Which national chemists sell B12 inje... - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society

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Which national chemists sell B12 injections in the UK?

Greyfeathers
Greyfeathers

Hi, Have just found out that Superdrug will administer B12 injections for £29 at certain of their health clinics - as I understand it, they need your GP's approval prior

healthclinics.superdrug.com...

When I rang to book, they could only offer one clinic too far away (no car) but said Boots and Lloyds Pharmacies are also offering the service. Tried Boots customer service, who said they are not aware. Can anyone shed any light on this, please? The private clinic I was going to monthly (in between NHS three-monthlies) has closed down and I'm currently too squeamish to self-inject. I do firmly believe our injections should be available as frequently as needed free of charge, btw, and realise many people can't afford to pay out this amount. However, I need a pragmatic solution right now. Apologies if my query has already been covered, I do try and keep up to date, but fail miserably. I know some regional and independent pharmacies have offered this service for a while.

22 Replies
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Is this, like baths were reputed to be in years past, on the "whether you need it or not" basis? Or does having a Pernicious Anaemia diagnosis (or other diagnosed requirement) affect their willingness to provide?

Yup. If you can find a pharmacy that will do it then you need a prescription.

I would inform your Gp tou need more frequent I jections. If you only have them 3 monthly it's quite ridiculous they wont give you more as 8- 12 weeks in the guidelines .

There are many places that do offer b12 injections I think it's a matter of googling for your area.

I do subcutaneous Injections at home. Perhaus you could manage those and buy the b12 like alot do ?

Push your surgery though

Hope you find a solution.

One of many frustrations with this is that my GP agrees with me (and I am 'lucky' that PA was confirmed with antibody test, so diagnosis not in question) but practice won't give injections more frequently. When I could get them at the local clinic, I stopped fighting/begging the surgery, but the clinic has now closed permanently. Have written again to GP, but will probably have to address my squeamishness on self-injection!

I hope the gp reads the bnf guidelines on frequency!

Can PAS help you?

I never dreamt I'd be self injecting . I do it with b12 bought from Germany with help from here. Needles from medisave. I chose to do subcutaneous as its alot finer and shorter and in my view less scary. I'm not good with needles either. Just do it now.

I have both as IM in my arm at the surgery. I get it on prescription now too. Long fight made

easier as I had my own stock since Aptil as getting stressed about thinking what the surgery were going to do in lockdown. Also didnt dream I'd be having them as frequently. Nothing elses has helped me.

On the b12 box from Germany ot says for IM and SC

Just in the UK it's not licenced for sc ??

With a PA diagnosis it should help you. I have never had an intrinsic factor anti body test.

So stick to what works for you

Nfwales
Nfwales in reply to Greyfeathers

If it's any help, I was really squeamish too. I never thought I would be able to SI.

As well as all the anaemia symptoms, I allegedly suffered from non epileptic attack disorder accompanied by brain fog (something I have struggled with for 20 years), which to my surprise, lifted on my last loading dose like magic, so I have probably had a B12/folate deficiency for years. It took me being unable to breathe with next to no folate, repeated falls, constant diarrhea and total exhaustion for someone to actually do a blood test (after expensive MRIs, brain scans, X-Rays and even psychotherapy!) That last loading dose and everything subsided, I had 2 days of feeling great.

2 days later all my symptoms were back in full swing, and I couldn't see my GP again for 3 months, the nurse said if I wasn't better by now then it 'couldn't be' low b12. Once I started treatment, I also got finger and toe pain that was excruciating (apparently this is your nerves waking up). I get this now if I need a jab.

I was terrified to SI but I just couldn't face going back to brain fog. I did everything to avoid SI, tried sublinguals, sprays, all to no avail. In the end, I bought some from Germany and my husband loaded it for me so all I had to do was the actual injection (sc in my tummy). It was so much easier than I'd imagined.

I've been doing that every other day since January and I haven't had brain fog or a 'seizure' in nearly 9 months. I don't fall at all now, I don't get diarrhea very often now, I still struggle to exercise because I had been so ill that anything drastic depletes B12 again, but I am getting better every day, I can now have the occasional glass of wine without being completely depleted (but that's very recent!). For me the biggest gain is clear thinking, I used to stop mid sentence, and honestly privately thought I was getting dementia.

Generally after years of being ill I am seeing improvements every day, and my health is in my own hands, which is an incredible feeling.

I don't bat an eyelid about injecting now, and even did a little video of myself SI for a friend with PA whose GP has decided she doesn't need injections during the pandemic :(

Good luck xxxx

What were your B12 levels NFwales? Happy to hear that you are much improved.

Gambit62
Gambit62Administrator

Just to be clear - it isn't that the pharmacists are selling the injections - they are providing a service that inlcude administering the injections as well as dispensing the phials. Its more common outside the UK and I'd not really come across it in the UK - and it tends to be more common in countries where B12 for medical purposes is over the counter rather than prescription only - I know this happens in France, Russia and Egypt.

I hope someone comes forward who is aware of a near enough local chemist in the UK providing this services. There are some private providers and there are some how provide injections for non-medical reasons.

Another option might be to look into a self-injector - they are a bit pricey but if you are using them regularly over a long period of time it might save you money - others who have mentioned them as useful on the forum when they couldn't face injecting for themselves.

Thanks for the replies. I have emailed my GP (again) re more frequent injections/whether they can suggest somewhere else locally. Yes, a self-injector might be my only other route. Thanks again.

Or subcutaneous injections ?

Gsd2011
Gsd2011 in reply to Nackapan

Hi What's the difference? atm I do alternate into muscle thigh area once every 2 weeks thinking of once a week I still have numb tingling feet it's been 5 years since diagnosis but have only SI for a year now but I really think I needed more a lot earlier n more frequent it's only last few months I've been doing every 2 weeks plus I go for the 8 weekly one at GP the actual tingling I can feel in lower leg area too very uncomfortable

flosslechops
flosslechops in reply to Gsd2011

I'm doing a jab once every 3 days at moment-when I first started it was weekly but symptoms were back so experimented with different days and settled on that-also did IM at first but muscle wastage has been a problem and very painful for me so I now do sub cut and I don't find any difference with it getting in to system and much easier and less painful to do, it certainly won't hurt for you to experiment with jabs closer together

Gsd2011
Gsd2011 in reply to flosslechops

Hi what is Sub cut?

fbirder
fbirder in reply to Gsd2011

Subcut is short for subcutaneous, meaning 'below the fat'. Often shortened to subcut, SC or subQ. It's a bit of a misnomer because the injection actually goes into the fat.

It's the route diabetics use to inject insulin. It uses a shorter, finer, needle and is supposed to be less painful (I can't say as I've never tried it). Most people use the fat around their belly.

Nobody knows if the B12 is absorbed faster or slower than from an intramuscular injection. There is likely to be no significant difference.

Gsd2011
Gsd2011 in reply to fbirder

Oh well no fat on my belly or anywhere else I best stick to thigh muscles sometimes it bleeds lately but it's not that painful Thank you for explaining

gina76
gina76 in reply to Gsd2011

subcutaneous injection(SI). I do that too. It is vertually painless, at least for me

Reviv have a chain of clinics that do b12 injections for about the same price. You don’t require a prescription (I believe because it’s for wellness and not medical purposes). I had injections there before lockdown as my GP wouldn’t give me any.

I was on the phone with Superdrug a few weeks ago while I was looking for b12 injections for my daughter. They administer b12 injections for over 18yo @ £30 or £35 in some cities. But it s too far away for us also they only do for 18+. Now I’m getting mine from a beauty clinic run by a qualified GP and nurse @ £40 per jab. The GP ruled out my symptoms were related to low b12 because my blood result was in the normal range though it was at the low end.

jaybirdxNHM
jaybirdxNHM in reply to Flinder

It costs less then £1 per jab to DYI, and takes me 5 mins to do from start to finish Clinics are making vast profits. Hhummmm. Please try to self inject .

Sorry I meant the NHS GP ruled out my symptoms were low b12 related NOT the private clinic.

Hi Greyfeathers - obviously some great advice on here. From a personal basis, I decided to get my own supplies and self inject subcutaneously into belly fat. Honestly, as long as you get the right needle it doesn't hurt at all! The psychological build up to injecting is much worse than the act of injecting although B12 does sting a little sometimes - just do it really slowly. You wouldn't even know that you've done it after a couple of minutes. You can always do it in stages ie - draw up the injection then place it safely and hygienically on one side while you have a cuppa - then you only have to return and inject. I promise it becomes second nature very quickly! Also the big bonus is that it costs about £1 to self inject and very convenient at home rather than £29 to have the hassle to go somewhere and get charged £28 more than the actual cost of getting your own supplies!! No prescription required either . . . . Good luck.

Thanks for the advice and encouragement!

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