sublingual Vitamin B12 pills.... reaction anyone?

vieja_gwMay 20, 2013

I read that Vitamin B12 is more readily absorbed when taken under the tongue as it goes directly into the blood but taken orally it may not be absorbed as well in the gut in some persons. I took the sublingual B12 brand that my doctor said he himself takes from Sam's. At first I felt fine, but after a couple of weeks I began having strange feelings ... groggy, weak, etc. Then I began to wonder if it could be the Vitamin pills? I stopped taking them & in a couple of weeks I felt fine again. I tried this twice with the same strange results before mentioning this to my doctor. He thought maybe it might be one of the additives so suggested trying another brand. Same strange reaction to this new brand! Gave the rest to a relative who says she feels great since taking them ... go figure?! I have had Vit. B12 injections in the past & no problems! The sublingual way seemed so sensible to me... but now ..?

Anyone else have this reaction to sublingual Vit. B12?

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I don't know about the reactions, but it doesn't surprise me. In spite of what people say, they are drugs. My doctor explained it like this, vitamins might help you in one way but it can be hurting you in another. He also said if you are low on certain vitamins like B, blood tests will show it and he would tell me what I needed. They did a study about vitamins, the results were: they were a waste of money no one in the study benefited from taking them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vitamin B

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:11PM
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to follow up:

I took the bottle of the sublingual Vit. B12 tothe pharmacist to see if she had any ideas as to why they affected me this way. She looked at the dose of B12 & said it was for persons very anemic & was WAY too large a dose for me ... 5,000 mcg or 83333% daily dose value!!! That must have been what did it for me! I am not anemic at all but took the Vit. B12 sublingual for neuropathy in my legs (non-diabetic). Thankfully the B12 is water soluable so not retained long in the system.
I wonder why so large a dose is even allowed on the shelves and not made a prescription instead? I feel really stupid for not reading the label further! I got the Costco Kirkland brand. Unfortunately, I don't remember the dosage on the other brand I got at Sam's & had the same reaction.
Any one else take this & have similar reations?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:19PM
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It is on the shelves because it sells. I don't understand why people are so hung up on herbs and vitamins. They are drugs. Maybe because of the hype the sellers put out. My doctor said his educated doctor friends were taking the stuff that is suppose to maintain your memory and he just laughed. They don't work. Also years ago if you were anemic the told us to take iron and I thing that was vitamin B. If it is to much will also turn your teeth brown.

That is all two of my sisters talk about. This gets rid of a cold that stops arthritis. My reply to them is " if that worked no one would have colds or arthritis."

I tried the softening sheets when I had ants in the house and I was so happy, it worked. Later I read in the newspaper that all you have to do is use a wet rag and wipe their scent trail way. That is what the SS do. Water is cheaper. LOL

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:59PM
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Emma: A relative is all into alternative medicine & now does 'tapping'! I am westerm medicine trained (retired as a microbiologist) so much as I would like to believe in some of this, I am too 'western medicine' brain-washed I guess! Also, most of the alternative medicines have not been tested so why are they 'better' than our tested western medicines or more ? 'natural'! I guess if one 'believes' enough in something, it may be beneficial ...if it is not harmful.
As for the sublingual Vit. B12... I was told to try by a neurologist to try it for neuropathy & loss of sense of smell after a fall to the back of my head & concussion even though my B blood levels were normal, the Dr. said it was a chance these two things might help as no other ideas had helped. Since B is water soluable it doesn't last long as some of the other vitamins & the sublingual is absorbed into the blood whereas the swallowed B has to be absorbed from the intestine first & in some people it may not be as efficient. I will try the sublingual again (the injections & oral swallowed ones were fine!) but this time look at the amount of the vitamin... the pharmacist that noted the amount when I asked about the reaction to it was agast at the amounts in just one of those tiny pills! So I don't think it was the vitamin or the way it was taken but instead the DOSE!

Thanks for your ideas too!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Vieja, thank you for not being offended. When I have a problem, I like opinions, I listen to all and it often helps me decide or helps me with a new outlook.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:39AM
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I often get queezy when I take any pills on an empty stomach. I use the sub-lingual B12 and have no side effects with it. It doesn't have a huge affect on me but I do notice I feel healthier the next day after taking one. I'm pretty high energy normally.

I used to be one of those people that couldn't see the sense in taking vitamins, I thought they were a waste of money. But after I got past 40 and started having minor health issues and the tests results showed I was low in many vitamins I started taking them. How a person that grows his own vegetables and fruits in his own garden can be deficient in most vitamins including D is hard to believe. It just goes to show how big a roll hormones and genetics play. Some people never have to take vitamins, some people will no matter what they eat.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I still want to try the sublingual Vit. B12 pills ... only now I will try just one once week-not every day like my Dr. suggested! I feel it was the amount rather than the sublingual B itself that made me feel awful after a week of taking one every day. I can take the pills I swallow & the B12 shots with no similar reaction so don't feel it is the B12 itself but rather 'overdosing' since the sublingual goes directly into the bloodstream whereas the ones you swallow have to go into the intestine first & be absorbed! If one a week seems to do OK I may then increase it to two a week.
Seems a note should be on the bottle noting it is mainly for B12 deficient individuals/anemic.
Hope the person on this site who experienced the same strange reaction to the sublingul B12 reads this & see if she has tried again using a much lower dose?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Yes, but then I react to just about everything - and definitely B vitamins in general. My doctor put me on B12 sublingual pills 2 years ago and I gave them a try - worried as I was. As per usual, they made me extremely antsy. I do not sedate easily - a local that should last 3 hours lasts 5 minutes. That type of thing. If any product causes a person to become sleepy (such as cough/cold meds) I have the opposite reaction. That is what happened with the B12. I know of other people who have had same reaction.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 4:18PM
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A healthy body absorbs vitamin B12 in the stomach it can only be absorbed if the acid has a PH of 1-1.2 if it is higher it can not be absorbed. If your digestion system is good than you can absorb B12 naturally. If the doctor is recommending vitamin B12 shots than you are not absorbing correctly. To help he should have added iron, zinc, copper and folic acid for anemia. I would ask the doctor about how to get your digestion system working fine.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:12PM
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trianglejohn: How much of the sublingual Vit. B12 do you take & how strong are they? The ones I took every day were 5,000 mcg each & 83,333 % of the daily value which the pharmacist said was for anemic persons .. which I am not! The neurologist felt it was worth triying for my leg neuropathy as it & zinc may have been responsible for some of the sense of smell returning after my concussion. No, my B12 levels are normal range but sometimes bigger doses can help in certain instances. Now my sister has had colon surgery (cancer) & I think she should be takng more B12 after losing so much of her colon & now has Crohn's disease.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 3:22PM
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vieja - I went home at lunch to check the bottle. It is 1000mg and I only take one pill each week. My niacin and related levels have been normal since I started this so I have no need to change. I don't remember what they saw in my blood work that made them think I needed B12 - I wasn't anemic or recovering from any sort of illness but most of my vitamin levels were very low. I have two siblings with Crohn's, it can be difficult to manage.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Thanks for your info.! You then are taking 1/5 of the amount weekly that I was taking 5 times the amount DAILY! No wonder I had a reaction! Have to chec with my doctor to see what he is taking & recommended for me! I am going to start taking ONE of the 5,000mg once a week until I use up the bottle of the 5000 mg ($$ !). If I still have the same reaction, I will buy a lower dose sublingual pills to try instead. Wish the other poster would come back on this site... she also had the same reaction as I did so I wonder what dose & how ofter she took them?! Interesting!

Like you, my levels have always been normal but the Dr. just wanted to see if additional levels would have some effect on the non-diabetic neuropathy in my legs that I have had after a fall/concussion.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:06PM
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You could break the pills into halves or quarters to lower the dosage and use them up. Even when I was getting injections it was only 1000mg at a time. I don't remember the details but they said something about Niacin/B12 playing a role in other things and not just for anemia.

I was one of those doubters about vitamins but I have to admit that after taking them every day for a couple of years I really do feel better (and I didn't really feel bad before). I have a one acre vegetable and fruit garden and grow just about all my own food - how a person like me can be vitamin deficient defies all logic. It just shows that genetics play a role in it and that there are somethings you cannot change with diet alone. Some people will never have to take vitamins. Some people always will.

My current doctor does extensive lab tests on my blood - every three months or so, because of other issues (low cholesterol, high sugars). They draw like 8 vials of blood and give me a 5 page analysis two weeks later. I have the numbers to back up all their claims about certain vitamins.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:30AM
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The pills I have are too small I think to try & split; I will try the flush-free niancin pills again though.
Yes, I think a lot of it has to do to heridity also: I am out in the sun (no sunscreen/tan-no burn... ashamed to say!) some days 6 hrs. at a time & live at a mile high, hot summers/cold winters,arid area- zone 7. Still, after taking 5,000 IU of Dry Vitamin D-3 daily my levels are on the 'low' side but bone density still OK!

Daughter-in-law is a therapist & believes in alternative medicine ... herbs, 'tapping' etc.& I am western medicine trained so find it hard to accept/understand some of it. The mfg.& testing of those things is not scrutinized as well here in the prescriptiom drugs are I feel! Our doctor is from Pakistan & he will suggest some things like tumeric capsules, the B12, etc. but doesn't push it. Mediterranean diet? we don't care for seafood nor olive oil, wine... but the fruit, etc. OK! One study of a group of close knit people in a small mediterranean village had one of the highest blood lipid levels on record ... & also very long & healthy lengivities! Go figure?!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 1:30PM
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Niacin is not B12. Cobalamin is B12. Niacin expands the blood vessels among other things. Vieja which did you use.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 9:55PM
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I take zinc & sublingual vitamin B 12 - I had in the past also taken the flush-free niacin for the neuropathy but was aware of the differences in the different ones.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:30PM
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