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What is the Treatment for Pernicious Anemia?

Delve into pernicious anemia treatment options, including vitamin B12 injections, dosage adjustments, and the role of ongoing management in maintaining health.

  • 21 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read

Many people often associate anemia with iron deficiency. However, have you heard of a type of anemia called pernicious anemia? It involves the reduction of red blood cells, which happens when the affected person's intestines can't absorb vitamin B12 properly. Pernicious anemia treatment entails a vitamin B12 shot, mainly cyanocobalamin injections, given once a month. In this article, we’ll explore the approach taken by doctors for pernicious anemia treatment and how these methods help combat the condition.

Treatment of Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious anemia treatment usually consists of the following:

  • Vitamin B12 shots that the doctor administers closely over a specified period
  • The medical practitioner tracks your vitamin B12 blood level throughout therapy
  • The doctor makes necessary adjustments for the vitamin B12 dosing depending on the patient's response to treatment.


Vitamin B12 shots for therapeutic use could be either cyanocobalamin or hydroxocobalamin. Both are equally beneficial in treating vitamin B12 deficiency. Hydroxocobalamin is highly effective because it retains better in the body and is more available to body cells. However, both chemical forms of cobalamin offer the needed remedy to correct B12 deficiency.


Generally, the physician administers vitamin B12 shots daily or weekly until an individual's B12 levels reach the required range. During the initial treatment period, the clinician might recommend limiting physical activity.


Once vitamin B12 levels return to normal, you can receive the injection once a month and for some time. Again, you may not have to go to the hospital. Instead, you can administer the shots yourself or have a family member give you the dosage at home.


Once your vitamin B12 level is consistently within a healthy range, the doctor may ask that the patient stop the dosage. But, sometimes, the medic might recommend that you continue taking oral B12 supplements. A 100-200 µg oral tablet taken weekly is enough to offer you the required therapy. Based on your intrinsic factor deficiency (poor vitamin B12 intestinal absorption), you may need the B12 injections as your only form of pernicious anemia treatment.


Important things to note about pernicious anemia treatment :

  • Hydroxocobalamin shots start working straight away. However, it may take several days or weeks to improve your B12 levels and symptoms (muscle weakness, lack of energy, or extreme fatigue).
  • It's okay to have hydroxocobalamin injections for an extended period, under your doctor’s supervision. In fact, some individuals may need them for the rest of their lives.
  • If you miss having your shots, the vitamin B12 level in your body might go down further. This can worsen your health problems.
  • It's important to talk to your doctor if you feel good enough and wish to stop taking the hydroxocobalamin shots or if you are experiencing bothersome side effects.

Also read:


There is no specified way to prevent pernicious anemia. However, early detection and administration of vitamin B12 treatment can help manage further complications. Fortunately, the majority respond well to treatment. However, it's crucial to start treatment early. So, ensure you contact your health provider if you have apparent signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Those with severe anemia should reduce strenuous physical activity until they have an excellent hematologic response after treatment. Remember to have your health insurance policy to help cater to your treatment needs.

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