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9.6.2 Vitamin B group

Prescribing Notes

  • Deficiency of the B vitamins, with the exception of vitamin B12, is rare in the UK and is usually treated by preparations containing thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), and nicotinamide.
  • Oral vitamin B complex preparations are considered by the BNF to be ‘less suitable for prescribing’. They should not be considered as drugs of first choice.
  • For vitamin B supplementation in alcohol dependence, see section
  • Refeeding syndrome describes a potentially fatal medical condition which involves a group of biochemical shifts and clinical symptoms that can occur in the malnourished or starved individual upon reintroduction of oral, enteral or parenteral nutrition. Patients may be discharged on a regimen of vitamins, usually a combination of thiamine, vitamin B compound strong and a multivitamin/mineral for 10 days.
  • Vitamin 12 (hydroxocobalamin, cyanocobalamin): advise patients with known cobalt allergy to be vigilant for sensitivity reaction. See MHRA for full details.


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