Pernicious Anaemia Society

Supplements to B12 injection regime

After diagnosis with PA in early part of 2010 I was told that I would need to have B12 injections. My B12 level was in double figures. My doc arranged for the first injection with a follow up a month later then on to a 3 monthly schedule. As I was also anaemic I was taking iron supplements. Earlier this year I attended for my 3mthly jab and was told by the nurse that the doc felt that as my B12 levels were high (1000) the jabs should be moved to 6mthly. As I was feeling very unwell with a variety of symptoms that couldn't be pinned down, including pin + needles in hands and feet I was concerned. I briefly discussed with the nurse that it could be the case the B12 level shown might be inactive B12. The response I received was that if I wasn't absorbing and using the B12 then giving me additional B12 wouldn't change this situation. Is it the case that B12 injections on their own are adquate or do you need to take some other supplements alongside to enable the B12 to be taken up and used by the body as intended?

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    PerniciousAnaemiaSociety
    PerniciousAnaemiaSociety Administrator

    Most people require B12 injections atleast once a month, so if three monthly wasn't bad enough (the standard treatment), six monthly was a very bad decision and you will get much much worse. There is no point in monitoring B12 levels as if you are diagnosed with PA, your levels will drop back down if you don't receive regular B12 injections. What you need to do is get yourself onto monthly injections and take a supplement of folic acid everyday, the folic acid donates a methyl group to the hydroxocobalamin, which then converts it to methylcobalamin (pure transportive form of B12). Unfortunately, it is very unlikely you will convince any GP that you need more regular injections, so the only alternative is to go private. If you join the Pernicious Anaemia Society on our homepage www.pernicious-anaemia-soci... we can give you the contact details of a private doctor we work closely with. He can provide you with a supply of B12 and teach you how to self-inject.

    Best Wishes,
    Ken.

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