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How to Take Vitamin B12 Shots

b12 injection instructions

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Taking self-injections of vitamin B12 shots at home can save costs from doctor visits and valuable time it takes to visit a doctor. It is encouraged for you to first visit your doctor for the vitamin prescription and a one-on-one instruction of how much to inject, where on the body to inject, and how often to inject. However, once you have those preparations, self-injecting is simple.

As a quick guide to follow, here are 7 steps to help you self-inject:

Step 1 – Ensure that all materials are cleaned and disinfected properly before use. This includes thoroughly washing your hands.

Tip: To further reduce the risk of infection or injury, try wearing rubber gloves during the injection process.

Step 2 – Open the syringe packaging and remove the needle’s safety covering. Then, pull the plunger of the syringe to the desired amount of the dose administered to you by your doctor.  Doing so will fill the syringe with air.

Tip: Check the entire syringe to make sure it’s functioning properly before use.

Step 3 – Insert the needle through the center of the rubber stopper on the vitamin vial until the needle reaches the vitamin solution. Then, turn the stopper upside down and inject the needle into the vial by pushing in the syringe’s plunger. Next, draw the vitamin solution into the syringe by pulling the plunger back once more to the prescribed amount.

Tip: Wipe the rubber stopper with an alcohol disinfectant pad to further protect yourself from infections.

Step 4 – After the plunger is set at the right dosage amount, hold the vial and syringe upright and gently tap the side of the syringe. This action removes trapped air bubbles in the syringe. Then, remove the needle from the vial. Lastly, push in the plunger very slightly to expel a small amount of the vitamin solution. This will ensure there are no remaining air bubbles in the syringe.

Tip: Do not inject the vitamin solution if air bubbles are present. If air bubbles still remain in the syringe after Step 4, then dispose of that syringe and needle and start the process over again.  

Step 5 – Cleanse the injection site with an alcohol pad. Then, flatten the injection site by pinching with thumb and forefinger the skin against the muscle. Next, insert the needle into the injection site by holding the syringe like you are holding a pencil with the point down.

Tip: An upper thigh or arm is a common place for an injection site. If desired, you can numb the injection site before inserting the needle by either using an ice pack or by using a prescription drug from your doctor.

Step 6 – Once the needle is deep enough into the muscle, then inject the vitamin solution by pushing in the syringe’s plunger at a moderate pace.

Tip: Make sure the speed of the injection isn’t too slow or fast since this may cause pain or even the vitamin solution to seep from the skin.

Step 7 – Let go of the skin and quickly remove the needle after injection. Then, replace the cover on the needle and dispose of all used materials

Tip: If the injection site is bleeding afterward, you can either apply a Band-Aid or apply pressure on the site with a cotton ball until bleeding stops.

If you are still hesitant in self-injecting, you can first try the process with an orange. And in some cases, doctors can even supply videos and pictured directions of how to self-inject at home.