Following national guidance, B12 injections were deferred earlier in the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As guidance continues to get updated we are inviting patients to get in touch with our Pharmacy team to discuss their ongoing Vitamin B12 support if they feel they need to.
If you would like to book a review to discuss your vitamin B12 medication please get in touch with our Pharmacy team online at Engage Consult or on our main telephone number.
Engage Consult can be accessed from our home page. Please click on the Engage Consult logo to be taken to the online site.
Please sign up or log in and follow the online prompts.
Please continue to the request help section and you will be able to type in your request for a B12 review. Our team will then send your request to our Pharmacy team who will get in touch with you.
Please be aware we are experiencing a high volume of calls through our main number and call waiting times may vary throughout the day. Please try to avoid calling us at peak times in the morning.
Thank you for you cooperation and patience during these challenging times.
Please see below for some responses that the General Practitioners Council have provided to some FAQs around B12 which you may find helpful.
The Partnership Team
On behalf of Latham House Medical Practice
Frequently asked questions on B12 injections from The General Practitioners Council
Q: I must have my B12 injection as I have a medical condition
A: whilst many people DID have a medical condition, such as pernicious anaemia, ALL patients start B12 by having 5 or 6 loading does. 50% of this goes into the lever and is sorted for when the levels start to go down again. All patients have a 3 month ‘top up’. All patients who are currently prescribed B12 will have levels sufficient to carry them through these challenging months ahead.
Q: I’m at risk if I don’t get them!
A: looking at what happened in China and now in Italy, it is without a doubt the biggest global threat we have faced since Spanish Flu of 1918. Whilst many fear not having their B12, it is clear that the threat of COVID-19 far exceeds any benefit a patient may feel they obtain from their injections.
Q: I need the injection as I HAVE BEEN TOLD that I CANNOT absorb B12.
A: B12 is the largest of the vitamin molecules. We don’t make it – it has to be obtained from the diet. Patients are almost all aware that B12 mainly gets into our body because of a ‘carrier’ called intrinsic factor (IF). This IF binds to B12 and takes it into the blood. HOWEVER: there is another 5% which is absorbed without IF. The problem is that modern diet is so low in B12 deficiency rates are spiking. This is not due to lacking Intrinsic Factor – it is due to low amounts in the diet.
Advice to patients: A good diet contains 2 – 5 mcg of B12 and we will absorb this. Few take in this amount through diet and so deficiency is inevitable.
Q: I cannot absorb B12.
A: Again this links to patients believing this having been told and for most part this has been endorsed by the Internet. We advise 1,000mcg tablets daily – That is 400 times that normal recommended amount. Even in patients who DO NOT HAVE INTRINSIC FACTOR they will absorb their daily recommended amount.
Q: I have pernicious anaemia?
A: For some – they did, but they don’t now as it has been treated because they have had their loading dose. The loading dose which everyone has had has treated the pernicious anaemia. The 3 monthly injections are simply a precaution to stop it coming back. As stated they have sufficient levels and stores to take us though this difficult time.
Q: Only B12 injection has been proven to work
A: Again: untrue. Whilst historically we use injection this is to get quick and speedy resolution if a problem exists. There is no evidence that oral B12 is inferior or puts patients at risk.