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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Dec;56(6):635-8.

Replacement therapy for vitamin B12 deficiency: comparison between the sublingual and oral route.

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  • 1Recanati Center for Medicine and Research and Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



To compare the efficacy of sublingual and oral administration of 500 micro g of cobalamin in subjects with cobalamin deficiency.


Thirty subjects with low serum concentrations of cobalamin participated in the study. Subjects were randomly allocated to receive one tablet daily of 500 micro g cobalamin sublingually or orally, or two tablets daily of a vitamin B complex. Serum cobalamin concentrations before treatment were 94 +/- 30 pmol l-1, 108 +/- 17 pmol l-1 and 98 +/- 14 pmol l-1 in the sublingual B12, oral B12 and oral B-complex groups, respectively. After 4 weeks, concentrations rose to 288 +/- 74 pmol l-1, 286 +/- 87 pmol l-1 and 293 +/- 78 pmol l-1, respectively. The increase in each group across time was statistically significant (P = 0.0001, differences [95% confidence intervals] 194.2 (114.5, 273.9), 178.3 (104.2, 252.4), and 195.1 (135.0, 255.2) pmol l-1, respectively). There was no significant difference in concentrations between the treatment groups.


A dose of 500 micro g of cobalamin given either sublingually or orally is effective in correcting cobalamin deficiency.

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