Questions for those who do B12 injections

on 2/3/10 3:43 am - OH
So I saw my PCP yesterday and got a prescription for B12 injections and I just picked up the stuff at the pharmacy.  But I got a couple questions.

First of all, my insurance paid for the B12 (which must be injected, of course) but refused to pay for the needles and syringes (which you must have in order to inject the B12, of course).  That makes no sense to me.  Has anyone else had that problem?  I just paid for it myself, but I'd rather my insurance covered it, if I can get them to do so.

Also, how do you dispose of the used needles and syringes?  I asked the pharmacist and she said to get a plastic container with a lid and put them in there and when it gets full just throw it in the trash.  That doesn't sound right to me.  Are you really supposed to set used needles out at the curb with your garbage to be collected?

Andrea U.
on 2/3/10 3:58 am - Wilson, NC
I don't inject myself -- but my dog gets b12 injections 1x a week (don't ask -- I swear he went off and had a RNY without telling us the way he can't keep weight on!)

My target pharmacy has BD containers for 2.99 that I throw just the needles in and throw the syringes away in the trash.  I suppose I could throw the entire thing in the container for the cost of it -- not very expensive -- but I figured why waste the space for something that isn't hazardous?  Sides I was keeping some of the first syringes for dosing the kids (hey, you never know when you need a nice metered syringe?)

So that's what I do.  It's been nice to have since my husband uses razor blades rather than a regular razor to shave with so we put his blades in that when he's done, and we had a kitchen knife break that we put in there.

on 2/3/10 4:01 am
RNY on 05/20/09 with
I do my B-12 injections as well. 

My insurance pays for the needles and syringes.  I would call your insurance company on that one.  That's ridiculous.  

When I dispose of the needle, which is only one time per month, I recap it with the plastic cover and try to place it in a container (such as a used empty bottle of water ).  I believe that is the safest way.  You could, of course, purchase a container from the pharmacy or medical supply store, but for one needle per month, I'd rather just use a recycled water bottle!!

Good luck!
on 2/3/10 4:04 am - NC
RNY on 08/21/09 with
why were you precribed B-12 injections; I have been reading alot regarding B-12 from other WLS patients.  Is this common?
on 2/3/10 4:12 am - OH
I asked for a prescription because my B12 is low and I was concerned about it.  Some people just prefer doing injections once a month to taking it sublingually every day.   There is a also a patch and a nasal spray you can use, if you prefer.  All RNY patients need some kind of B12 supplement.

on 2/3/10 4:21 am - NC
RNY on 08/21/09 with
okay - I thought I get enough from my vitamins but I actually for my 6 months lab next month so I will definately will ask that question.  Does the B-12 boost your energy.
on 2/3/10 4:26 am - OH
You will not get enough from your multivitamin.  That's because 1) we have malabsorption due to bypassing part of the small intestine, and 2) you need something called intrinsic factor in order to absorb B12 that you eat or swallow, and you don't have that in your pouch now.  That's why you need to use a sublingual, or patch, or nasal spray, or shots.  A pill that you swallow won't work.

If your B12 is low,  you'll lack energy.  Boosting your B12 should give you energy in that case.  If your B12 is good, then taking some probably won't give you energy.

Your labs may not show your B12 as being low yet because we store a lot of that in our bodies and you can usually go for quite a while without getting enough before your numbers drop very low.  But it WILL eventually get low if you don't start taking some.  Also, when you get your labs done, be aware that they often tell you that your B12 is OK when it's really not.  What I mean is, most labs consider it "normal" if it's 200-900.  But studies show that if it drops below 550, people usually start having problems with memory and concentration and depression.  If it drops below 400, people usually start having neurological problems.  But your's can be 250 and you can be having trouble walking due to that and your lab report will say it's normal.

on 2/3/10 4:40 am - NC
RNY on 08/21/09 with
thank you for the info very helpful.  I have been having memory and concentration problems and very low energy.  I will surely ask and keep those numbers.
Yvonne McCarthy
on 2/3/10 4:19 am - Plano, TX
RNY on 03/30/01 with
I also do them and yes it is common because we really need to make sure our B12 levels are OK.  Check with your doc and just make sure your levels are OK.

Open RNY 3/30/01  260lbs - 130lbs Yvonne McCarthy, CLC. Health & Wellness Coach (full time volunteer). I am happy to help if I can. Visit and see the Bariatric Girl blog!  Also check out my Facebook Bariatric Girl Page Photography site     .„ø¤º°¨ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨„ø¤º°¨ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨

on 2/3/10 4:05 am - Brunswick,OH/Ruskin/FL, FL

Empty coffee cans work good for disposing of needles and syringes. 


Desperately Seeking a revision to a DS.
Be  careful of the toes you step on today because they will be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.