As a type of nasal spray, Nascobal is used once a week to help increase levels of vitamin B12 in people who have a certain type of anemia or a vitamin B12 deficiency caused by other factors. This prescription medicine is absorbed through the inner lining of the nose into the bloodstream. Some of the possible side effects include nausea, headaches, and weakness.
What Is Nascobal?
Nascobal® (cyanocobalamin nasal spray) is a prescription nasal spray approved to maintain normal vitamin B12 levels in people with pernicious anemia (a type of anemia caused by low levels of vitamin B12) who have already been successfully treated with injectable vitamin B12. It is also used as a vitamin B12 supplement in people with vitamin B12 deficiency due to certain other medical conditions or diets. It is a synthetic (laboratory-made) form of vitamin B12.
Nascobal used to be available as a nasal gel; however, the gel form is no longer being made. The medication now comes as a nasal spray.
Nascobal is manufactured by Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc.
How Does Nascobal 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.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Nascobal [package insert]. Spring Valley, NY: Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc.;2011 July.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 17, 2012.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed July 18, 2012.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click