Question

Vitamin B6

What is vitamin B6 used for?

A Answers (2)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    Vitamin B6 helps maintain nerve function, healthy skin and contributes to the production of red blood cells and antibodies. It also helps the body process proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids and fats. Supplements may be taken if you have a deficiency of vitamin B6. It is also used to treat some seizures in infants and certain types of anemia. Vitamin B6 may also reduce the levels of homocysteine in blood, which may be linked to heart disease. Sometimes vitamin B6 is prescribed in high doses to help treat ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve problems or premenstrual symptoms; however, research so far has not definitively shown that larger doses of vitamin B6 improve these ailments.

  • Hereditary sideroblastic anemia

    Hereditary sideroblastic anemia is an X-linked disorder that prevents normal red blood cell function. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements are effective for treating this condition under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider.

    Preventing adverse effects in people taking cycloserine (Seromycin®)

    Cycloserine is a prescription antibiotic that may cause anemia, peripheral neuritis, or seizures by acting as a pyridoxine antagonist or increasing excretion of pyridoxine. Requirements for pyridoxine may be increased in patients receiving cycloserine. Pyridoxine may be recommended by a healthcare provider to prevent these adverse effects.

    Pyridoxine deficiency and neuritis

    Pyridoxine supplements are effective for preventing and treating pyridoxine deficiency and neuritis due to inadequate dietary intake, certain disease states, or deficiency induced by drugs such as isoniazid (INH) or penicillamine. Dietary supplements should be taken under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider.

    Pyridoxine-dependent seizures in newborns

    Pyridoxine-dependent seizures in newborns can result from the use of high-dose pyridoxine in pregnant mothers or from autosomal recessive (genetic) pyridoxine dependency. Refractory seizures in newborns that are caused by pyridoxine dependence may be controlled quickly with intravenous administration of pyridoxine by a qualified healthcare provider.

    Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

    There is some evidence that taking pyridoxine orally may improve symptoms of PMS such as mastalgia (breast pain or tenderness) and PMS-related depression or anxiety in some patients. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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What is vitamin B6?