Efficacy of short-term oral cobalamin therapy for the treatment of cobalamin deficiencies related to food-cobalamin malabsorption: a study of 30 patients.

It has been suggested that oral cobalamin (vitamin (B12)) therapy may be an effective therapy for treating cobalamin deficiencies related to food-cobalamin malabsorption. However, the duration of this treatment was not determined.
In an open-label, nonplacebo study, we studied 30 patients with established cobalamin deficiency related to food-cobalamin malabsorption, who received between 250 and 1000 microg of oral crystalline cyanocobalamin per day for at least 1 month.
Blood counts, serum cobalamin and homocysteine levels were determined at baseline and during the first month of treatment.
During the first month of treatment, 87% of the patients normalized their serum cobalamin levels; 100% increased their serum cobalamin levels (mean increase, +167 pg/dl; P < 0.001 compared with baseline); 100% had evidence of medullary regeneration; 100% corrected their initial macrocytosis; and 54% corrected their anemia. All patients had increased hemoglobin levels (mean increase, +0.6 g/dl) and reticulocyte counts (mean increase, +35 x 10(6)/l) and decreased erythrocyte cell volume (mean decrease, 3 fl; all P < 0.05).
Our findings suggest that crystalline cyanocobalamin, 250-1000 microg/day, given orally for 1 month, may be an effective treatment for cobalamin deficiencies not related to pernicious anemia.
AuthorsE Andrès, G Kaltenbach, E Noel, M Noblet-Dick, A-E Perrin, T Vogel, J-L Schlienger, M Berthel, J F Blicklé
JournalClinical and laboratory haematology (Clin Lab Haematol) Vol. 25 Issue 3 Pg. 161-6 (Jun 2003) ISSN: 0141-9854 [Print] England
PMID12755792 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Hemoglobins
  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins (analysis)
  • Homocysteine (blood)
  • Humans
  • Malabsorption Syndromes (complications, drug therapy)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin B 12 (administration & dosage, blood, therapeutic use)
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency (drug therapy, etiology)

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