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Reactions to B12

I just started taking B12 500mcgs once a day. I've been taking it a little over a week now.  This morning I took one like I usually do.  I also take a premarin, a multivitamin, 81mg aspirin and a calcium with vitamin D3.  This morning I started having an itchy pens and needles feeling all over.  I'm just wondering if the vitamin B12 is the culprit.  I have no rash just the prickly itchy feeling.  Thanks
23 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi
Welcome to the forum!
Direct allergy to Vit B12 is rare. People may be allergic to cobalamin component. The allergy could be due to any other ingredient of the pill including coloring agent. Pins and needles can be due to Vit B 12 deficiency which became apparent on taking the supplement as this deficiency takes around 2-5 years to develop as the liver is a huge storehouse of this vitamin.
Hope this helps. It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Avatar universal
Hi,

I too seem to have an allergy to B12 vitamins.  I've gotten a migraine a few times and the last time my whole mouth broke out for about 3 days.  I just read that it can be an allergy to cobalt - which they use to make B12 - which makes sense to me because I am also allergic to many metals, jewelry etc. - and these also contain cobalt.  Also, cobalt and nickel are found together and I read it's difficult to separate them (this might be more for metal objects rather than B12).  But anyway, since I also have to avoid nickel (many people do) it seems to make sense to me.
681148 tn?1437665191
That's useful information.  I didn't know that about cobalt before.  That's good to know.  I don't have the severe nickel allergy that you're talking about, but my cousins do.  I am sensitive to the cheap ear wires, which is an obvious source of nickel, so it's something I should definitely pay attention to.  Now, I'll know what to do if I have a reaction to a B12 supplement I was considering getting that is supposed to be more effective than other B12 vitamins.
Avatar universal
Don't know if you knew or not, but there are actually two different types of B12: cobalamin and methylcobalamin.

cobalamin is cheaper to produce and found in the cheaper vitamins. It may be helpful for you to find a source of B12 made from the more expensive methylcobalamin. Best wishes -
Avatar universal
I have a reaction to the CYANOcobalamin form of B12 when I take it as a supplement.  Don't know if it is an allergy, sensitivity or what.

I feel antsy and get the nibbles - not hungry but want to nibble on crackers, radish, carrot or anything.

My recent B-complex capsule contained a lot of it - about 300mcg.  I had stopped taking it in the past but after awhile began to doubt that it had been so bad.  After taking it for awhile again I know it is.

The same feeling occured when I took a 100 mcg cyanocobalamin tablet on an empty stomach.

There is a drink mix that in the recommended dose contains 100mcg.  I now realize I get a similar feeling even with one third the recommended dose.

As Rastar says, there are different kinds of B12.

A lozenge containing METHYLcobalamin B12 doesn't seem to have that effect on me  - but I wonder how much of it is getting into my system.  I plan to do some experimenting with methylcobalamin tablets that are to be swallowed.  There are also a few multivitamins and B-complex products on the internet that use it instead of CYANO that I might try.

If this is an allergy, according to the following web site, it could be an allergy to cyanocobalamin, the cobalamin part of it, or the cobalt part of it.  It seems to me that if the allergy is to the cobalamin part of B12 then the methyl form might have the same reaction in my body because they both have cobalamin.  It is interesting that as I am reading this blog while experimenting with B12 I am having an aggravating, recurrent skin problem which I don't think is related to cyanocobalamin or cobalt but who knows?
http://www.netwellness.org/question.cfm/72173.htm

Allergy tests for cyanocobalamin and another form of B12, hydroxylcobalamin, can be done according to this web site.  They recommend allergy tests be given before starting B12 injections.
http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/177_03_050802/h-smith_050802.html

There is some interesting info out there on B12 - if true.  CYANOcobalamin in plants and animals is rare to none.  It is manufactured and used because our body can convert some of it to useful forms and because it is stable, cheap and has proven beneficial to a lot of people.

Good luck to all.
Avatar universal
I wonder is there a cobalt-free B12 because even though I've been getting the B12 injections monthly for the past three years, I think the repeated exposure to the cobalt may have made my reaction to the B12 stand out more than it may have before. I was tested in 2007 for contact allergies and was found to be allergic to latex (no surprise), nickel (found in nickels of all things and paper clips) and cobalt. I was also found to be allergic to some really long named ingredient in bath and body products that I've yet to actually find in them, but have since last year adhered to all-natural and organic bath and body products because sodium lauryl sulfate started to give me rashes. I am also allergic to the TB skin test which I found out could have either nickel or cobalt in it. My reactions to these products get worse with each exposure. So I guess the more recent exposures to the B12 shots could explain the fever I've had the past six weeks or so and the fact that I got nauseated yesterday and started to feel like my throat was swelling and still have a tingling lip this morning. But I would like to know if there is a cobalt-free B12 injection available as I've been told I cannot take the pill or lozenge form since I will not be able to absorb it due to having a history of H. pylori ulcers and some malabsorptions. Of course, I guess there's always prescription strength if one can be found that is indeed cobalt-free!
Avatar universal
I am allergic to Cobalt and I took B12 . I had anaphylaxis. ....BEWARE,,,,I started having hives and my lips and eyes were swollen several months before going into anaphylactic shock.

I had no idea that B12 was made from Cobalt!!!!!!!!

I too am searching for an alternative. My B12 level was 100.
Avatar universal
Had a course of seven Vitamin B12 injections over seven weeks about a month ago. Now I have skin spots at various parts of the body, arms, legs, neck, but mostly on the chest. They feel like insect bites and are very, very itchy. Parts of my forearms, chest and neck also feel "prickly." The itchy spots are reddish in colour and similar to "heat bumps" (as they were called when I was a child). I do know that I have a sensitivity to cobalt or perhaps an allergy, but this has persisted for so long - roughly three weeks now - that I'm rather disturbed it could be something else. I had a blood test two weeks ago by a urologist (during routine check-up) and also one done by my home doctor one week ago. Both did not reveal any viral/bacterial action. What could this be and please what can I do about this really upsetting itchiness?
Avatar universal
Hi, I have a B12 deficiency and was reacting to the b12 tablets with hives and itchy all over. I was tested for allergies and am allergic to the actual b12 itself and not the cobalt. Dont know what to do now.
Avatar universal
Hiya :) I have a very rare form of allergy to all b12 created out there.  It has my doctor stumped on how to help me.  I had a gastric bypass in 2000 and then discovered I have a severe allergic reaction to everything with b12 in it.  I cant even take the gummy vitamins darn it.  I get swelling and trouble breathing and the longer I take it, days not weeks or months the worse the symptoms.  Ive tried them all, the shot (just one cuz I scared my doctor with my reaction), the under the tongue pill that immediately put ulcers all over my mouth as well as shut my throat up, the nose spray that taking half a dose once a week caused heart attack like symptoms.  Im getting pretty desperate with the b12 issue and my wonderful doctor (and he seriously is) doesnt know how to help me and its frustrating him to no end.  Can b12 be made without Cobalt if that is what the allergy is to?
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I am so glad I found this site! I was told to take B12 pills years ago because of a deficiency in my blood count. The pills caused mouth sores, so they tried the shots. I still had mouth sores. I purposely don’t take a multivitamin to avoid B12. But recently I’ve found that eating foods listed as good sources of B12 cause problems. It’s so frustrating because eggs are my way to cut back on carb breakfasts. The mouth sores are so painful! This is the first place that ever mentioned them. My doctor doesn’t seem to know about this side effect in other people. I also have a nickel allergy, but like I mentioned, even food with high B12 which wouldn’t have cobalt and nickel, causes a problem.
Avatar universal
I am allergic to B12 as well. NO, B12 can not be made without the cobalt from what I have heard.. I am getting desperate with B12 issue as well. You are not alone. Have you found any new leads?
Avatar universal
i am allergic to cobalt,also. my b12 level is 114. I have been to lots of drs and have an appt at the Mayo Clinic in Oct. I hope they can help. I am very weak.I hope I can go. it is 3 hours travel. I will post if I get any encouraging info. This has been a nightmare.I have just been passed from dr to dr. I have metal crowns on several teeth and wonder if they have cobalt in them. i also have a nickle allergy. Does any one have any suggestions.

I have the same symptoms as MS and was told I probably had MS. Then I went to a Neurologist who said I don't have MS. I have an elevated ck530 so I was told I may have muscle problems...I think a low b12 could cause that...I have been trying to figure this out for 10 long years because I can not find a knowledgeable dr.
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