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Home / Drugs / Starting with C / Cyanocobalamin

Cyanocobalamin (commonly known as Vitamin B12) is the most chemically complex of all the vitamins. Cyanocobalamin's structure is based on a corrin ring, which, although similar to the porphyrin ring found in heme, chlorophyll, and cytochrome, has two of the pyrrole rings directly bonded. The central metal ion is Co (cobalt). Cyanocobalamin cannot be made by plants or by animals, as the only type of organisms that have the enzymes required for the synthesis of cyanocobalamin are bacteria and archaea. Higher plants do not concentrate cyanocobalamin from the soil and so are a poor source of the substance as compared with animal tissues. Cyanocobalamin is naturally found in foods including meat (especially liver and shellfish), eggs, and milk products. [HMDB]
Berocca PN
Rubramin PC
Vitabee 12
CategoriesAntianemic Agents
Essential Vitamin
Vitamins (Vitamin B Complex)
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Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 complex


For treatment of pernicious anemia (due to lack of or inhibition of intrinsic factor) and for prevention and treatment of vitamin B 12 deficiency.


Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12) is a water-soluble organometallic compound with a trivalent cobalt ion bound inside a corrin ring. It is needed for nerve cells and red blood cells, and to make DNA. Vitamin B12 deficiency is the cause of several forms of anemia.

mechanism of action

Vitamin B12 is used in the body in two forms: Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosyl cobalamin. The enzyme methionine synthase needs methylcobalamin as a cofactor. This enzyme is involved in the conversion of the amino acid homocysteine into methionine. Methionine in turn is required for DNA methylation. 5-Deoxyadenosyl cobalamin is a cofactor needed by the enzyme that converts L-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA. This conversion is an important step in the extraction of energy from proteins and fats. Furthermore, succinyl CoA is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, the substances that carries oxygen in red blood cells.


Anaphylactic reaction (skin rash, itching, wheezing)-after parenteral administration. ORL-MUS LD50 > 8000 mg/kg




Readily absorbed in the lower half of the ileum.

half life

Approximately 6 days (400 days in the liver).