cyanocobalamine (Nascobal, Vitamin B12, VitaMelts Energy Bitamin B-12)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

DOSAGE: (dosing may vary with individuals and with clinicians; doses presented here are examples for injection, not for oral or topical use) : Pernicious anemia (lifetime treatment required): 100 mcg intramuscularly or subcutaneously once daily for 6-7 days, followed by the same dose given on alternate days for seven doses, then every 3-4 days for another 2-3 months. Recommended maintenance dose is 100 mcg monthly for life.

For iron deficiency, the recommended dose is 30 mcg intramuscular injection once daily for 5-10 days then 100 to 200 mcg intramuscular injection monthly.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin) may decrease the effectiveness of cyanocobalamine. Cancer drugs may reduce the response to cyanocobalamine treatment. Use of colchicine (Colcrys) and heavy alcohol intake for longer than 2 weeks may decrease the absorption of vitamin B12.

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY: Cyanocobalamine has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. However, vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin and requirements are increased during pregnancy.

Cyanocobalamine is excreted into human milk and is safe to use while breastfeeding. Vitamin B12 requirements are increased in nursing mothers.

PREPARATIONS: Cyanocobalamine injection, 1000 mcg/mL

STORAGE: Injection should be stored at 20 C - 25 C (68 F - 77 F).

How does cyanocobalamine work?: Cyanocobalamine or vitamin B12 is an essential B-vitamin. Cyanocobalamine is classified as a water-soluble vitamin. Food sources of vitamin B12 include fish, shellfish, meats, and dairy products. Vitamin B12 is necessary for growth, cell reproduction, production of red blood cells (hematopoiesis), and the production of myelin and nucleoprotein. Vitamin B12 also plays an important role in the breakdown or metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and has a role in protein synthesis. Vitamin B12 deficiency may result in anemia, gastrointestinal problems, and nerve damage. Cyanocobalamine is used to treat pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. It is also used in the Schilling test to determine vitamin B12 absorption. Cyanocobalamine was approved by the FDA in 1949.

Medically reviewed by Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/25/2016

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