The Efficacy of Oral Vitamin B12 Replacement for Nutritional Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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Abstract

Standard treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency has not been well established in childhood, the ideal amount of supplemental vitamin B12 is not clear. Vitamin B12 deficiency is classically treated with intramuscular injections. In this study, we aimed to investigate the efficacy of oral therapy in children with vitamin B12 deficiency. Patients with serum cobalamin concentrations <300 pg/mL aged between 6 months to 18 years were included in this prospective study. Children were treated orally either with a combination of multivitamin tablet daily or vitamin B12 ampules. Serum specimens were obtained at the end of first and third months of treatment for vitamin B12 levels. A total of 79 patients were included in the study. The mean pretreatment vitamin B12 level increased from 182±47.6 pg/mL to 482±318 pg/mL after 1 month of treatment in the whole cohort. Comparison of the pretreatment vitamin B12 levels with first and third month posttreatment values showed significant difference (P-value, 0.001 and 0.028, respectively). In this study, oral cyanocobalamin was found effective for the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency in children.

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