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Oral B12 vs IM

Specializes in LTC.

What is the rationale behind giving a patient a monthly injection of B12 or having them take it orally every day? Just curious!

The rationale is that a lot of patients are B12 deficient because they can't absorb it through their GI tracts, so by giving them the dose IM, you bypass this problem. (Pernicious anemia, tapeworm infection, significant ileal resection, general malabsorbtion, etc, could all give you B12 deficiency...it's a little harder to get B12 deficiency simply by not taking in enough, since you have enough stored to last many years.)

There is oral B12, but the concern is that it won't be well enough absorbed, as well as several other formulations, including intra-nasal and sub-lingual.

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