The Best Way to Administer B12 Shots


Vitamin B12 shots are prescribed to patients who are suffering from B12 deficiency. According to WebMD, being deficient in B12 can turn into anemia, which can leave a person feeling weak or tired. A deficiency in B12 is typically caused by mal-absorption of the vitamin. B12 shots can help to increase the levels of the vitamin in people who cannot benefit from oral supplements.

How to Inject B12 Shots

Typically, B12 intramuscular shots are administered by health care workers. In the event that a patient is to self-inject, following the proper procedures is crucial to ensure that the vitamin is being absorbed properly.

When self-injecting vitamin B12, you'll need the vial of medicine, a clean, new needle, and rubbing alcohol and cotton pads. It is best if the vial of B12 is at room temperature. The vial can be rolled between the hands gently to increase the temperature, according to Cincinnati Children’s website.

Before inserting the needle, clean the top of the vial with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab. Remove the cap of the new needle. Pull back the plunger of the syringe to allow air to enter the needle. Enter as much air as the amount of medicine needed. Insert the needle into the bottle, and push the plunger to release the air into the vial.

Turn the vial and needle upside down, so that the needle is pointed upward and vial of medicine is upside down. Then pull the plunger on the needle back until the medicine is slightly above the proper dosage. If air bubbles are present, gently tap on the needle until they move to the top of the needle.

Gently push the plunger in until any air is back into the vial and the medicine is at the proper dosage.

Because Vitamin B12 shots must be injected intramuscularly, it is necessary to find a large muscular area that can be injected. The most ideal locations are the upper arm, thigh, or buttocks. When self-injecting, the thigh quadrant is the easiest to inject.

Before inserting the needle into the thigh, wipe the area with alcohol first. Holding the needle straight, like a pencil, push the needle in far enough to be in the muscle. Holding the needle with one hand, gently draw back the plunger, checking for blood. If there is blood, do not inject the medicine, but start over instead.

If no blood appears, gently push the plunger in until the medicine is fully injected. Remove the needle and wipe the area clean with a cotton ball and alcohol. Safely dispose of the needle, and use a new needle every time.

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