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Vitamin B6

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

Pyridoxine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, pyridoxal-5-phosphate


Vitamin B6 is found in foods like meat, dairy, and chickpeas. The body uses vitamin B6 to make cells for blood flow and brain function. Vitamin B6 has been used to ease migraine pain and morning sickness in pregnancy. It has also been used to improve symptoms of depression and menstruation. It is also used to manage Vitamin B6 deficiency. Vitamin B6 can be taken as a pill. It can also be injected into the bloodstream or muscle by a healthcare provider.


100 milligrams per day

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Coronary revascularization —B6 with folic acid is likely to lower risk of needing revascularization C1
  • Pregnancy Support —likely to ease morning sickness G1-G5
  • Stroke —likely to lower the risk, especially when used with folic acid H1

May Be Effective

May Not Be Effective

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Cancer treatment support —unlikely to prevent hand-foot syndrome during chemotherapy B1-B3
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum —unlikely to provide benefit D1, D2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take vitamin B6 in small doses for a short time. High doses may not be safe. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take large doses of vitamin B6.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:

  • Vitamin B6 may interact with other anti-nausea medicines for pregnancy. Women who are pregnant should talk to their doctor before taking vitamin B6.
  • People with cancer, anxiety, or narcolepsy should talk to their doctors before taking vitamin B6. It may interact with their medicines.


A. Atopic Eczema

A1. Bath-Hextall FJ, Jenkinson C, et al. Dietary supplements for established atopic eczema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;(2):CD005205.

B. Cancer Treatment Support

B1. Chen M, Zhang L, Wang Q, Shen J. Pyridoxine for prevention of hand-foot syndrome caused by chemotherapy: a systematic review. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 20;8(8):e72245.

B2. Jo SJ, Shin H, et al. Prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy of pyridoxine supplements in the management of hand-foot syndrome during chemotherapy: a meta-analysis. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015;40(3):260-270.

B3. Huang XZ, Chen Y, et al. Clinical evidence of prevention strategies for capecitabine-induced hand-foot syndrome. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jun 15;142(12):2567-2577.

C. Coronary Revascularization

C1. Qin X, Fan F, et al. Folic acid supplementation with and without vitamin B6 and revascularization risk: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug;33(4):603-612.

D. Hyperemesis Gravidarum

D1. Boelig RC, Barton SJ, et al. Interventions for treating hyperemesis gravidarum. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 May 11;(5):CD010607.

D2. Boelig RC, Barton SJ, et al. Interventions for treating hyperemesis gravidarum: a Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Sep;31(18):2492-2505.

E. Labor Support

E1. Salam RA, Zuberi NF, et al. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) supplementation during pregnancy or labour for maternal and neonatal outcomes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(6):CD000179.

F. Migraine

F1. Askari G, Nasiri M, et al. The effects of folic acid and pyridoxine supplementation on characteristics of migraine attacks in migraine patients with aura: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Nutrition. 2017;38:74-79.

G. Pregnancy Support

G1. Dror DK, Allen LH. Interventions with vitamins B6, B12 and C in pregnancy. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;26 Suppl 1:55-74.

G2. Koren G, Clark S, et al. Maternal safety of the delayed-release doxylamine and pyridoxine combination for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy; a randomized placebo controlled trial. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015;15:59.

G3. Matthews A, Haas DM, et al. Interventions for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Sep 8;(9):CD007575.

G4. Koren G, Clark S, et al. Demonstration of early efficacy results of the delayed-release combination of doxylamine-pyridoxine for the treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016;16(1):371.

G5. Sridharan K, Sivaramakrishnan G. Interventions for treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: a network meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis of randomized clinical trials. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Nov;11(11):1143-1150.

H. Stroke

H1. Dong H, Pi F, et al. Efficacy of Supplementation with B Vitamins for Stroke Prevention: A Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 10;10(9):e0137533.

I. Suppression of Lactation

I1. Oladapo OT, Fawole B. Treatments for suppression of lactation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;(9):CD005937.

J. Tardive Dyskinesia

J1. Adelufosi AO, Abayomi O, et al. Pyridoxal 5 phosphate for neuroleptic-induced tardive dyskinesia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Apr 13;(4):CD010501.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC