• Dr. Tania Dempsey

What you need to know about B12 Injections

Vitamin injections and IV's can be essential to patients who have vitamin deficiencies. Many patients with deficiencies have absorption issues, stemming from surgeries like gastric bypass, inflammation in the gut, and hereditary factors. Oral vitamins in this case will not have a great enough effect on their levels, so giving the vitamins intravenously or intramuscularly will bypass the gut and get the vitamins directly into the blood stream where it can then be absorbed into their cells. Vitamins are critical for different cell functions and without them there are a variety of conditions that could develop. B12 deficiency, for instance, can lead to neurological problems such as memory loss and neuropathy, which can be irreversible.. Giving the vitamins that the patient is in need of can not only treat the underlying deficiency but can prevent long term damage.


B12 injections can prevent dementia and memory loss as well as neuropathy. Intravenous vitamin C is used to boost the immune system and to prevent infections. Studies also support the use of IV Vitamin C for cancer prevention.


The risks are minimal and depend on the vitamin used and the mode of administration. A B12 injection into a muscle, usually the deltoid in the shoulder, is relatively safe and the main side effect is soreness in the muscle. There might be soreness at the site of the injection and very rarely a patient can have an allergic reaction to it, but it is otherwise a safe and easy procedure. The risk of IV Vitamin C is relatively low but the possible side effects involve either a complication from the IV procedure like bleeding, infiltration, burning and irritation or from the vitamin C itself. High dose IV vitamin C can cause hemolysis or damage to red blood cells usually seen in patients who have a genetic disorder called G6PD. Screening for this before receiving IV Vitamin C can minimize this risk.

As an integrative internist, my expertise is in getting to the root cause of my patients' illnesses. The immune system is the driving force of most, if not all, of the chronic diseases that I see. Immunology is a large focus of my practice and I treat patients with many immunological diseases, including immunodeficiencies, allergies and asthma, mast cell activation disorder, and autoimmunity.

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