How To Inject Vitamin B12

This article will discuss how to inject Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 injections are often given to people who have problems absorbing the vitamin in oral form.

You will need the following to prepare for your shot: 

  • Syringe
  • Alcohol  
  • Cotton balls
  • Vitamin B12
  1. Vitamin B12 shots must be given into a muscle (intramuscular, IM). The syringe with the needle attached is pushed into the muscle and the plunger is pushed. When all the medication is gone, the needle is removed.
  2. Become familiar with the parts of your syringe. The needle is the part that puts the medication into the muscle. The barrel contains the B12. When the plunger is pulled out, it allows the medication into the barrel. When the plunger is pushed down, it sends the medication to the muscle. There are markings on the side of the barrel which tell how many cc’s or ml’s you are putting into the barrel. Make sure you have the correct medication and be sure to check the dosage so you put the correct amount into the barrel before giving yourself an injection. Also, check the expiration date. Make sure the medication is the right color and contains no lumps or crystals.
  3. How to get medication from an ampule. If you are using an ampule (a tiny bottle with a hollow neck), you need to make sure the medication has gone to the bottom before you break it. Flick it with your finger a few times to make sure there is no medication in the hollow tube part.  Hold the bottom part with one hand and the neck wrapped in a wet alcohol wipe in the other hand and break it. Sit it on a level surface. Take off the cap by pulling it straight off.  Put the needle in the broken neck to the liquid at the bottom. Pull the plunger back to pull the medication into the barrel of the syringe. When the barrel has the correct amount, turn it upside down with the needle pointing up and the plunger below it. Flick the side of the barrel to get rid of any air bubbles that might be in the top of the barrel. Push the plunger until the barrel contains the correct amount for the injection. Some medicine will squirt out and get rid of the air.
  4. How to get medication from a vial.  A vial is a small bottle with a plastic or metal top that covers a rubber stopper.  It may hold one or many doses (if it is in powder form it must be made into a liquid by mixing it with a sterile fluid. Get instructions from your doctor or pharmacist on how to mix it.) Wipe the top of the vial with alcohol.  Put the needle into the vial which is turned upside down and push in the plunger. Pull the plunger back to the correct dose. Remove the needle and cover it back up. Follow the same instructions as step two regarding color, air, crystals or lumps and expiration.
  5. Where to give yourself your shot. There are eight safe areas (four on each side) where you can give IM shots. Be sure to change locations so scar tissue doesn’t build up. The areas are the thigh (vastus lateralis), the hip (ventrogluteal muscle), the upper arm muscle (deltoid muscle), and the rear end (dorsogluteal muscle).
  6. Get ready to give yourself an injection. Be sure to wash your hands completed and dry them. Put on gloves if necessary. Take the cap off the needle on the syringe. Wipe the spot where the shot will go with alcohol. Hold the skin right next to where you are going to inject the shot.  Put the needle straight in like you were shooting a dart. Let go of the skin and hold the needle straight. Pull back slightly on the plunger. If you get blood, do not inject the medicine.  Get a new syringe. Push the plunger in to inject the medicine. Pull out the needle and cover it. Press gently on the injection site with a square of sterile gauze. Dispose of the needle safely.
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