Vitamin B12 Patient Information

In line with up-to-date guidance on Vitamin B12 supplementation from the British Society of Haematology and endorsed by West Berkshire CCG we are changing all our suitable patients over from Vitamin B12 injections to supplements taken by mouth.

Oral Vitamin B12 supplements are taken daily and therefore provide better continuous levels of B12 in the blood stream, reducing peak and troughs and likely better control long-term. In the current COVID climate with the ongoing need for social distancing, oral supplements reduce number of face to face appointments and therefore reduce risk of virus transmission. Oral supplements have no injection associated risks like risk of infection and pain.

We are aware that a number of our patients will have been told in the past, that they will need life-long Vitamin B12 injections based on now outdated guidance. Please rest assured that we have carefully reviewed our patients’ notes to ensure it is safe for our patients to switch from injection to oral supplements.

We would like you to start taking 100mcg Vitamin B12 (= Cyanocobalamin) as a daily supplement, which is widely available over the counter from pharmacies, health food shops and over the internet. Please note, it appears safe to take a higher dose of up to 1000mcg Vitamin B12 daily if you wish to do so.

Ensuring adequate levels of Vitamin B12 in the diet will also help to maintain good levels. Vitamin B12 rich foods are: Eggs, fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, milk and milk products and foods fortified with vitamin B12 ie cereal, yeast/bread.

We would like you to have a one-off blood test once you have been on daily supplements for 3-6 months to ensure you are maintaining the correct level of Vitamin B12.

The above guidance is evidence based and should benefit the majority of our patients. However, should you have any serious concerns about your health relating to Vitamin B12 please call the surgery to book an appointment with one of our Physician’s Associates.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Gabriele Gutmann, on behalf of Brookside Group Practice