Our vaccinating pharmacists can administer your prescribed Vitamin B12 injection, with no appointment. Our pharmacy is conveniently located centrally on the main street of Howick.
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin or hydroxocobalamin, is necessary for the production of red blood cells, and plays an important role in the normal metabolism and health of nerve cells and the formation of genetic material.
Vitamin B12 is also involved in the breakdown of protein, fat and carbohydrates. It is essential for mood and nervous system support and healthy mental function.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and is derived almost entirely from certain foods such as meat, fish, shellfish, dairy products, eggs and edible algae. Vegetables alone are an inadequate source of Vitamin B12.
A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. But if untreated, it may lead to symptoms such as:
Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
A smooth tongue
Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
Nerve problems such as numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
Mental health problems such as depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 affects more women than men, and can be due to:
Lack of intrinsic factor, a substance produced in the stomach that is necessary for the absorption of Vitamin B12 from food. Pernicious anaemia is one such condition where the production of intrinsic factor is impaired and is a leading cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
A diet inadequate in Vitamin B12 rich foods - particularly in vegetarians and vegans who do not eat animal products.
Inadequate absorption or utilisation of Vitamin B12 because of age, gastric abnormalities such as Coeliac disease, inflammation of the stomach or intestines, after stomach and bowel surgery, and inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease).
Drugs that may interfere with the absorption of Vitamin B12, e.g. metformin, long-term ranitidine and proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole.
Heavy alcohol consumption
Diseases of the pancreatic
Rare congenital disorders
Intramuscular Vitamin B12 injection forms the basis of most treatment plans of Vitamin B12 deficiency. A B12 injection can provide sufficient levels in the body for up to 3 months.