B-12 shot side effects and 3 great alternatives you can take

Red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, and even DNA production ― Vitamin B-12, also known as cobalamin, is key in each process.  If you’re exploring taking a vitamin B-12 shot to correct the feeling of tiredness, muscle weakness, or even pins and needles in your hands or feet, it’s a good idea to be aware […]
February 17, 2023

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By Branded Joy Editorial Staff

Red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, and even DNA production ― Vitamin B-12, also known as cobalamin, is key in each process. 

If you’re exploring taking a vitamin B-12 shot to correct the feeling of tiredness, muscle weakness, or even pins and needles in your hands or feet, it’s a good idea to be aware of possible side effects. 

Although uncommon, deficiency of this vitamin can occur, and it’s linked to many health conditions.

In this article, we’ll let you know the B-12 shot side effects, as well as 3 great alternatives to the needle you can easily integrate into your daily life.

What are the possible side effects?

In almost all cases, people affected by vitamin B-12 deficiency are individuals with health conditions that inhibit them from properly absorbing cobalamin. I.e., older population and people with gastrointestinal issues.

They are not the only ones, though. 

Sometimes, vegetarians and vegans could be affected too because most natural food sources of B-12 come from animal meat and dairy products.

Some autoimmune conditions could also be at fault for lacking vitamin B-12.

The B-12 shots are normally utilized in cases where someone suffers from a severe B-12 deficiency. Injections bypass all possible barriers, get directly to the muscle and start working immediately. 

However, although an effective way of solving this problem, shots can have side effects worth being aware of.

We’re talking about:

  • Dizziness,
  • Headache,
  • Itching,
  • Pale skin,
  • Ringing in the ears,
  • Tightness in the chest,
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness,
  • Eye pain,
  • and Fast heartbeat.

It’s important to note that some side effects do not require medical attention and will wear off as your body gets used to the medicine. 

Now, be aware of this: if your health professional considers it imperative for you to take an injection, you should listen to them. 

The causes of your B-12 deficiency should be pointed out after medical exploration and blood tests. Depending on the results, you might need a recurrent source of B-12. 

Most commonly, your doctor will recommend you some pills. You should know there are many options out there. Here are three categories to choose from…

3 ways to get B-12 without B-12 shots

Many people don’t like needles and get shivers just thinking about it. However, if you require a trustworthy source of vitamin B-12, here are a few recommendations for you.

B-12 Diffusers 

Vitamin B-12 diffusers are easily transportable systems where you consume the vitamin as a mist/vapor. So, instead of injecting it into your bloodstream, you breathe in its benefits. 

These are similar to vapes, but in this case, the B-12 diffusers don’t have nicotine or the harmful chemicals most vapes have. 

A great example of a B-12 diffuser you can use to get your daily vitamin value is the products by Breathe B12.

They make disposable and rechargeable B-12 diffusers. The rechargeable ones use pods that last up to 75 days -with 5-10 breaths per day-, and USB-C charging. 

The disposable ones last up to 30 days. 

 These are some of the key characteristics their product has, as listed on their website:

  • Vegetable Glycerin USP, Deionized Water, Organic Fruit Flavor Extract (Organic Cane Alcohol and Natural Flavors).
  • Each serving has 133 mcg of methylated vitamin B-12 (5,000% of the
  • e daily value needed by adults).
  • No diacetyl, nicotine, or tobacco; no propylene glycol, vitamin E acetate, or acetyl propionyl: no THC or cannabinoids.

Breathe B12 only uses ingredients tested in USA facilities. You can check their B-12 diffusers here.

B-12 Supplements 

Another great alternative for you is supplements. These are taken orally and come in many forms, such as capsules, gummies, lozenges, soft gels, sprays, tablets, and drops. 

Some taste like nothing, while others are enhanced with fruit flavorings. It’s a thing of what works best for you. All of them will help you successfully supply your Vitamin B-12 daily needs. 
For a list of the best supplements, we recommend you check out this comprehensive list made by healthline.com. It covers B-12 supplements from type, costs, and where to get them.

B-12 drinks

The last option is another that will help you avoid the sting and the possible B-12 shot side effects.  

Many companies make nutritive drinks designed to provide an array of vitamins and minerals we all need. 

Therefore, as crucial as complex B vitamins are, B-12 rarely escapes being added to these drinks. Take into account that, in some cases, too many vitamins can be harmful. So, B-12 drinks should be more of an occasional resource. 

Here are 3 good drink options that will provide you with the daily value needed for this vitamin.

  • Sugar-free Red Bull Energy Drink: – 1.97 mcg of Vitamin B-12 – 82% Daily Value.
  • Low-carb Monster Energy Drink: 6.17 mcg of vitamin B-12 – 257% Daily Value. 
  • NOS Energy Drink – 2.5 mcg of Vitamin B-12 – 104% Daily Value.

Why is vitamin B-12 so key?

Regularly, most people get enough vitamin B-12 from food sources such as poultry, meat, fish, and dairy products. 

It seems obvious that people with a plant-based diet will find themselves at a disadvantage, but they’re not the only ones. Elderly folks and people with digestive conditions that impair their nutrient absorption, too. 

This raises the question: what happens to someone who isn’t getting enough vitamin B-12?

As said at the beginning, vitamin B-12 is necessary for blood cell production. If you lack this vitamin, your bone marrow will start having trouble making properly functioning blood cells.

An increasing number of larger blood cells with less hemoglobin will fail at transporting oxygen throughout your body, and thus, nerves, organs, and even memory could be put at risk.

This condition is called Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Anemia, and it’s one of several megaloblastic anemias. 

What’s the danger of B-12 Deficiency Anemia in the long run?

Foto de Debashis RC Biswas en Unsplash

Because this type of anemia causes problems in the cells’ ability to carry oxygen, all the parts affected can suffer irreversible damage. 

  • Nerves: when a nerve doesn’t get enough oxygen is when you start feeling pins and needles. If this becomes a chronicle issue, those nerves could stop working properly, reducing your ability to collect signals, meaning permanent damage. 
  • Brain: this one’s obviously dangerous. If you don’t get enough oxygen in your brain, critical functions like short-term memory could be compromised. This will make it harder for you to perform properly in different situations. 
  • Muscle: a muscle badly oxygenated gets fatigued rapidly. That’s a major problem if you love incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Not to mention, it can be dangerous when lifting weights. 

In conclusion, the B-12 shot side effects shouldn’t be a discouraging factor when deciding to take it, especially if your healthcare provider recommends it. 

Nonetheless, being informed about all the options available is a good idea. Remember, getting enough nutrients and vitamins is about choices and what works best for you

And when we’re talking about vitamin B-12, now you know of fun alternatives that don’t imply facing the dreaded needle. 

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