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Using Nascobal as a Vitamin B12 SupplementMost people in developed countries get enough vitamin B12 in their diets. However, some people may need B12 supplementation to maintain adequate vitamin B12 levels for a variety of reasons. Nascobal may be used to treat or prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency in people who need extra vitamin B12 because they:
- Follow a strict vegetarian diet that does not include any animal products
- Cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 because of damage to their stomach or intestine from surgery or certain medical conditions, such as:
- Have a parasite or bacterial infection that causes vitamin B12 deficiency, such as infection with the fish tapeworm
- Are receiving certain cancer treatments that affect the way the body processes vitamin B12.
How Does It Work?Anemia is a condition caused by an abnormally low level of red blood cells. The body needs vitamin B12 to produce healthy red blood cells. Therefore, when vitamin B12 levels are low, anemia can develop.
Many people with anemia from low vitamin B12 levels (known as pernicious anemia) cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 from the intestines. Therefore, pernicious anemia is often treated with vitamin B12 injections.
Nascobal contains a form of vitamin B12 known as cyanocobalamin. It works by supplying extra vitamin B12 to the body. By supplying the body with extra vitamin B12, Nascobal can prevent anemia from returning in people who have already been treated with vitamin B12 injections. It can also prevent low levels of vitamin B12 in people who need extra vitamin B12 due to a deficiency in their diet or certain medical conditions that make them more prone to a B12 deficiency.
Nascobal is sprayed into the nostril, where it is absorbed through the inner lining of the nose into the bloodstream. Because it is a nasal spray, Nascobal can be used in people who cannot absorb the vitamin through the digestive tract.