and folic acid to take together. The b12 was massive dose not what you can buy unless you want to take loads at a time.


there is a very very small risk of neurological damage if a B12 deficiency is treated with high doses of folate, which is why B12 treatment should start before folate. Unless the B12 deficiency is caused by lack of B12 in your diet then the treatment would be injections not tablets - and the gap only needs to be 24-48 hours.

Suggest you try contacting the surgery again and ask for a copy of the results so you know exactly how low your B12 levels were.


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