Buying b12: Am preparing a written... - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society

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Buying b12


Am preparing a written complaint to PALS as my doctors surgery doesn’t have regular gp’s or a practice manager. I’m so low in b12 now having been refused my injection I’m having trouble putting an eloquent letter together so decided to watch the Society’s videos on you tube. My question is having watched a general practitioner from Oxford explain that the DEPOT version of hydroxycobalamin is carried in oil rather than the ones used in U.K. which are carried in water is this the reason the Drs injection always feels more effective and can we source the same version???

19 Replies

I obtain my B12 DEPOT ampoules from a German online pharmacy and I can assure you that the DEPOT ampoules ( Hydroxocobalamin) are water based , not oil . Very east to inject ! I have used other versions , but they have always been water -based . I cannot imagine where that GP got his information from . I’ll send you the information!

Parksy in reply to wedgewood

Thank you wedgewood. It was a video on the pernicious anaemia society annual meeting. The lady giving the talk was from Oxford. She stated DEPOT means suspended in oil apparently the same as the contraceptive injection.

wedgewood in reply to Parksy

Well as fbirder says it seems it is at an experimental stage . I’ve never come across them . The German Hydroxocobalamin Depot ampoules are all water -based .

Parksy in reply to wedgewood

Just looked at the medical definition of DEPOT in pharmacology book and on Wikipedia and it states DEPOT means suspended in lipids/oils. But it does state the slower release of the medication is better for you.

FoggymeAdministrator in reply to Parksy


Depot is also a term used to describe an area of the body where a medication can be stored (I.e a drug following injection).

Dictionary definition, as follows...



(Pharmaceutical: Dosage forms)

A depot is an area of the body in which a medication can be stored and from which it can be distributed.

Once injected, the drug is released from the depot into the body at a steady rate.

The medicine is injected into a muscle and released slowly from the depot.

A depot is an area of the body in which a medication can be stored and from which it can be distributed.

COBUILD Key Words for the Pharmaceutical Industry. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

In this sense, the term ‘depot’ has nothing to do with the type of fluid (or oil/lipids) that the drug (or vitamin) is suspended in: it’s to do with the mechanical method of delivery (injection) to a site within the body (the depot) from which the injected substance is taken up by the body.

Hence - hydroxocobalamin Depot - the name of B12 (suspended in saline) many here buy from Germany.

As fbirder says, the PAS video reference is to the experimental development of Injectable B12 suspended in lipids (in this sense, the depot) - the experimental hypothesis being that uptake in the body will be slower and give a steady delivery of B12 over a longer period of time - thus smoothing out the highs and lows of conventional B12 injections - or so they hope to prove.

In short...depot is a term that can be applied in a variety of ways...irrespective of the medication or the medium it is suspended in.


Some people are researching the use of a depot injection where the B12 is in oil. The idea is that it would be released more slowly. But it is still only experimental.

The favourite B12 For us to buy from Germany is described as ‘depot’ but it is water based. It is the same formulation you get from the doctor.

wedgewood in reply to fbirder

If such an oil -based depot Hydroxocobalamin ampoule were produced , I suppose that a thicker injection needle would be required .

Nackapan in reply to wedgewood

Wouldnt fancy that then!

I just had a look at the leaflet enclosed with a pack of ROTEXMEDICA Vitamin B12 DEPOT and on the bottom of the back of the sheet, Section 6, further information the ingredients are listed:-

Sodium Chloride, sodium acetate, acetic acid, water for injection.

No mention of oil.

I used the translate app on my iPad

Trying with Depot just came up with a similar list I would expect in an English dictionary. There was no mention of oil in any form.

I will ask my very good friend Pascal if he has any idea about this. It might take a while though as he is rather busy at the moment. This young man has a BSc and MSc both from English universities, is a native German speaker and is also fluent in Spanish.

Parksy in reply to kcbrecks

Ok I have a degree in nursing a post grad degree and I’m thinking I’ve gone mad! I was watching on you tube Dr Rietsenma B12 A Work in progress and 9.34 into the Pernicious Anaemia annual meeting she states about a gentlemen being treated in Germany with DEPOT which means being suspended in oil. Will someone please fast forward to that bit and assure me I’m not going bonkers because obviously I believe what you are all saying but this is a very educated lady. I just want to know I haven’t lost the plot entirely

helvella in reply to Parksy

Just to add a little bit of "other evidence" - though it is clear you are fully understanding the discussion. :-)

Synacthen Depot (available in the UK) also does not contain any oil.

6.1 List of excipients

Zinc chloride anhydrous pure

Disodium phosphate dodecahydrate,

Benzyl alcohol

Sodium chloride

Sodium hydroxide

Water for injections.

So too, Depo-Provera.

kcbrecks in reply to Parksy

Well there is one sure thing Parksy this ‘educated woman’ ain’t buying her B12 from the depot we buy ours from in Germany. Ours is in saline and acetic acid. I had one very educated lady here in the UK tell me B12 is toxic and also you don’t need the full dose and she only gives her mother half. Then there was the GP who told my wife she had Herpes in her ear! Another gave my pal embrocation for a pain in his shoulder which turned out to be a recurrence of bowel cancer in his lungs.

It must be that lovely cerise colour in the B12 ampoule which is confusing her.

FoggymeAdministrator in reply to Parksy

Parksy. Dr Rietsenma is involved with the experimental research trials taking place with B12 suspended in oil - those receiving this are subjects of that research trial: it is only available in an experimental form, to those research subjects.

It is not a available on prescription or to buy over the counter and will not be available until such time as research trials are completed and the product is licensed (assuming research successfully proves efficacy and a volume manufacturer can be acquired). So...years away from a 'marketable' product....if it gets to that stage.

Parksy in reply to Foggyme

Thank you so much for clearing that up for me.

Barneyboy48 in reply to Foggyme

More on this!

I was talking to a friend/neighbor yesterday who is also having have B12 injections.

She is a care-responder - don't know exactly what that is but she's a part of the medical sector. She reported to me about a conversation she'd had regarding the suspension after a discussion about soreness after the injection.

The medical professional she had consulted told her that the suspension is acetic acid. Commonly, this comes in the form of vinegar. I don't know how they produce acetic acid but if it is derived from vinegar then I have some questions.

Vinegar is basically fermented wine that has gone off. Usually because of some sort invasive bacteria, but if derived in this way, then aren't grapes are involved?

How does this stand with those religious communities that cannot imbibe from the grape or the grain?

Just interested really.

fbirder in reply to Barneyboy48

No, they don’t use vinegar. They use glacial acetic acid which is made by reacting methanol and carbon monoxide.

Many countries insist that vinegar is of biological origin. But they use bacterial fermentation of either ethanol or sugar. Wine is too expensive for production of ordinary acetic acid. That’s why you pay more for red wine (or white wine) vinegar.

My repeat prescription states:

Hydroxocobalamin 1mg/1ml solution for injection ampoules.

They do not allow me to self-inject, neither do they allow a pharmacist to do it, even though they have no objection to them administering flu' jabs, which I cannot understand.

I have no idea what the suspension is.

I'm in the UK.

Hello Parksy. Sorry you are having trouble with your surgery and getting your B12. So many of us have been through this situation. I myself now self inject. I got my B12 injections from Germany and needles from Medisave. To be honest I have never heard of hydroxycobalamin being carried in oil. I have only ever had them in water. There have been so many complaints about not being able to get your B12 injection, and also being told that the body stores it for up to a year. My surgery sent me a letter saying they were postponing it for a year. No way could I go a year without it, so having got help from lovely people on here, I am now self injecting and find it so easy to do. I hope you can get something sorted out for you, because it just gets you so stressed as well as having to deal with Covid. Good luck. Briarhill Cat

I have read of someone having skin problems after injecting b12 in oil but I can't remember where I read it. As others say this isn't the case with the Rotex b12 depot.

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