Therapeutic Response to Sublingual Methylcobalamin in Children With Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Indian Pediatr. 2023 Nov 15;60(11):913-916. Epub 2023 May 30.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of sublingual methylcobalamin for the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in children.

Methods: A single arm intervention study was conducted between November, 2020 and April, 2022 in children aged 1-12 years with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Children aged 1-6 years received a tablet of methylcobalamin (1500 mcg) by sublingual route every alternate day (three doses) while those aged 7-12 years received five such doses. Thereafter, one such sublingual tablet was given weekly and all participants were followed-up for 6 weeks.

Results: 37 children with a mean (SD) age of 8.2 (4.1) years were treated and followed up prospectively. On day 10, no child needed rescue therapy with parenteral methylcobalamin. After 6 weeks, the mean (SD) serum cobalamin (mL) increased from 123.3 (35.5) pg/mL to 507.3 (274.2) pg/mL (P<0.001), plasma homocysteine (L) decreased from 48.9 (17.8) pg/mL to 16.3 (8.5) ┬Ámol/L (P<0.001), the mean (SD) hemoglobin increased by 2.3 (1.1) g/dL (P<0.001), and MCV decreased by 12.9 (6.8) fL (P<0.001). 67.6% children persisted to have anemia, albeit majority of them had mild or moderate anemia. There were no unsolicited side-effect reported.

Conclusion: Sublingual methylcobalamin is effective for the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in children; although, the duration of treatment needs to be longer than six weeks.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia*
  • Child
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases*
  • Humans
  • Tablets / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency* / drug therapy

Substances

  • mecobalamin
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Tablets