cyanocobalamin (oral, Vitamin 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: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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DOSING:

  • The recommended dose for treating vitamin B12 deficiency is 1000 mcg daily.
  • The recommended dose for preventing vitamin B12 deficiency is 1500 mg or 2500 mcg (sublingual tablets) daily.
  • The dose for treating hyperhomocysteinemia is 400 mg daily in combination with folic acid.

DRUG INTERACTIONS:

  • Chloramphenicol may decrease the effectiveness of cyanocobalamin.
  • Cancer drugs may reduce the response to cyanocobalamin treatment.
  • Use of colchicine and heavy alcohol intake for longer than 2 weeks may decrease the absorption of vitamin B12.

PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY:

  • Cyanocobalamin has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. However, vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin and requirements are increased during pregnancy.
  • Cyanocobalamin is excreted into human milk and is safe to use while nursing. Vitamin B12 requirements are increased in nursing mothers.

PREPARATIONS:

  • Tablets: 100, 250, 500, and 1000 mcg
  • Tablet (extended release): 1000 mcg; Tablet (sublingual): 2500 mcg
  • Capsules: 250 and 500 mg

STORAGE:

  • Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM:

  • Cyanocobalamin or vitamin B12 is an essential B-vitamin that 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, reproduction of cells (for example, production of red blood cells, and the production of myelin that protects nerves and proteins within the nucleus of cells. Vitamin B12 also plays an important role in the breakdown or metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and production of proteins. Vitamin B12 deficiency may result in anemia, gastrointestinal problems, and nerve damage.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/5/2016
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