The human body needs certain amounts of different vitamins for essential processes, and normally these vitamins are available in the food we eat. The B vitamins are particularly important, by helping to break down protein, carbohydrates and fats in our food which in turn provides necessary nutrients to the body. Normally, B vitamins are found in foods, especially meat such as beef, fish or chicken. For people who lack sufficient amounts of B vitamins, they need to supplement their diet. Pyridoxine is one such supplement for the vitamin B6. Pyridoxine helps the functioning of fats and sugars in the body but is also needed for the development and growth of the brain, nervous system, skin and other parts of the body.
Patients who have certain conditions, including a history of alcohol abuse, intestinal problems including diarrhea, heart or liver disease, dialysis, thyroid disease, serious stress, a serious injury or burn, and long term illnesses, may need to take pyridoxine. Pyridoxine may also be prescribed or recommended for conditions such as anemia, heart disease and high cholesterol.
It’s important to note that individuals can obtain most or all of the necessary vitamins they need by following a healthy diet. This is the best way to get sufficient quantities of pyridoxine, especially eating foods such as meat, egg yolks, peanuts, whole grain cereals, and bananas. The amount of pyridoxine is not reduced by cooking, as is true of some other forms of B6. For patients with a vitamin or mineral deficiency, their physician may provide recommendations for certain dietary changes, or may offer a list of specific foods that can help. For a deficiency that is great enough diet changes alone are not enough, taking a supplement is an option.
While a doctor may determine that a patient must supplement levels of B6 in their diet, pyridoxine is generally available in pill form as a non-prescription (over the counter) vitamin and patients may take it without a prescription. It is available as a tablet or capsule and is also available in extended release form. Depending on the severity of the deficiency, some patients may need to take the injectable form of pyridoxine, which must be prescribed by a doctor.
There are no reported severe side effects from taking the recommended daily amount of pyridoxine. Because this vitamin is based on a Daily Value (DV) that may vary with an individual’s body size or weight, it is important to follow a doctor’s instructions or the instructions on the package when taking this supplement. Patients should check with their physician for any questions.
Doses for different patients will vary, depending upon the patient's weight and age. All patients should follow the instructions which appear on the label, or their doctor's instructions if this is being prescribed by a doctor. the information which is listed below only applies to the average dosages which are recommended and could be different from a specific dose suggested for any individual patient. Patients should not alter a dose that has been prescribed by a doctor.
How much of this medication a patient needs will also depend on the specific strength of the medicine. Individuals taking pyridoxine should also consider how many they may need to take per day, and how much time there is between doses.
Some patients may experience an allergic reaction to pyridoxine. Patients should seek emergency medical attention if they show any of the signs of having an allergic reaction, including difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue, lips, throat or face, or hives anywhere on the body.
Some of the common side effects of taking pyridoxine may include mild tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, nausea, or an unusual headache (other than a normal stress headache).
More serious side effects include feeling tired, a decrease in sensitivity to temperature, touch or vibrations, a loss of coordination or balance, especially becoming clumsy with the hands, or feeling numb around the mouth or in the feet. A patient experiencing any of these side effects should contact their doctor immediately.
The side effects listed above are not intended to be a complete list of possible side effects. While most patients taking pyridoxine are not likely to experience side effects, some patients may have other unwanted side effects not listed here. For any other effects, or other questions or concerns, a patient should seek the medical advice of their doctor.
Patients can also report any side effects they may experience to the FDA, by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
For vitamin supplements, in the United States, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the suggested amount which is recommended for sufficient nutritional needs. The RDAs vary based on the age, gender and physical health and condition of the individual. For example, the RDA for a child will be different from that of a pregnant woman. In addition to RDAs, the Daily Value (DV) is indicated on a product label to show the suggested daily amount that each serving will provide. In Canada, the standard that is used for daily amounts are called the Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs), which also indicate the recommended dose needed for proper nutrition, and to reduce the risk of disease.
Pyridoxine is available in a variety of forms, including an injectable form, a solution form, and an oral form. Injectable and solution forms are prescribed and administered by a doctor. The oral form is available as a tablet or a capsule, as well as in an extended release form. The pill forms are available over the counter, without a prescription, in most drug stores or pharmacies. Instructions for use appear on the packaging and should be followed to avoid unwanted side effects.
If the patient misses a dose, the patient should take the dose as soon as he or she remembers. If it is nearly time for the next dose, however, the missed dose should be skipped, and the regular scheduled dose should be taken. Taking excess amounts of pyridoxine can lead to unwanted side effects.
A doctor will prescribe taking pyridoxine in conjunction with a diet that helps the patient’s medical condition. Patients should follow all dietary instructions, and familiarize themselves with the list of foods recommended by their doctor, as well as foods to avoid.
As with most medications, there may be certain interactions between medications the patient is currently taking and pyridoxine. The doctor may recommend either stopping the other medication or may change doses to avoid unwanted side effects and other interactions. For the medications listed below, using pyridoxine may not be recommended, but the doctor may determine if there should be any changes to the dosage or frequency of either medication. If a patient is taking pyridoxine, they should inform their doctor if they are taking any of the following medications:
This list is not intended to be all-inclusive of possible medication which may interact with pyridoxine. In addition to medications, any type of other vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement may also result in an interaction. Patients should provide a complete medical history to their doctor prior to taking pyridoxine or any other type of supplement or medication, to reduce the risk of interactions and unwanted side effects.
Use of pyridoxine in large amounts may result in serious and unwanted side effects. Patients should ensure they follow all instructions provided by their doctor or listed on the packaging for the supplement. Patients should not exceed the Daily Value set for pyridoxine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Patients should seek immediate emergency medical attention if they exhibit any signs of an allergic reaction to this supplement, such as shortness of breath, hives, and swelling of the tongue, hands, feet or face.
Patients taking pyridoxine should also strive to eat a complete and balanced diet. A doctor can provide instructions for a special diet include both recommended foods and foods to avoid.
Pyridoxine should be kept away from heat, moisture, humidity or direct light. Store this and all supplements away from children. If this supplement has expired or is no longer needed, dispose of it properly. A healthcare professional or law enforcement officer can provide further instructions for proper disposal.
People who eat a healthy and complete diet will normally be able to obtain all of the vitamins and minerals they need. The B vitamins are usually found in meats, cereals, fish, and some vegetables. Some people may have deficiencies in certain B vitamins. Pyridoxine is one supplement for the vitamin B6, which can be taken to correct deficiencies. Pyridoxine assists the processing of fats and sugars in the body and is also required for healthy development and growth of the brain, nervous system, skin and other parts of the body.
Some of the medical conditions for which patients may take pyridoxine are alcohol abuse, intestinal problems including diarrhea, heart or liver disease, dialysis, thyroid disease, serious stress, a serious injury or burn, and long-term illnesses, among others.
Patients should take pyridoxine along with a normal diet, or if they are under a doctor’s care, they should follow the diet recommended to them by their doctor.
Pyridoxine is generally available in pill form as a non-prescription (over the counter) vitamin, as a tablet or capsule, and is also available in extended release form. Depending on the severity of the deficiency, some patients may need to take the injectable form of pyridoxine, which must be prescribed by a doctor.
Some of the side effects that a patient may experience include allergic reaction, swelling of the hands, feet, tongue or face, an increase in clumsiness or lack of coordination, and nausea. Patients who experience any of these side effects should seek medical attention immediately.