Pyridoxine is a vitamin. It can be found in certain foods such as cereals, beans, vegetables, liver, meat, and eggs. It can also be made in a laboratory.
Pyridoxine is used for preventing and treating low levels of pyridoxine (pyridoxine deficiency) and the “tired blood” (anemia) that may result. It is also used for heart disease; high cholesterol; reducing blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical that might be linked to heart disease; and helping clogged arteries stay open after a balloon procedure to unblock them (angioplasty).
Women use pyridoxine for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other menstruation problems, "morning sickness" (nausea and vomiting) in early pregnancy, stopping milk flow after childbirth, depression related to pregnancy or using birth control pills, and symptoms of menopause.
Pyridoxine is also used for Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Down syndrome, autism, diabetes and related nerve pain, sickle cell anemia, migraine headaches, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, night leg cramps, muscle cramps, arthritis, allergies, acne and various other skin conditions, and infertility. It is also used for dizziness, motion sickness, preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), seizures, convulsions due to fever, and movement disorders (tardive dyskinesia, hyperkinesis, chorea), as well as for increasing appetite and helping people remember dreams.
Some people use pyridoxine for boosting the immune system, eye infections, bladder infections, and preventing cancer and kidney stones.
Pyridoxine is also used to overcome certain harmful side effects related to radiation treatment and treatment with medications such as mitomycin, procarbazine, cycloserine, fluorouracil, hydrazine, isoniazid, penicillamine, and vincristine.
Pyridoxine is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins in vitamin B complex products.
You may remember a prescription medication called Bendectin that was used for morning sickness in pregnancy. Bendectin contained pyridoxine and a sleep-inducing antihistamine called doxylamine. The makers of Bendectin took it off the market in 1983 because they were running up expensive legal bills in defense of their product. Opponents charged it might be responsible for birth defects. Meanwhile, a product called Diclectin that is similar to Bendectin remained available in Canada, and there was research showing that neither pyridoxine nor Bendectin seems to cause birth defects in animals. After Bendectin was removed from the market, there was no reduction in birth defects, but hospitalization rates for pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting doubled.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B6) are as follows:
More evidence is needed to rate pyridoxine for these uses.
Pyridoxine is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used appropriately.
Pyridoxine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts greater than the recommended dietary allowance. In some people, pyridoxine might cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, headache, tingling, sleepiness, and other side effects.
Long-term use of high doses is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It might cause certain brain and nerve problems.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pyridoxine is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant women when taken under the supervision of their healthcare provider. It is sometimes used in pregnancy to control morning sickness. High doses are UNSAFE. High doses can cause newborns to have seizures.
Pyridoxine is LIKELY SAFE for breast-feeding women when used in amounts not larger than 2 mg per day (the recommended dietary allowance). Avoid using higher amounts. Not enough is known about the safety of pyridoxine at higher doses in breast-feeding women.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Amiodarone (Cordarone) might increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with amiodarone (Cordarone) might increase the chances of sunburn, blistering, or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.
Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
The body breaks down levodopa to get rid of it. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can increase how quickly the body breaks down and gets rid of levodopa. However, this is only a problem if you are taking levodopa alone. Most people take levodopa along with carbidopa (Sinemet). Carbidopa prevents this interaction from occurring. If you are taking levodopa without carbidopa, do not take vitamin B6.
Pyridoxine might lower blood pressure. It has the potential to add to blood pressure-lowering effects of antihypertensive drugs and increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too low.
Some medications used to lower blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
The body breaks down phenobarbital (Luminal) to get rid of it. Pyridoxine might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenobarbital (Luminal). This could decrease the effectiveness of phenobarbital (Luminal).
Interaction Rating = Major Do not take this combination.
The body breaks down phenytoin (Dilantin) to get rid of it. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenytoin. Taking pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and taking phenytoin (Dilantin) might decrease the effectiveness of phenytoin (Dilantin) and increase the possibility of seizures. Do not take large doses of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) if you are taking phenytoin (Dilantin).
Pyridoxine might lower blood pressure. Using pyridoxine along with other herbs and supplements that can lower blood pressure might cause blood pressure to become too low. Some of these herbs include andrographis, casein peptides, cat's claw, coenzyme Q-10, fish oil, L-arginine, lycium, stinging nettle, theanine, and others.
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