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DepletionsVitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Obvious symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are rare because it takes years to develop complications associated with long-term depletion of this nutrient. Irritability, weakness, numbness, anemia, loss of appetite, headache, personality changes, and confusion are some of the signs and symptoms associated with vitamin B12 depletion. Low levels of this vitamin may also be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, brain disorders, and birth defects.
The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be lowered when you take certain medications. The signs and symptoms listed can be caused by other conditions. If you have these signs and symptoms, it doesn't always mean you have low levels of these nutrients. Many things affect the level of nutrients, including your medical history, diet, and lifestyle, as well as how long you have been taking the medication. Please talk with your health care provider. He or she can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.
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Fitzgerald MA. Drug-induced vitamin B12 deficiency. Nurse Pract. 2007;32(9):6-7.
Hvas AM, Nexo E. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency -- an update. Haematologica. 2006;91(11):1506-12.
Moretti R, Torre P, Antonello RM, Cazzato G, Cattaruzza T, Scapicchio PL. Vitamin B12 and folate depletion: clinical evidence in a neurological population. Neurologist. 2004;10(6):338-43.
Rakel. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA. Saunders Elsevier; 2011.
Reynolds E. Vitamin B12, folic acid, and the nervous system. Lancet Neurol. 2006;5(11):949-60.
Svenson J. Neurologic disease and vitamin B12 deficiency. Am J Emerg Med. 2007;25(8):987.e3-4.
Review Date: 9/25/2012
Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed HealthCare Network.
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