Cyanocobalamin (b12)

Pronunciation

Generic Name: cyanocobalamin (b12) (sigh-an-oh-koe-BAL-uh-min)
Brand Name: Cobal 1000

Cyanocobalamin (b12) is used for:

Maintaining normal vitamin B12 blood levels in certain patients with pernicious anemia. It is also used to treat or prevent low blood levels of vitamin B12 that may be caused by other conditions.

Cyanocobalamin (b12) is a form of vitamin B12. It works by replacing vitamin B12 in the body.

Do NOT use cyanocobalamin (b12) if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in cyanocobalamin (b12), including cobalt

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using cyanocobalamin (b12):

Some medical conditions may interact with cyanocobalamin (b12). Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have an infection, Leber disease (weakened eye nerve), a buildup of waste in the blood (uremia), any kind of anemia, or low blood levels of iron or folic acid
  • if you are a vegetarian
  • if you drink alcohol on a regular basis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with cyanocobalamin (b12). Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Chloramphenicol or other medicine that may decrease your bone marrow because effectiveness of cyanocobalamin (b12) may be decreased; ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may decrease your bone marrow
  • Colchicine or para-aminosalicylic acid because the effectiveness of cyanocobalamin (b12) may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if cyanocobalamin (b12) may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use cyanocobalamin (b12):

Use cyanocobalamin (b12) as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cyanocobalamin (b12) is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using cyanocobalamin (b12) at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If cyanocobalamin (b12) contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of cyanocobalamin (b12), use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use cyanocobalamin (b12).

Important safety information:

  • Heavy alcohol intake for more than 2 weeks may decrease the effectiveness of cyanocobalamin (b12). Check with your doctor if you drink alcohol on a regular basis.
  • Do not substitute folic acid for cyanocobalamin (b12) without first checking with your doctor. Folic acid may prevent anemia but may not prevent other serious symptoms such as spinal cord problems.
  • You should have blood tests every 3 to 6 months to monitor your progress.
  • Certain medicines, including antibiotics, methotrexate, or pyrimethamine, may interfere with lab tests for vitamin B12 and folic acid. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know all the medicines that you are taking.
  • Do not take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or megavitamin therapy) while taking cyanocobalamin (b12) unless directed by your doctor.
  • LAB TESTS, including complete blood cell counts, platelet counts, and blood potassium, vitamin B12, and folic acid levels, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Cyanocobalamin (b12) contains benzyl alcohol, a preservative. Do not use cyanocobalamin (b12) in NEWBORNS or INFANTS because serious and sometimes fatal nervous system problems and other side effects may occur.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking cyanocobalamin (b12), discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using cyanocobalamin (b12) during pregnancy. Cyanocobalamin (b12) is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using cyanocobalamin (b12), check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of cyanocobalamin (b12):

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. If any of the following most COMMON side effects continue or become bothersome, check with your doctor: Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild, temporary diarrhea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); calf pain, swelling, or tenderness; chest pain; feeling of swelling throughout the entire body; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; irregular heartbeat; muscle weakness or cramping; shortness of breath; unusual bruising or bleeding.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of cyanocobalamin (b12):

Store cyanocobalamin (b12) at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Store upright. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep cyanocobalamin (b12) out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about cyanocobalamin (b12), please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cyanocobalamin (b12) is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take cyanocobalamin (b12) or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about cyanocobalamin (b12). It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to cyanocobalamin (b12). This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using cyanocobalamin (b12).

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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