Vitamin B6 can be used interchangeably with the term pyridoxine. However, it also used collectively to represent other related compounds: pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, and their derivatives. Vitamin B6 is involved in the metabolism of amino acids and glycogen; the formation of nucleic acids, hemoglobin, sphingomyelin, and other sphingolipids; and the creation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA. Good sources of vitamin B6 include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, white potatoes, starchy vegetables, and non-citrus fruits.
High doses of vitamin B6 should be avoided when taking phenytoin and phenobarbital due to a decrease in their plasma levels. Antibiotics, estrogens. hydralazine, theophylline, isoniazid, and penicillamine may decrease the production and absorption of B vitamins; as a result, the use may call for pyridoxine supplementation. As with all drugs and supplements, a health care professional should be consulted before use.
Vitamin B6 is well tolerated in doses up to 200 mg per day. Higher doses may bring out adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, breast tenderness, and possible photosensitivity. If very high doses (>1,000 mg daily) are taken, there is risk of sensory neuropathy. Please take recommended dosage only and be sure to read all labels and information.