Biotin may significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause "clinically significant incorrect lab test results," the US Food and Drug Administration warns.
At least 1 death has been related to biotin interference with laboratory results, FDA officials wrote in a Safety Alert.
For example, incorrect test results may lead to inappropriate treatment or misdiagnosis. FDA officials received a report that a patient taking high levels of biotin died following falsely low troponin test results when a troponin test known to have biotin interference was used.
The FDA is monitoring reports of adverse events associated with biotin interference with laboratory tests and will update the public if significant new information becomes available.
In the interim, FDA officials are urging health care providers to discuss biotin supplement use with patients, and to remain aware of what supplements contain biotin and to discuss the potential for laboratory interference with patients.
New Jersey dermatologist Jeanine B Downie, MD, FAAD, is not surprised. "Consumers need to be aware, let their doctors know absolutely everything that they are taking including supplements, and be willing to read take labs 4 to 6 months after getting off of unnecessary supplementation," she says. There's more to the biotin story too, she says. "Biotin is also adulterated, it is online and sold in higher amounts to unsuspecting consumers," she says. "These consumers think it’s going to be perfect for their hair and nails but I am finding that they break out a lot from acne and it also aggravates their eczema."