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The body needs sufficient vitamin B6 to make certian brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.  One preliminary study found that B6 pyridoxine was slightly more effective than Ritalin in improving behavior among hyperactive children.  The study did, however, use a high dose of B6, which could possibly cause nerve damage (although none occurred in the study).  Because high doses can be dangerous, do not give high doses of B6 to your child or yourself without your doctor’s supervision (1,2).


  1. Brenner A. The effects of megadoses of selected B complex vitamins on children with hyperkinesis: controlled studies with long-term follow-up. J Learn Disabil 1982;15:258-64.
  2. Coleman M, Steinberg G, Tippett J, et al. A preliminary study of the effect of pyridoxine administration in a subgroup of hyperkinetic children: A double-blind crossover comparison with methylphenidate. Biol Psych. 1979;14:741-51.