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Instructions on self-administration of B12 injection SHORTCUT

B12 injections


This page is only for those patients who have discussed their individual situation with us and we have agreed to continue B12 injections through self-administration only.

If you are not in this group, please see how we will organise B12 for you.


Please read this introductory letter . It provides important safety information.

Please also download this instruction leaflet . You may wish to print it out for ease of reference.

This guide is accompanied by instructional videos at each stage of the injection process.

You or your care-giver are advised to read through the whole process and to watch all the videos first before carrying out your injection.


These are detailed in the introductory letter above, however, you can read them now.

Possible complications of intramuscular B12 injection are as follows:

  • Introduction of bacteria under the skin during the injection. It is therefore important that you wash your hands and avoid touching the sterile parts of the needle and syringe during the injection.
  • At times the needle can hit a small blood vessel causing a small amount of bleeding under the skin. This causes a bruise to appear which resolves over a few days. To avoid larger bruises, apply moderate pressure to the injection site with cotton wool or gauze for a few minutes after the injection.
  • Injecting in the wrong area can cause an abscess to form under the skin. To avoid this only inject in the area recommended by your nurse or doctor. Do not inject into a painful or inflamed area. Seek medical advice if this happens.
  • Please note Ivy Grove surgery cannot accept responsibility if the instructions given by your nurse or doctor are not followed and result in injury.
  • If you are struggling to follow the instructions in the video or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

Step-by-step guide

Equipment required

  • 3ml syringe
  • green needle
  • blue needle
  • B12 ampoule
  • cotton wool
  • sharps box


  • Instructional video on whole process of self-administering B12 injection
  • 1. Wash hands
  • Instructional video on how to attach a needle to a syringe
  • 2. Attach green needle to syringe without touching the ends that will connect
  • 3. Shake or tap all the red fluid into the bottom part of the ampoule
  • Instructional video on opening an ampoule
  • 4. Find the red spot on the ampoule and use a tissue to hold ampoule with that facing forward. Snap the top off backwards
  • 5. Discard the top of the ampoule in sharps box
  • Instructional video on drawing up B12
  • 6. Remove the cap to the green needle and insert into the ampoule and then pull the plunger up to draw up all the red fluid
  • 7. Discard the bottom of the empty ampoule in the sharps box
  • 8. Hold the syringe with the green needle at the top and tap syringe so all the fluid is at the bottom
  • 9. Push up the plunger to expel almost all the air
  • 10. Remove the green needle and discard into the sharps box
  • 11. Attach the blue needle again without letting the tip of the syringe or the connecting part of the blue needle touch anything else
  • 12. Hold upright again with the blue needle at the top and gently push out any remaining air
  • 13. The injection is now ready to be given

Giving the injection

  • 14. Expose the top of the arm or the outer part of the thigh where the injection will be given.
  • 15. Remove the needle cover
  • 16. Gently push the needle into the skin until it won’t go any further
  • 17. Push the plunger slowly down until the syringe is empty
  • 18. Pull the whole thing out and discard straight into the sharps box
  • 19. Cover or dab with cotton wool if necessary

If you are struggling to follow the above or have questions, please do get in touch with us.


This page is © Ivy Grove Surgery and is the hard work of Nurse Tracey, Drs Shial and Axten in producing all documentation, searches, video to support our B12 patients.