|Type of medicine||Vitamin B6|
|Used for||Pyridoxine deficiency
Some types of anaemia
To prevent side-effects from some medicines
|Available as||Tablets and capsules|
Pyridoxine is also known as vitamin B6. Vitamins are required in small quantities to help our bodies grow, develop, and function properly. Most people receive sufficient amounts of pyridoxine from the food we eat - good natural sources of vitamin B are tuna, salmon, meat, potatoes, bananas, chickpeas and yeast extracts.
Pyridoxine deficiency can occur in people who have a condition which interferes with the way their food is absorbed, and also as a result of taking some medicines (such as isoniazid or penicillamine). It can be prevented by taking supplements of pyridoxine. Pyridoxine is also used in a type of anaemia known as sideroblastic anaemia, and in some metabolic disorders.
Some people buy vitamins to take as a dietary supplement. Taking extra vitamins in this way has not been shown to be of benefit for people who are able to eat a well-balanced diet. It has also been suggested that pyridoxine may be of benefit in premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, the evidence to support this is still conflicting.
Before taking pyridoxine
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start taking pyridoxine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take pyridoxine
- Before you take pyridoxine, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about pyridoxine and any possible side-effects from taking it.
- If pyridoxine has been prescribed for you by a doctor, take it exactly as your doctor has told you. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how much to take and when to take it. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack.
- You can take pyridoxine before or after food.
- If you have bought pyridoxine, do not take more than 10 mg a day. The safety of taking doses higher than this as a supplement has not been proved, and taking high doses of pyridoxine can cause toxic effects.
Can pyridoxine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects, although not everyone experiences them. Pyridoxine does not usually cause any problems when taken at the correct dose. If you take too many tablets for a long time, you may develop problems with your nervous system (such as tingling feelings, shooting pains, numbness, and not being able to feel pain or temperature). Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side-effects which you think may be due to this medicine.
How to store pyridoxine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Hannah Gronow|
|Last Checked: 20/02/2012||Document ID: 1483 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.