The objective of this review is to evaluate the usefulness of oral cobalamin (vitamin B12) treatment in elderly patients. PubMed was systematically searched for English and French articles published from January 1990 to January 2007. Prospective randomized studies (n = 3), a systematic review by the Cochrane group (n = 1) and prospective studies in a well defined population (n = 5) provide evidence that oral cobalamin therapy may adequately treat cobalamin deficiency in elderly patients. However, the current literature does not suggest a strategy in terms of the form (hydroxy- or cyanocobalamin), frequency and duration of the treatment. This review confirms the previously reported efficacy of oral cobalamin treatment in elderly patients. Oral cobalamin treatment avoids the discomfort, inconvenience and cost of monthly injections.
- Cyanocobalamin, therapeutic use