Generic name: cyanocobalamin (sye-an-oh-koe-BAL-a-min)
Drug class: Vitamins
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 17, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Vita #12
- Vitabee 12
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Nutritive Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Vitamin B (class)
Uses for cyanocobalamin
Cyanocobalamin injection is used to treat or prevent vitamin B12 deficiency caused by the following conditions:
- Addisonian (pernicious) anemia
- Stomach or bowel problems
- Worm infestation
- Pancreas or bowel cancer
- Folic acid deficiency.
Cyanocobalamin is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
Before using cyanocobalamin
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For cyanocobalamin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cyanocobalamin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Normal daily requirements of vitamin B12 vary according to age.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of cyanocobalamin injection in geriatric patients.
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving cyanocobalamin, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using cyanocobalamin with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of cyanocobalamin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to cobalt—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
- Megaloblastic anemia, severe—May increase risk for hypokalemia.
Proper use of cyanocobalamin
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you cyanocobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is given as a shot into a muscle.
If you are using cyanocobalamin to treat vitamin B12 deficiency caused by pernicious anemia, you will need to use the medicine for the rest of your life.
Tell your doctor if you are on a vegetarian diet.
Precautions while using cyanocobalamin
It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly. Blood and other laboratory tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Cyanocobalamin side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- bleeding from the gums or nose
- blue lips and fingernails
- chest pain
- coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
- decreased urine output
- difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
- difficulty with swallowing
- dilated neck veins
- extreme fatigue
- eye pain
- fast heartbeat
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- increased sweating
- irregular breathing
- irregular heartbeat
- pale skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- ringing in the ears
- swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight gain
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- skin rash with a general disease
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about cyanocobalamin
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Pricing & Coupons
- 25 Reviews
- Drug class: vitamins
- Drug Information
- Cyanocobalamin injection
- Cyanocobalamin nasal
- Cyanocobalamin Nasal (Advanced Reading)
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.