Biotin's Known Drug, Food, and Lab Test Interactions

Although there are no known adverse drug interactions caused by biotin, there is one report (from 2001) of a serious health problem that occurred in a woman who took the combination 10 mg biotin and 300 mg/day of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) daily for two months. The 76-year old woman was hospitalized for chest pain and difficulty breathing, where it was discovered she had eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion. She had no known allergies or other reported illnesses, and numerous tests ruled out infections, malignancy, or other potential causes. When the vitamin usage was stopped the patient's condition improved. However, it is unknown whether the eosinophila was related to the biotin.1, 75


There are a number of drugs and one type of food known to cause biotin deficiency, however. These include:1

  • Antibiotics
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Egg white

There are no known adverse interactions with herbal supplements and biotin. Biotin has been reported in two cases to cause inaccurate results on different types of thyroid lab tests:1

  • Free thyroxine (FT4) (false-high)
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) (false-low)


Antibiotics may kill some of the healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract that produce biotin and reduce biotin levels. It is unlikely to cause biotin deficiency, however, since studies show bacteria only contributes about 20% of biotin in the body.1

While antibiotic reduction in bacteria like acidophilus and bifidobacteria may not result in biotin deficiency, prolonged lower levels of biotin in the intestines suppresses the immune system. One of biotin's functions is as an immune booster that inhibits and controls Candida (a yeast) in the bowel. Insufficient biotin creates an environment where an aggressive form of the yeast Candida can take root, penetrating the intestinal wall and spreading into the bloodstream.76


Certain anticonvulsant medications used to treat epilepsy have been shown to reduce levels of biotin in the blood. These include:1


Similar pharmaceutical compounds may cause the same side effect (e.g., Trileptal®). However, clinical studies show that biotin supplementation can counteract these biotin-depleting side effects.1


The avidin in raw egg white binds to biotin and can block its absorption from the intestines and cause biotin deficiency. However, you would have to consume a lot of raw eggs for that to happen - two or more a day for several months. Cooked egg white does not present a problem since heat denatures avidin and prevents the binding mechanism.1

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Accumulation of fluid around heart and lungs containing 10% or more of eosinophila, a type of white blood cell typically released by the immune system in the present of an allergen, virus, or bacteria.6
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