Cyanocobalamin is known as a man-made form of vitamin B12 that can be used to treat deficiency or low levels of this vitamin. Vitamin B12 is important for overall health as it assists the body in properly using carbohydrates and fat for energy while also creating new protein. This vitamin is also essential for normal nerves, cells, and blood. Although most people are able to derive enough vitamin B12 from the foods they eat, if you have certain health conditions, you may experience a deficiency. Vegetarians and vegans may also be at risk for Vitamin B12 deficiency.

How to Use Cyanocobalamin

There are injection and oral form of this medication. Read on to get detailed information of how this medication is used.

1. Cyanocobalamin Injection

Cyanocobalamin injection is categorized as a class of vitamins. Due to the fact that it is injected directly into the bloodstream, it can be used for vitamin B12 supplementation in individuals who are not able to absorb enough of this vitamin through their intestines.

Cyanocobalamin comes in a liquid solution that can be injected just under the skin or into a muscle. It is typically injected in a clinic by a healthcare provider. Cyanocobalamin injections are usually provided on a daily basis for approximately one week. The medication may then be received approximately every other day over the course of the next two weeks and thereafter about every three days for the following two to three weeks. Once your anemia has been resolved, you may require injections monthly in order to prevent symptoms from returning.

Injections of cyanocobalamin can provide you with a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 provided that you receive injections on a regular basis. It may be necessary to receive injections for the remainder of your life. Even if you continue to feel well, it is important to keep all appointments with your healthcare provider. If you stop receiving injections, you may notice symptoms that your anemia is returning. It is also possible for your nerves to become permanently damaged.

Cyanocobalamin injections may also be used to treat genetic conditions that result in a decreased ability of the intestine to absorb vitamin B12. Methylmalonic aciduria is a genetic condition in which the body is not able to break down protein. Cyanocobalamin is sometimes used to treat this condition and may also be given to unborn babies to prevent this condition following birth.

2. Cyanocobalamin Oral

When taking oral cyanocobalamin, it is important to ensure that you adhere to all directions. This medication should typically be taken once daily by mouth. In order to achieve the most benefit, it should be taken on a regular basis. Taking it at the same time each day can help you to remember to take it.

Dosages are based on your response to treatment, medical condition, and laboratory tests. You should consult your pharmacist or physician for details as they relate to you. Various brands of cyanocobalamin are available on the market. Dosing may vary between different products.

  • In using the liquid form of cyanocobalamin, you should measure the dose carefully. Household spoons should not be used. Instead, use a special measuring spoon. You may need to shake the bottle prior to use.
  • Extended-release tablets should not be chewed or crushed as this can cause the drug to be released all at once, putting you at an increased risk for side effects. Extended-release tablets should also not be split unless directed to do so by a pharmacist or physician.
  • Chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly prior to swallowing.
  • Rapidly-dissolving tablets should be allowed to dissolve in the mouth and may be taken with or without water.

Precautions of Cyanocobalamin

  • Tell your pharmacist or physician if you are allergic to cyanocobalamin products, multi-vitamins, hydroxocobalamin, cobalt, or any other vitamins or medications.
  • Inform your pharmacist of physician regarding non-prescription and prescription medications, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and herbal products you are taking. Your doctor may need to alter your dosages or monitor you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you drink or if you have experienced Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy or kidney disease.
  • Let your doctor know whether you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or nursing. If you become pregnant while using this medication, inform your physician.
  • Continue to eat a regular diet, unless advised to do otherwise by your doctor.

Side Effects of Cyanocobalamin

Cyanocobalamin injection and OTC product may result in some side effects, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling as if your entire body as swollen

If these side effects do not dissipate, tell your doctor. Certain side effects are rare but can be serious. Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Pain, swelling, redness or tenderness in either leg
  • Swollen hands, arms, lower legs, ankles or feet
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Red skin color, particularly on the face
  • Muscle weakness, cramps, or pain
  • Leg pain
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Confusion
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching