Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin, which is extremely important for the body. The vitamin aids in the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system. However, people who take Vitamin B12 supplements should be aware of the potential side effects.
The side effects of Vitamin B12 are as follows:
- Dermatologic: Itching, rash, transitory exanthema (a rash usually in children), and hives (skin rash notable for dark red, raised, itchy bumps) have been reported. Vitamin B12 (20 micrograms/day) and pyridoxine (80mg/day) has been associated with cases of rosacea fulminans, characterized by redness on the central face and across the cheeks, nose, or forehead. Symptoms may persist for up to 4 months after the supplement is stopped, and may require treatment with topical therapy.
- Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea has been reported.
- Hematologic: formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system has been reported. Treatment of Vitamin B12 deficiency can unmask polycythemia vera, which is characterized by an increase in blood volume and the number of red blood cells. The correction of megaloblastic anemia, an anemia which results from inhibition of DNA synthesis in red blood cell production, with vitamin B12 can result in fatally low levels of potassium in the blod and a buildup of uric acid in susceptible individuals, and it can obscure folate deficiency in megaloblastic anemia. Caution is warranted.
- Leber's disease: Vitamin B12 is contraindicated in early Leber's disease, which is hereditary optic nerve atrophy. Vitamin B12 can cause severe and swift optic atrophy.
- Cardiovascular: Caution should be used in patients undergoing angioplasty since an intravenous loading dose of folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 followed by oral administration taken daily after coronary stenting might actually increase restenosis rates. Due to the potential for harm, this combination of vitamins should not be recommended for patients receiving coronary stents.
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