February 07, 2018
The Side Effects of Biotin

Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that is also known as Vitamin B. It is often referred to as Vitamin H or B7 as well. It has become quite popular recently in the form of supplements and is pretty easy to find almost anywhere that vitamins and supplements are sold. You can find it under common names such as Vitamin H, Appearex, Coenzyme R, and Biotina.

While our body naturally needs biotin in order to function properly, it is also possible to take in too much of it which can cause medical complications.


As with any supplement, there are possible side effects to taking Biotin. The top ten known side effects are:


Effects during pregnancy


Possible Diarrhea

Increased levels of blood glucose

Possible acne

Frequent urination

Interactions with other drugs

Possible allergic reactions

Problems with Acute Respiration

Eosinophilic Pleuropericardial Effusion


Although some of these side effects can not be avoided, it is possible to help lessen them in some ways.


1.Effects During Pregnancy


It is advised to avoid taking high levels of biotin during pregnancy. Elevated levels can result in miscarriage. There have not been any studies to prove this as concrete evidence but, as with any vitamin or supplement, you should consult your doctor before taking if you are pregnant.





One of the most common complaints by people who take Biotin is nausea. It seems that this side effect subsides after making it through the initial stages and getting it into your system good. The nausea reported has been said to be mild and not unbearable.



3.Possible Diarrhea


Some people may experience stomach cramps and diarrhea when taking high doses of Biotin. If this is a side effect that is experienced, it is important to stop taking Biotin immediately.



4.Increased Levels of Blood Glucose 

Biotin increases the production of fatty acids and glucose in the body. For this reason, it is not suggested that individuals with diabetes take high levels of biotin and therefore a biotin supplement is not suggested. If you feel that you may have a biotin deficiency, it is certainly best to discuss it with you health care provider before deciding if it is best to begin taking it.



5.Possible Acne


While acne is a common side effect of many medications or supplements, there are simple things that you can do to help alleviate the effect it may have on you. Make sure to increase your water intake while taking biotin. Doing so will help to flush your body of toxins and dirt that help to contribute to acne. While this is not a favorable side effect by any means, the benefits of taking the supplement may far outweigh those of having acne. This would be something to speak with your health care provider about.


6.Frequent Urination


There have been cases reported where those taking biotin experienced more frequent urination than normal. While there is not any solid evidence proving why this may happen, it is something that has been reported. Along the same line, there have been reports of excessive sweating from taking biotin.


7.Interactions with other drugs


In taking any medication or supplement, there is a possibly that it could interact with other medication that you are currently taking. It has been proven that Biotin has a negative interaction with medications used to lower cholesterol as well as anti seizure medications. It can also have an impact on Type 2 Diabetes. High doses of biotin can make these medications less effective. For this reason it is certainly highly advised to speak with your health care professional before taking Biotin at all.



8.Possible allergic reaction


With any supplement, it is possible that your body can have an allergic reaction. Anytime we ingest something, this is a possibility. Allergic reactions are not very common at all but, there have been reported cases. Some things to look for if you suspect you might be having an allergic reaction is tightness in your throat or chest, dizziness, diarrhea, rashes, and swelling of the face. If you experience any of these, it is very important to seek medical attention immediately.


9.Problems with acute respiration


These problems are not common but, they are certainly not to be taken lightly at all. If you experience any trouble breathing at all while taking Biotin, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. This is not a side effect to be taken lightly.


10.Eosinophilic Plueropericardial Effusion


There has been a single reported case in women experiencing Eosinophilic Plueropericardial Effusion while taking Biotin in combination with Vitamin B5. In this reaction, the blood and air entering the plueral cavity space was effected. This caused a major pulmonary infection which in turn resulted in a life threatening condition. While this side effect was an isolated case, it is a possibility and something to watch for.



All of the side effects can be potentially serious. However, if taken properly, and in the correct dosage, you should not have to worry about the side effects mentioned above. As with any supplement, it is important to stay within the recommended dosage guidelines in order to reap the greatest benefits of Biotin.


Some things to keep in mind are:


Make sure you stay hydrated. It is recommended to drink about 2 litres of water a day. This will ensure that your body does not become dehydrated from taking the Biotin.


Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs. All three of these things can lead to dehydration of the body and can result in a biotin deficiency.


Do not take your Biotin supplements on an empty stomach. It is always recommended to take them with a meal. This will also help to cut down on nausea.


Do not make Biotin your only supplement. It is recommended that you take them with other multivitamin supplements in order to maintain a proper balance of vitamin intake.


If you are just starting Biotin supplements, it is best to start with the lowest dosage. This will allow you to see how your body reacts to the intake. You can always adjust the dosage as necessary.


Do not allow yourself to become dependent on Biotin supplements. There are many food sources that will provide you with all of the Biotin necessary. Having a normal daily intake of Biotin rich foods will lessen the need for supplements. Some foods to consider as they are good sources of Biotin are: beef or pork liver, eggs, avocado, raw cauliflower, whole wheat bread, and cheese. As you can see, these are very normal, every day foods.



While biotin has many benefits, it is important to stick within the recommended dosage guidelines in order to keep side effects to a minimum. Taking more than the recommended dosage will not provide you with faster results, it will only increase your risk for any or all of the side effects mentioned above. As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor or health care provider before you begin taking any new supplements. In starting a new regime, it is important to consider all factors before deciding which supplements, if any are best for you and your specific health. If you can keep your levels where they should be by eating a healthy diet, this is of course recommended. In some cases, people who find themselves with a Biotin deficiency, may not be able to correct the issue without added supplements and that is okay too. Each individual is encouraged to research and make their decision based on what is best for them.

Alicia Gold

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