Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy red blood cells, neurological function, and DNA formation. It is a water-soluble vitamin also known as cobalamin. People who are deficient in vitamin B-12 are often prescribed to take a B-12 injection because the shot allows for 100 percent absorption directly into the tissue. This method is very effective at reversing or preventing a B-12 deficiency.

Benefits of taking a B-12 injection

  • Helps to improve sleep.
  • Increases energy levels and fights fatigue.
  • Increases concentration.
  • Improves mood.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Speeds up metabolism and helps with weight loss.
  • Reverses hair loss.
  • Helps to prevent anemia.

Having a vitamin B-12 deficiency is becoming increasingly common because more and more people are converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Eliminating food sources that contain B-12 such as meat, eggs, and dairy products can make you vulnerable to developing a B-12 deficiency. Although, some meat eaters who don’t absorb vitamin B-12 well can also end up developing a deficiency. This is when a B-12 injection can be extremely beneficial.

Vitamin B-12 injections can be self-administered, but the safest way is to have a trained healthcare professional give the injection. There are four possible injection sites on the body to choose from. The ideal site is dependent upon the age and comfort level of the person giving you the shot.

B-12 Injection Sites

Upper arm

This injection site is used for young or middle-aged adults. But an older adult whose muscles in this area are well developed can also take the shot here too.


This injection site is on the upper outer buttock area on either side of the body. Only a professional should administer the injection at this site because it is located close to major blood vessels and sciatic nerve. If the vitamin B-12 injection were to be given incorrectly, the blood vessels and sciatic nerve could be damaged.

Outer Hip

This injection site is used for children as young as7 months old to adults. Most professionals prefer this area because there are no blood vessels or nerves that could get damaged from the shot.

The Thigh

This injection site is used mostly by people who administer the injection themselves as well as infants or small children. There are two types of B-12 injection methods that can be used, intramuscular and subcutaneous. Their procedure and effectiveness vary between the two methods.

  • Intramuscular injection – this is the more common injection used which tends to produce safe and effective results. The needle is inserted at a 90-degree angle deep into the muscular tissue. As vitamin B-12 is administered, it is absorbed immediately by the surrounding muscle.
  • Subcutaneous injection – this type of injection is inserted just below the skin instead of into the muscle. The needle is inserted at a 45-degree angle which the outer skin may be pulled away to ensure the needle does not puncture the muscle. The upper arm area is the best site for this type of injection.

If you are having a B-12 injection administered, always make sure that the site chosen is exposed and cleaned with rubbing alcohol in a circular motion. Allow the site to dry before giving the shot.

  • Clean the surface of the B-12 vial with rubbing alcohol and a new cotton ball.
  • Turn the vial upside down and remove a clean needle from its package.
  • Take the safety top off the needle and insert the needle into the vial pulling the syringe back to the desired amount to inject.
  • Remove the needle from the vial and give a slight push to expel a small amount of B-12 to make sure the air is out of the syringe.
  • Using the thumb and forefinger to hold the skin, administer the B-12 injection pulling the plunger back just a little to make sure there is no blood in the syringe.
  • Continue administering the B-12 solution then let go of the skin to remove the needle at the same angle it was inserted.
  • Wipe the injection site in a circular motion and then apply a band-aid.
  • Dispose of the needle properly because disposable needles should be used only once.
  • Store any unused B-12 injection solution at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

See also: B12 Injections: What Side Effects to Watch Out For

If you are showing signs of a vitamin B-12 deficiency such as frequent bouts of dizziness, forgetfulness, muscle weakness, and stomach discomfort/constipation, just to name a few, then maybe it is time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Corwin Thomas at CT Cardio. With his many years of experience, Dr. Thomas is known to invest his time in his patients so that together the right treatment plan can be tailored to their specific needs. To learn more about the services CT Cardio provides, call to speak to someone today at 337-234-3163.

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