Frequently Asked Questions

Does the injection hurt?

You’d struggle to describe an injection as a pleasant experience, but it certainly shouldn’t hurt. There may be a slight sting, as with the flu jab or a travel vaccine. If you follow the advice of your pharmacist and keep your arm relaxed this will make it far less likely to hurt. Keeping your arm relaxed and not tensed helps reduce discomfort because the muscle fibres will also be relaxed.

How often can I have a B12 injection?

We limit the rate at which you can have a B12 injection to every 28 days. This is not because it is unsafe to have one more often than this, but that it is more in line with the normal dosing regimens for treating people with deficiencies. We advise having an injection as often as you feel you need one, whether this be on a monthly basis or twice a year.

Who decides that a B12 injection is safe for me?

The vitamin is prescribed to you by a UK registered non-medical prescriber who has over a decade of experience working in both general practice and secondary care. Successful completion of the medical screen, which was created by VitaJab’s multidisciplinary healthcare team, ensures that a B12 injection is safe and suitable for you.

Should I have a blood test?

Blood tests tell us a great deal of information about individuals and for some corrective treatments it is essential that blood testing takes place. With regards to vitamins, particularly B12, we know that people can express the symptoms of deficiencies without actually being deficient as defined by a blood test.

We would encourage anyone who takes regular supplementation, or who has a regular B12 injection, to speak to their GP about a blood test if they are seeing no signs of improvement after 3 months, or 3 successive injections.

Does my GP need to know?

The pharmacist that administers your injection will have a notification letter to forward on to your GP. We think it’s a good idea that your GP is aware if you are having regular B12 injections, simply because our GPs are the centre-point of all our health care and records. If you don't wish for your GP to be notified just let your pharmacist know.

How likely is it that something could go wrong?

It’s highly unlikely that something could go wrong as a result of a B12 injection. For your reassurance we prescribe a licensed UK medicine that has been used for decades without incident. We only allow specially trained and experienced pharmacists to administer the injection to you.

Should I do anything in particular before I have my injection?

Not really, but it’s always a good idea to have had your breakfast; it is after all the most important meal of the day for many good reasons. So long as your blood sugar is stable and you’re well hydrated you will be set to go. Wearing a top that allows the pharmacist to access the injection site at the top of your arm will also be helpful.

Can I still take other multivitamins?

Yes, we do suggest that you take a reputable multivitamin on a regular basis. Vitamin B12 is one of several vitamins that plays an essential role in the body, so it's important that we help our bodies to become rich in all of these vitamins through our diet and supplementation. It's particularly important for those following a plant based diet to supplement with iron and vitamin D alongside B12.

Do I need to contact the pharmacy before I visit?

Yes, we do advise that you speak to your preferred pharmacy to arrange a time to visit. Whilst the aim is that pharmacists will be able to administer your injection within a few minutes of an unexpected arrival, this may not always be possible.

Pharmacies are busy places that also provide a range of other services, so from time to time there may be a small wait. The good thing is that the VitaJab website sorts out all of the paperwork in advance of your arrival and this saves a lot of time!

What happens with my referral code?

The pharmacy team at your chosen pharmacy will use this code to access the documents they need, including a private prescription, to administer your B12 injection. Only you can use the referral code - it cannot be transferred to someone else.

How long does it take?

The injection itself takes no more than a few moments, but the pharmacy team will need to do a small amount of preparation beforehand. After the injection the pharmacist will ask you to stay in the pharmacy for up to 10 minutes; this is a precautionary measure after any injection, including the flu jab and travel vaccines.

How long before I feel the benefits?

Benefits will vary amongst people of different ages and circumstances. It may be a few days before you notice the benefits, or it could be sooner. Sometimes people don’t notice an immediate benefit, but rather realise a few weeks later that they are starting to feel as they did before having the injection.

How long will the benefits last?

This will vary amongst people of different ages and circumstances. Ultimately the amount of benefit you experience and how long this lasts will determine how often you feel inclined to have a B12 injection.