First time self injecting: Well after... - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society
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First time self injecting


Well after receiving my Ampoules from Germany and needles and syringes from Medisave last night was my first attempt at self injecting with the help of my husband. We watched a video of an NHS GP of how to self inject into thigh during this pandemic. All looked very straight forward.

My husband broke ampoule and cut his hand and I pricked my finger when opening and attaching needle! We used green needle to draw up Hydrohydroxocobalamin and blue to inject into thigh muscle. Shaky start, but will now do loading doses then monthly. I have neuro symptoms, i.e. tingling and tinnitus. This was an incidental find last year prior to my annual colonoscopy, my levels were 148, then by January 450. Wow what an improvement in my overall health, physical and mental. I am a young fit 52 year old (well was....)

Q. Do I keep ampoules at room temp?

Q. I have read to take 5mg Folic acid with injections, GP never mentioned this?

Q. I have a sharps bin, but council need GP letter, which I do not have as arranged my injections myself.

my PA test came back normal, but I am told that you should be guided by symptoms as the test is only 60% accurate and quite flawed!

Is there a protocol to follow that I could save and print for reference?

What a great support, Thank you

15 Replies

Well done on that first SI, really brave!

If you look at the ampoules, around where they break, there is a dot. Position the dot away from you (the far side), I wrap in a tissue to protect my hands, then snap the top towards me, this usually results in a nice clean snap. Should save your fingers next time xx

I keep my ampoules at room temp, because the GP keeps his on his desk, so I figure that will be fine.

Re. sharps bin, see if your local chemist will take them, if not, your local needle exchange should take them. If you run out of needles, a chemist should also issue you will a 'sports pack' if asked, a few needles and a small sharps bin. If they accept needles from addicts, accepting sharps from a person with low B12 should not be a problem.

I hope all of that helps and hope you start to recover quickly now xxxx

[post edited by Admin]

Get an ampoule snapper for future use -

Do you keep ampules at room temperature. Yes, keep them in a cool dark place. Preferably below 25 C.

You need enough folate. That can normally be achieved through a good diet, but it's recommended to take 400 mcg of folic acid a day. More than 1000 mcg a day may be dangerous.

Try your local pharmacy, vets, needle exchange scheme for the shaprs bin.

Note: edited by admin

Congratulations on your first injection . I assume you are using Hydroxocobalamin. Keep the ampoules in the dark and under 25c . In a heat wave , put them into the top of the fridge

The IFAB test for P.A. is unfortunately unreliable for many P.A. patients . Our Chairman Martyn Hooper has ro be tested 3 times before it registered positive.Yes , symptoms are the most important criteria . I’ll send you a help list .

I take my full sharps bin to my local chemist — No problem .

Note: edited by admin

Thank you so much, this is very informative!

Gambit62Administrator in reply to Teresalovesshoes

Teresalovesshoes, please note that some comments re dosing of folate have been removed as original response referred to an unsave dose.

Thank you everyone. Just done my second injection all by myself! Used blue 23g 1 1/4 needle and spot of blood on thigh, is needle to big? Sharps bin has sliding part on top, so I find always a gap and worried it might tip over and contents could fall out...When I slid fully closed I had to force bin onto reset lid. cant believe I'm so confused by a sharps bin!

Well done on self-injection - it does get easier, and an ampoule-snapper definitely helps! Since you have neuro symptoms, the guidelines actually say that loading doses or every other day injections should continue until no further improvement - many medics don't seem to know about this, but it is quite important to prevent irreparable damage, so worth chasing up if possible. I now use a finer orange needle for injection, which is slightly easier :)

Thrones in reply to ktwing

I use the green needle to draw up b12 from the ampoules then I change to the orange Needle to inject,it just goes Into the skin like butter and as you say no pain,I’ve did around 20 injections now ,was terrified at first but with help and reassurance from the members I stopped faffing around with practising on oranges and took the plunge lol.x

Thanks for your comment, I may consider changing from blue to orange needle in the future. What length is the orange needle, i believe my blue is 1 1/4 inch

Orange ones I use are Terumo Agani needle 25Gx1”

Hi Teresalovesshoes

On the neck of the ampoule there’s a dot. I hold it between my thumb and index finger and snap the top off by firmly by snapping the top away from me. My nurse son in law told me this and it works every time. Well done on doing the injection, I still lose my nerve every now and then and have to empty the syringe into the sink. Just to confirm though for those who are thinking of self injecting, it doesn’t hurt, that’s just me being a big girl’s blouse.

Keep safe


Your local authority has an obligation to collect medical waste and does not require anything from your GP. Complain and contact your local councillor.

They state I need letter from a clinician. I will try to speak to someone. Early days just wanted to plan ahead.

Teresa. I too am diagnosed PA and am finding it difficult to get my regular injections from the GP. Could you please advise from where do get your injections in Germany. I would be ever do grateful.


This is my order, think I went a bit mad and have a 100 ampules! I used google chrome for the website, which can then be translated into English... took me a while, I learnt form others on this group. I then ordered syringes and needles from Medisave and a sharps box too. Hope this helps for now. I have injected twice this week, once by my husband and once on my own. Feeling much more confident. Good luck!

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