B6 Toxicity
by chimey, Sep 12, 2006
This is more of a comment than a question, but I would welcome info from anyone who has any experience with this situation. I took a prescription called Folcaps (which had 25 mgs of pyridoxine in it) for a year. In February of 06 I began experiencing symptoms which have now been diagnosed as Pyridoxine (b6) Toxicity Induced Neuropathy. I did not get this diagnosis until August 15, after four MRIs, several specialists and balance testing. My b6 blood level was 81 - the maximum safe level in this test was 32. When reading about b6 toxicity one reads about tingling hands and feet and being "wobbly on your feet" and things of that nature. It can be much more than that. Be careful with Vitamin b6. It's not known if the neurological damage is reversible. Some studies show it is, some show it is not. The damage I have suffered extends to my thyroid, my blood pressure has been lowered (to an unsafe level - it was healthy before), my balance has been damaged - I don't know where my right foot is in space, I've had insomnia, my symptoms are too lengthy to list here. The fatigue that I have been experiencing for the past several months has started to lift now that I've stopped taking the medication, but it is still profound...another hallmark symptom of b6 poisoning. This is a serious toxic situation and one that is not understood by the medical community. I am waiting to find out how much of my life I will get back. I am rebuilding my stamina & neuropathways with an optimistic outlook. And getting the word out. MD's don't know about vitamins. Work with nutritionists. Don't go it solo
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Member Comments (919)
by NURSELPN, Sep 24, 2006
by ninamagic, Oct 11, 2006
Wow, I had what I think was B6 toxicity about 6 years ago. I was taking a B-50 supplement for a year - that's 50mg of B6. The neurologist had no clue what was going on. Finally I guessed B6, he said maybe, I stopped it completely (that was a rough road), and major changes started to happen in 8 days. It took about 3 years, I'd say, to get to the point where I didn't notice any remaining effect. But I'm still very sensitive to it. I can't yet take a whole Centrum each day (that's all of 2mg) without feeling a little wierd on my fingertips and toes after a week or two.

Anyway, it's a long story. Let me know if you want to know more. Personally, at the time, I would have loved to hear someone else say they'd been through it, and I wasn't nuts. The neuro never really was any help, so the fact that you have one who tested for it is a big plus!
by hopefulatlast, Aug 25, 2007
I am so thankful I found this website, and for the individuals who told their stories to get the word has saved my life!  In 1999, I went to a Neurologist with several severe neurological complaints.  I thought I was possibly dealing with MS.  MS was ruled out after testing, but I was not diagnosed at that time, and the Neurologist thought my problems were in my head, and that I needed to see a counselor! :(  Finally in 2007, I got the courage up again to go to another Neuologist for help, because my symptoms had worsened, and I was having difficulty walking (long term, extreme B6 toxicity side effect).  I decided that this time round with the new Neurologist I was going to be very proactive and obtain all my test results and "analyze" them with the help of info off the internet.  To make the long story short, my B6 level was at 73 (normal is 23 for women).  I then found this website and others to confirm to me that it was "B6 Toxicity Induced Neuropathy".  I explained my findings to my Neurologist, and she still wanted me to go through all of the MS testing because of the evident neurological damage (my reflexes were fried).  Yes, MS was ruled out, and the Neurologist did her studying on B6 toxicity, and I was FInally diagnosed properly.  The Neurologist also told me that she also had another case that had just come to her with high levels of B6, and she was wondering what was going on with this!?!  (A Note to Neurologists:  This is a serious problem....don't write B6 off as a water soluable's toxic, and your patients need help!)  I have been detoxing for 8 weeks now....and it has been a nightmare.  Detox symptoms include (on top of toxicity symptoms!): SEVERE FATIGUE, nerve pain, difficulty walking, intenstinal pain, blurred vision, depression, SEVERE NAUSEOUSNESS, headaches, muscle weakness, dizziness, vertigo, hopelessness, etc. etc. etc.  I am using a special diet from a book called "Patient Heal Thyself", which includes a lot of fresh, organic, whole foods. And I have a lot of support from friends and family to walk me through this trying experience.  I have lost 10 precious years of vibrant living due to B6 toxicity, but I am hopeful that I'm ready to finally close this chapter, and begin a brand new book in life.  Detoxing can take up to 6 months, and 3 years for the nerves to heal.  This truly is a serious condition, and I have had too many symptoms to list here from the toxicity.  It's a SILENT CRIPPLER, and the funny thing about B6 toxicity is that it is addictive because B6 makes you "feel good" at first, and then when you don't have it, you feel worse, so you "think" it's a good thing and that you "Need" it.  Quite a puzzling phenomenon!
by boots625, Dec 27, 2007
I suspect that I have B6 toxicity.  I now have nerve damage in my colon which makes it not function very well.  I read that it attacks old injury sites and those are the spots that are affected (toes on one foot; bladder; L1 spine).  I was on UASA vitamins since July.  I tried getting of of them a few times and my gut shut down each time so I would return to them.  About eight days ago I stopped again and my colon is trying to quit.  Five days after I stopped them, I took a 1/4 daily dose to try to get my colon to work again.  Within an hour I had a hot foot with numb toes.  I had a burning pain in my calf all night and felt terrible the next day.  I have found that I am not so much off balance since I stopped them and am not as weak.
Can you give me an idea as to what you eat and how to detoxify myself.
by boots625, Jan 19, 2008
Could you correspond with me on this recovery period?
by frootbar, Jan 20, 2008
hi there,
i'm a C.N. (however, a shadow on the internet so you don't really know, but i am),
and have worked with supplements for about 30 years.
i have taken them for over 35 years now.
i will tell you, b-6 toxicity exists.  i am a supporter of taking supplements, but agree,
this one is a cautious one.
i have the problem myself!  i have numb toes, mild nerve damage upon EMG findings.
they thought i had maybe ms/als/ something.  i have no firm dx of this but, with testing
taking b-6 and not taking it, taking it makes the numbness worse.
studies show most can take up to 500mgs. a day and should be ok, but i'm not so sure
about that.
there are also studies showing that over 150mgs. and in a few cases less than 100mgs.
a day could cause neuropathy.
one neuro i saw thought i was in the safe zone, but i'm not so sure.
the suspected reason for the toxicity, is that your liver is overwhelmed and cannot
add a *phosphate* molecule to the pyridoxine, thereby producing the active pyridoxine
5 phosphate.  instead, you have pure pyridoxine floating around and it's toxic.
i would love to know the b-6 toxicity websites to check them out.
thanks, hope i was helpful a bit.
by boots625, Jan 20, 2008
I find this very interesting.  I was taking Norvasc which I think compounded or created the problem.  Do you think that natural B6 would react different than man made B6?  I started feeling bad last May. I have been off of everthing (Norvasc include) for three weeks.  I feel that I am very slowly getting better but it is a rough trip, very up and down.  I am very weak and unable to do hardly anything.  I would have never beleived that I could go this low.  My doctor thinks I am depressed.  He doesn't know the difference between weak and fatigue.
by frootbar, Jan 20, 2008
i gotta run for today, but, i wanted to answer.
i kind of don't think it matters, although b-6 from food likely
is fine of course.
b-6 is involved in neurotransmitters, substances such as gaba,
so, this could jive with your feeling down and tired and so forth.
i think that any supplement no matter how it's touted, of b-6,
if it's your cause then it will bother you yes.
hope i helped?
fb C.N.
by karbry1, Jan 24, 2008
In May of 2007 I was taking a sublingual B-Complex (B12 and B6) when I experienced vertigo.  I went to a neurologist who said by B12 levels were 200 and a little low so he gave me a perscription for Cerefolin, a mega vitamin usually given to Parkinson's patients.  Within a month I had lost my balance, my reflexes had slowed down.  I was suspected for MS.  My symptoms worsened, and I was at a point in November that I was going to need a walker.  My toes on my left foot became paralyzed, and I needed a bar to balance myself in shower.  I'm only 40 years old.  My neuro decided to send me to a ALS specialist in Philadelphia.  They ruled out ALS, however my symptoms persisted.  Meanwhile I ran out of my perscription, and just didn't have time to get them refilled.  We'll as each day went by I felt just a little bit better.  So I decided to stop the pill without my neurologists permission.  Within 1 month I was a slow jog up and down my driveway. I actually cried and was so thankful for being able to do that.  I am now 2 months off the medication and can run up stairs again.  I am scheduled to go to a hematologist on Friday to figure what exactly my levels are.  B-6 can cripple and kill.  I wrote the FDA a letter to tell them of the effects I had from Cerefolin.  My main concern is that this drug is given to patients that already have a physical impairment and could worsen their condition.  Thank God I'm not alone with this.