Biotin is available in a variety of foods, but for those whose diets lack biotin, there are biotin supplements. Biotin supplements are available over the counter in capsules and tablets. Even though biotin supplements do not require a prescription, consult with your health-care provider to ensure that they are right for you.
Biotin is likely safe, according to National Institutes of Health website Medline Plus, for those who take oral biotin supplements appropriately. To determine how much biotin is appropriate, ask your physician since everyone’s biotin needs can vary. If you receive kidney dialysis, you may require extra biotin. Biotin supplements are rated as possibly safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, according to Medline Plus, when taken in recommended doses. Drugs.com states that there are no reported side effects for biotin when taken appropriately and biotin has been safely taken in doses up to 10 mg per day.
While biotin has few or no side effects even when taken in large doses, certain medications can interact with biotin. If you take antibiotics on a long-term basis, they can deplete your biotin levels. The same can happen to your biotin levels with long-term use of anti-convulsant medications, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Biotin helps break down and metabolize fats, carbohydrates and protein. It is also necessary for healthy organs such as your liver, hair, skin and eyes. Biotin helps maintain your nervous system and normal embryonic growth during pregnancy. It can also help strengthen your hair and nails and is sometimes included in beauty products for this purpose.
A biotin deficiency is rare in the United States, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, which means there should be little need for taking a biotin supplement. Symptoms of a biotin deficiency include fatigue, dry eyes, loss of appetite, insomnia and a painfully swollen tongue. You may also experience severe dry skin around the corners of your mouth, and the skin may crack.