Many people who have been prescribed this treatment wonder how to inject B12 at home as they consider their options as to where to get B12 shots. While ultimately not difficult, you’ll want to learn how to properly self-inject B12 shots if you want to take care of yourself at home.
Healthcare professionals prescribe B12 injections for people with a nutrient deficiency. You may have health issues that interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the nutrient, you might not be getting enough in your diet, or you could be taking drugs that lower the levels of B12 in your body.
Whether short term or long, being on B12 might be easier for you if you learn how to self inject B12 and handle at home injections yourself.
What are B12 injections?
Your B12 treatment can come in various forms with syringes or in an easy-to-use B12 injection kit. How to inject b12 will depend on which you choose.
Liquid B12 comes in an ambered colored bottle with a rubberized top. The amber color protects the light-sensitive nutrient to extend its useful life. The rubberized top protects it from contamination and exposure to air.
Powdered B12 doesn’t degrade as fast and is less expensive. Some say that, mixed properly in a saline solution, it stings less. You’ll need to be careful to mix it properly and keep it sterile. Follow the directions that come with your powder very carefully.
You can inject your B12 shot directly with a syringe. If needles make you queasy, use a self-injector that delivers the stick and the nutrient with the push of a button.
B12 should be kept out of the reach of children. It is light sensitive, so store it in a dark place. To minimize the risk of infection, make sure the packaging and all materials are clean and sterile. You should store it at room temperature between 59°F and 85°F. Keep an eye on the expiration date and throw away any unused solution that remains after that date.
Where to inject B12
Where you self-inject B12 is a matter of personal choice. You may find certain places easier to reach and less sensitive than others. Experiment and see what works best for you. Change the location with every B12 injection to minimize inflammation and the risk of tissue damage. Injections should be no closer than an inch from each other.
Common places for self-injecting B12 include:
- The middle of your thigh
- The meaty area of your hip
- Upper arm area
- Fleshy part of your abdomen
Some prescriptions are for subcutaneous injections delivered just under your skin. Others less frequently are for deeper (and sometimes painful) intramuscular injections.
Supplies needed for at home injections of B12
Before administering your injection, you will need to assemble the following:
- Clean sterilized surface for your materials
- Antimicrobial soap and clean water
- Alcohol wipes
- Sterile gauze or bandage
- New syringe and needle
- Liquid B12
How to inject B12 at home—step-by-step
Here is how to inject b12 safely at home:
- Wash and disinfect your work surface.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, drying them completely. You might consider wearing sterile gloves.
- Prepare the needle by removing the protective cap. Plunge it into the rubberized top of your liquid B12 vial. Turn it upside down and gently pull the plunger out to draw in the prescribed amount of B12 solution into the barrel.
- Inspect the solution to make sure you don’t see any suspended debris.
- If you are making a subcutaneous injection just under your skin, pinch the area where you will be taking the shot. For intramuscular injections, press on and pull your skin so that it is taut.
- Insert the needle either just under your skin or into the muscle at a 90-degree angle.
- Let go of your skin, leaving the needle in. Pull back the plunger just a little to make sure you have not hit a blood vessel. If a little blood comes into the syringe barrel, pull the needle out and don’t inject the B12 solution. Dispose of the syringe and the solution in a proper sharps container and start over.
- If you don’t see blood, gently push the plunger to inject the B12 into your body. Going slowly reduces the chance you will feel a sting.
- When finished, remove the needle and dispose of it in a proper sharps container. A plastic bottle with a screw-on lid will work nicely. Do not simply place used syringes in the garbage.
Cover the area with a bandage if desired.
Where to Get Help if You Don’t Want to Self-Inject B12
Knowing how to inject B12 yourself might not be all you need. Some people simply find sticking themselves hard to do. Others don’t want to take on the responsibility of measuring doses and managing sterile conditions. Going to a patient-friendly infusion center is a low cost, convenient and comfortable alternative self injecting B12.
We invite you to explore Infusion for Health. We are a walk-in infusion care center. We can fill your B12 prescription directly in California and expedite the process in other states. Here you will find private, first-class care in a relaxing and private environment. You won’t have any preparation worries you might have with self injecting B12 . Instead, you get expert level care and can help you anticipate and deal with any B12 issues or questions you might have.
Talk to your doctor to switch treatment locations and get a referral to an Infusion for Health location convenient to you. Or contact us directly. We’re here to help make it all easy.