As a vitamin, Vitamin B12 is found in all sorts of food, like fish, meat, and dairy products. Where there is not enough Vitamin B12 in the food you eat, you can also turn to supplements in order to meet your daily requirement of the vitamin. One of the most common conditions that arise due to a deficiency in the vitamin is pernicious anemia, although this is generally found in older people. But while important in the body, as with any vitamin, Vitamin B12 also has its side effects, when amounts in the body exceed tolerable levels.
Some of the Vitamin B12 side effects you should be mindful of include:
* Cardiovascular – parenteral cyanocobalamin with specific Vitamin B12 side effects such as pulmonary edema, peripheral vascular thrombosis, and congestive heart failure;
* Dermatologic – parenteral and intranasal cyanocobalamin characterized by transitory and itching exanthema. Worsening or the occurrence of inflammatory folliculitis and acne is also reported as some of the Vitamin B12 side effects when high doses of the vitamin (up to 10 mg/week) are ingested. However, what exactly causes this reaction has not been resolved. It’s just that upon the first couple of injections of the vitamin, acne flares up, but usually goes away after eight to 10 days after the Vitamin B12 injections are stopped. There was also an instance when a severe skin reaction that looked like acne rosacea was associated temporarily with daily doses of the vitamin set at 100mcg of Vitamin B12 and 100mg of Vitamin B6. Again, stopping the dosage stopped the Vitamin B12 side effects. Some medical professionals are of the suspicion that the iodine or sorbitol in some Vitamin B12 ampules may be causing at least some of the skin reactions associated with using this vitamin;
* Gastrointestinal – there aren’t many Vitamin B12 side effects reported for the gastrointestinal system but intranasal cyanocobalamin include nausea and glossitis, while parenteral cyanocobalamin include mild transient diarrhea, vomiting, also nausea, and dyspepsia; and
* Hypersensitivity – these Vitamin B12 side effects are not necessarily the fault of the vitamin itself, but rather due to impurities acquired during the manufacturing process. However, unlike other Vitamin B12 side effects, those associated with hypersensitivity appear in varying rates. Some appear as soon as one dose, while others can take weeks or months to manifest. There have also been cases, although very rare, wherein the Vitamin B12 side effects appeared after several years.
How to avoid Vitamin B12 side effects
The most common reason why Vitamin B12 side effects manifest is due to overdosing on the vitamin. As such, it follows that you can prevent Vitamin B12 side effects from manifesting if you follow the right dosage. If you’re on prescription medication, always make sure that you follow only what your doctor has prescribed. There’s no point in taking more than what you’re supposed to because this will not make the vitamin more effective in addressing your condition. In fact, it may worsen the situation since other conditions may manifest due to the Vitamin B12 side effects. You are taking the vitamin to have better health so don’t throw things out of whack by not following the prescribed dose.
Hailey Lossen writes about such health topics as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B12 Deficiency.