Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)


  • Vitamin


  • Dietary supplement; water-soluble vitamin


  • Vitamin B6 deficiency

    • seen in some breast-fed infants, elderly, oral contraceptive users, alcoholics

  • necessary for proper red blood cell production

  • Adjunct to Isoniazid (INH) therapy

  • Unlabed uses:

    • hydrazine poisoing

    • premenstrual syndrome

    • hyperoxaluria type I

    • nausea and vomiting in pregnancy



  • Pregnancy category A

  • Patients may develop hypervitaminosis B6 with excessive dosages.  Symtoms of hypervitaminosis B6 are ataxia and severe sensory neuropathy.  This takes up to six months to normalize once discontinued.

Adverse Reactions (Side Effects):

  • Relatively non-toxic in therapeutic doses

  • Sensory neuropathic syndrome (unstable gait, numb feet, awkward hands, perioral numbness, decreased touch sensations, paresthesia)

  • Low serum folic acid levels  


  • Dietary sources: meats, cereals, lentils, nuts, bananas, avocados, potatoes

  • Administered in oral soft gelatin capsules or injection

  • Dietary supplementation (RDA: recommended daily allowance):

    • Adult males: 2m per day

    • Adults females: 1.6m per day

  • Dietary deficiency: 10-20mg per day for 3 weeks

  • Vitamin B6 dependency syndrome: 600mg per day initially, then 30mg per day for life

  • Isoniazid deficiency: 50-200mg per day

  • Isoniazid poisoning: 4 grams IV initial, followed by 1 gram IM every 30 minutes

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