Recent research has indicated that it is actually possible to achieve good B12 levels in the body using high potency tablets which were not previously available. This has the advantage of maintaining the level in a steady fashion as opposed to the current 3-month cycles of peaks and troughs.
As a result of this the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has issued new guidance to all GP practices advising that we change the majority of patients over to tablet supplementation.
We were planning to institute this change in the near future in a phased manner as there are different dosing regimes depending on individual clinical factors.
However, as a result of the current Coronavirus crisis we need to immediately minimise the number of patients attending the practice for non-urgent treatments or procedures to reduce the risk of virus spread.
The NHS England guidance with regard to maintenance tablets for patients who have already received the initial “top-up” injections is that you will have to purchase these as they are freely available over the counter in some pharmacies and health food shops. They are also widely available for purchase from reputable online suppliers [See below]. This is in line with national guidance on over the counter medication and food supplements.
This is not just a practice or local area policy but a national NHS policy.
If you have been receiving 3 monthly injections we would recommend you purchase the 1000 [one thousand] mcg strength tablets. They can usually be purchased in bottles of 100 or more and the normal dose is one daily.
If you are currently receiving an initial set of top up injections we will complete those. Most patients having a top up for the first time do not need to take the tablets as above because you will usually have repeat blood tests after 6-12 months to check whether long term treatment is actually needed.
All patients who are already having 3 monthly injections on a long term basis will receive a further communication in due course to clarify what you will have to do.
There may be some patients who have had had major surgery on their intestine who can only be managed with injections. If you feel this may apply to you please call reception on 01242 513 975 and ask to speak to the triage doctor.
- At present, Holland & Barrett have the 1000mcg tablets
- Online: www.healthspan.co.uk/vitamin-b12