Adult Health

4 Biotin Side Effects

Written by andy
Ever wonder what the main biotin side effects are? Read this before popping your next hair, skin, and nails pill.

It’s a well-known fact that biotin is an important vitamin for our bodies. Not only does it play a role in the health of our skin, hair, and nails, but it can also improve metabolic function, decrease cardiovascular risk, and even prevent and treat diabetes. Many people take biotin daily as a means of boosting their health, but did you know that there are a few biotin side effects? There are a few things you need to know about before taking biotin:

Acne — Hard to believe that a vitamin that nourishes your skin can increase your risk of acne, right? Well, an excess of biotin has been linked to a higher risk of cystic acne according to some docs, particularly on your jawline and chin, and it’s one of the main biotin side effects people complain about.

“While there are anecdotal reports that biotin supplements can influence skin barrier function and promote acne, there is no data to support this,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD. “A related vitamin, Vitamin B12, however has been reported to cause breakouts.”

It’s unknown why this is the case, but many experts do agree that taking relatively low doses of the supplement per day is the best way to reduce your risk of acne. The good news is that even if acne does break out while taking biotin, it will usually go away within a week or two of stopping. It’s highly recommended to increase water intake while taking biotin, as that can help to prevent acne breakouts.

Negative Medication Interactions — Biotin on its own shouldn’t cause many problems, but be careful if you are taking biotin at the same time as other medications. Biotin has negative interactions with anti-seizure medications, as well as anti-cholesterol medications. Taking biotin will reduce the effectiveness of these two medications. Diabetics on anti-diabetes medications may also want to avoid biotin, as it can affect your blood sugar levels.

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“Biotin may help strengthen hair and nails, but as with any supplement touch base with your doctor to make sure it is the right option for you.  Biotin is generally considered safe with minimal side effects or interactions.”

Allergies — Yes, there are allergic reactions to biotin, just like there are allergic reactions to berries, sunlight, and oats. It’s an uncommon allergy, but it has been known to occur. People who develop allergic reactions to cobalt and Vitamin B12 are more likely to suffer biotin allergies. You can tell you’re experiencing an allergic reaction if your throat begins to close up, there is pain or tightness in your chest, your face and/or throat begin to swell, you feel nauseous, or you develop an itchy rash.

Miscarriage — While some doctors believe that biotin is “likely safe” for pregnant women to take, some will tell you that taking biotin will actually increase your risk of miscarriage. There is no explainable, clear reason as to why this is the case, but there have been cases where those taking high dosages of biotin have suffered a miscarriage.

Just to be safe, consult your doctor before taking biotin supplements during your pregnancy. They may tell you that there is nothing to worry about, or they may warn you away from the supplement. Always go by the opinion of a trusted doctor to be safe.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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