Vitamin B-12 Caution
Be Cautious: There are no FDA approved "shots" for weight loss.
This includes B-12 shots. Vitamin shots for weight can create expectations of effortless weight loss (a specific prohibition of the Florida Board of Medicine). Florida Board of Medicine Rule 64B defines as fraudulent and deceptive any ads that suggest rapid, dramatic or effortless weight loss. Be skeptical of any clinic suggesting weight loss with secret formula "nutrition" injections. These shots are often given by unlicensed staff selling them on commission.
Read the Product Packaging
As with every medication or vitamin dispensed at a doctor's office, you are entitled to receive the product package insert upon request. If you are told that a B-12 shot contains a secret formula that causes weight loss, that is not true. The following information is taken directly from the B-12 product brochure:
- B-12 shots do not cause weight loss;
- B-12 is not approved by the FDA for weight loss;
- Nor is it approved for boosting energy. B-12 has no effect in either circumstance.
- Note: weight loss and low energy are not appropriate reasons for prescribing B-12 shots
Appropriate reasons for using B-12 shots
- Mal absorption;
- Tape worm infections;
- Intraveneous feedings;
- Cancer of the bowel and pancreas.
Warning for patients offered B-12 shots
Vitamin shots are drugs requiring a prescription by a licensed professional. If a doctor thinks you need B-12, the standard of care requires a B-12 blood level to be obtained first, before recommending the shot. Some clinics suggest these shots two or three times a week, which is almost always unnecessary and can be painful.
Since 2004, as a result of cases of aluminum toxicity, the companies making B-12 are required to state on the label "Warning: This product contains Aluminum that may be toxic."
Suggested references on the Aluminum warning include the actual Federal Drug Administration Rule 2004 and the excellent review article Aluminum Toxicity by M. Edwards in Emedicine, June 2006, and two other peer reviewed medical journals on the subject: American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 2007 v.64:730-746 and Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 1992 Feb;2(8): 1318-27.
Weight loss is difficult and optimism is important. Be realistic, safe and hopeful. Trust your doctor, but ask questions and read the patient information in the package insert. Remember: there are no approved shots for weight loss, including B-12.
Dr. Dudney does not have sales staff on commission selling vitamins. If you have questions about vitamins and your weight loss goals, please schedule an appointment online, through email or phone at (813) 873-2036.