To help avoid possible complications with biotin, safety concerns for the supplement should be discussed with a healthcare provider. For example, you should talk to your healthcare provider (before using biotin supplements) if you have any allergies or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Although biotin appears to be safe for most people, there may be some serious side effects that are not known at this time.
Biotin is a vitamin that has become popular as a dietary supplement for treating brittle nails and hair, as well as a variety of other conditions. It appears to be safe for most people. However, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking biotin if you:
- Have any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some of the warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of biotin include the following:
- Although biotin appears to be quite safe, it is possible that there are serious biotin side effects or problems that are not currently known.
- Do not take biotin if you are allergic or sensitive to biotin or any of the inactive ingredients used to make biotin supplements.
- Although biotin does not seem likely to interact with other medications, some medications may increase the risk of a biotin deficiency (see Biotin Drug Interactions for more information).
- Although biotin is important for pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is not known if high doses of biotin are safe in these situations (see Biotin and Pregnancy and Biotin and Breastfeeding).
- If you decide to use dietary supplements (such as biotin), what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some dietary supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states.
Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your biotin supplement is a trusted and reputable manufacturer. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for drugs. It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are the most reputable.