Self-injecting vitamin B12 shots can be scary at times, and for good reason. Vitamin B12 shots are inserted intramuscularly, through the thickest, fleshiest and nerve-riddled parts of the body. If you’re considering self-administering vitamin B12 shots to treat pernicious anemia, then it’s important to speak with your doctor first, and learn some basic methods and precautions.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can leave you feeling fatigued, achy, and weak for weeks, or months, unless treated immediately. Self-injecting with vitamin B12 shots is a good way to take control of your own supplementation and ensure a speedy recovery, but there are drawbacks. Here are some helpful tips and safety measures you should consider before starting your own B12 shot regimen for the first time.
B12 shots- tips and warnings
1- Speak with your doctor about the advantages…and risks involved in self-injecting vitamin B12. Have a professional give you proper instruction on the best way of administering vitamin B12 shots without causing damage to the skin or nerves.
2- Once you have learned how to prepare and administer your own B12 injections, it’s still a good idea to have somebody else present when you give yourself a shot, just in case you have an ill reaction.
3- Once you have inserted the needle, if you notice any bleeding while drawing back the syringe, then withdraw right away, in order to avoid damaging a vein or artery. Start over afresh, with a new needle, dose of vitamin B12, and a different area of the body.
4- Before drawing liquid vitamin B12 with your syringe, check for any air bubbles that may be trapped in the bottle. Do not use if air bubbles are present.
5- Only inject the needle in areas of the body that are approved for vitamin B12 shot supplementation. These include muscular, fleshy tissue on the buttocks, upper arms, hips, and thighs. Inserting a needle in any other part of the body may cause bruising, bleeding, or damage to your nerves, bones, and veins.
6- Choose well-developed muscular areas over weaker, less muscular body parts.
7- Always rotate injection sites to avoid nerve damage, scarring, or vitamin B12 malabsorption.
8- Injecting vitamin B12 hurts, even when administered correctly. To prevent excess pain, control the syringe evenly and slowly; don’t apply too much pressure on the plunger to hurry the process.
9- When self-injecting vitamin B12 shots, target areas of the body that you can reach easily and comfortably.
10- It’s important to take age into account when considering where to inject vitamin B12 shots, as muscle tone can change with age.
11- Never rub the area after you take out the needle; you will cause bruising. Instead, hold gauze firmly and steadily over the area for a few seconds.
12- Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any severe pain, redness, pus, yellowish fluids, or other signs of infection resulting from vitamin B12 shots.
Alternatives to vitamin B12 shots
Injecting vitamin B12 shots is not for the faint of heart; alternatively, you may also use over-the-counter (OTC) forms of non-dietary vitamin B12 supplements that are just as digestible as vitamin B12 shots, and less invasive.
Sublingual vitamin B12 enters the blood stream without the need for needles, and is available without prescription. Methods for accessing sublingual vitamin B12 varies, from topical applications to oral drops.
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