Biotin May Interfere with Lab Tests
Dec 02, 2019
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, may interfere with lab tests and lead to incorrect results, according to a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In 2017, the FDA issued a warning about the possibility of biotin interfering with certain lab tests. Now, the FDA has issued an update to this warning.
The FDA warned in 2017 that biotin could lead to falsely high or low test results. Incorrect lab test results can lead to inappropriate health condition management or even missing a diagnosis, the FDA noted.
Since 2017, some of the lab test makers have made changes to avoid interference with biotin and ensure lab results are accurate. However, some lab test developers have not addressed this issue.
The FDA is especially concerned about troponin laboratory tests that have not addressed this biotin interference. That's because interference with this test can lead to a falsely low result for troponin, which is a marker used to detect heart attacks. Inaccurate results on this test can lead to a missed diagnosis, which is very serious.
The FDA said it has received adverse event reports related to falsely low troponin results.
Many lab tests use a technology that involves biotin, so people taking large amounts of the vitamin could have enough in their bodies to interfere with the accuracy of those tests, the FDA explained. Biotin, a water-soluble vitamin, is often found in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins. It's often found in high amounts in dietary supplements for hair, skin and nail growth.
Some dietary supplements may contain biotin levels up to 650 times the recommended daily intake. In addition, some health care providers may be recommending high amounts of biotin supplementation for certain conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.
The daily recommended allowance of biotin is 0.03 mg. Biotin intake higher than the recommended daily allowance may interfere with lab tests, according to the FDA.
In light of this warning, the FDA has issued the following recommendations:
- If you are currently taking biotin (vitamin B7) or are considering taking it, speak with your doctor.
- Tell your health care provider about all the medications you are taking. Some labels may not make it clear that the product contains biotin.
- If you have had lab tests performed and are concerned about the accuracy of the results, speak with your health care provider.
Speak to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS