1,2,3,4,5,6-Cyclohexanehexol, 1,2,5/3,4,6-inositol, (1S)-inositol, (1S)-1,2,4/3,5,6-inositol, Antialopecia Factor, (+)-chiroinositol, cis-1,2,3,5-trans-4,6-Cyclohexanehexol, Cyclohexitol, Dambrose, D-chiro-inositol, D-Myo-Inositol, Facteur Anti-alopécique, Hexahydroxycyclohexane, Inose, Inosite, Inositol Monophosphate, Lipositol, Meso-Inositol, Méso-Inositol, Monophosphate d'Inositol, Mouse Antialopecia Factor, Myo-Inositol, Vitamin B8, Vitamine B8.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Inositol is a vitamin-like substance. It is found in many plants and animals. It is also produced in the human body and can be made in a laboratory. Inositol can be found in many forms (called isomers). The most common forms are myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol.

Some people take inositol by mouth for diabetes, nerve problems caused by diabetes, diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), treating a disorder called metabolic syndrome and conditions associated with menopause and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), including failure to ovulate, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high levels of testosterone. It is also used for depression, schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), compulsive hair pulling (trichotillomania), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders, but there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses.

It is also taken by mouth to prevent complications during pregnancy such as neural tube birth defects (birth defects that involve the brain and spinal cord) and for preventing the side effects of a drug called lithium.

Inositol is also given by mouth or intravenously (by IV) to premature babies to with acute respiratory distress syndrome.

How does it work?

Inositol might balance certain chemicals in the body to possibly help with mental conditions such as panic disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It might also help insulin work better. This might help with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome or diabetes during pregnancy.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Side effects caused by lithium. Taking inositol by mouth seems to improve psoriasis, a skin condition caused by lithium. But it doesn't seem to help psoriasis in people not taking lithium. Inositol doesn't seem to improve other side effects caused by lithium.
  • Metabolic syndrome. Taking inositol with or without alpha-lipoic acid seems to improve insulin resistance, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and blood pressure in postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome.
  • A type of anxiety marked by episodes of intense fear (panic disorder). Inositol shows some promise for controlling panic attacks and the fear of public places or open spaces (agoraphobia). One study found that inositol is as effective as a prescription medication. However, larger clinical studies are needed before inositol's effectiveness for panic attacks can be proven.
  • A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). Inositol seems to be beneficial for PCOS. Taking particular forms of inositol (D-chiro-inositol or myo-inositol) by mouth seems to lower triglyceride and testosterone levels, decrease blood pressure, and improve the function of the ovaries in overweight or obese women with PCOS. Some research also shows that taking the two forms of inositol together improves ovulation better than taking D-chiro-inositol alone. Also, taking this combination seems to improve blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood insulin levels better than taking myo-inositol alone.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • A sudden and serious lung condition (acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS). Giving inositol intravenously (by IV) to premature babies with ARDS does not seem to help and might be harmful. Older early research suggests that inositol decreases the risk of death, blindness, bleeding in the brain, and other adverse events. However, the largest study to date shows that inositol does not decrease the risk of death, blindness, or other outcomes in these infants. It might even slightly increase the risk of death and blindness.
  • Alzheimer disease. Taking inositol by mouth doesn't seem to improve symptoms of Alzheimer disease.
  • Anxiety. Taking inositol by mouth doesn't seem to improve the severity of anxiety symptoms.
  • Autism. Taking inositol by mouth doesn't seem to improve symptoms of autism.
  • Depression. Most research shows that inositol doesn't improve symptoms of depression. While some early research shows that depressed people receiving inositol for 4 weeks may improve at first, they seem to get worse again after a while. There was also some expectation that inositol might make antidepressant medications called SSRIs work better. But research so far hasn't shown this to be true.
  • Schizophrenia. Taking inositol by mouth doesn't seem to improve symptoms of schizophrenia.

Likely InEffective for

  • Nerve pain in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy). Taking inositol by mouth doesn't improve the symptoms of nerve pain caused by diabetes.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early studies show inositol might not help improve ADHD symptoms.
  • Bipolar disorder. Early research in children with bipolar disorder shows that taking inositol with a certain omega-3 fatty acid improves mania and depressive symptoms.
  • Diabetes. Early research in overweight people with type 1 diabetes shows that taking a combination of folic acid and a form of inositol called D-chiro-inositol decreases blood glucose more than taking folic acid by itself. Inositol might also help prevent diabetes in pregnancy. Taking a certain form of inositol called myo-inositol along with folic acid during pregnancy might reduce the chance of developing diabetes during pregnancy in women who are at risk. But giving inositol to pregnant women that already have diabetes doesn't seem to help.
  • Lung cancer. Early research shows that taking inositol does not reverse the growth of pre-cancer cells in people at high risk for lung cancer.
  • A type of anxiety marked by recurrent thoughts and repetitive behaviors (obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD). There is some evidence that people with OCD who receive inositol by mouth for 6 weeks experience an improvement in OCD symptoms. However, inositol doesn't seem to improve OCD symptoms in people already being treated with medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • A type of anxiety that often develops after a terrifying event (post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD). Early research shows that taking inositol by mouth doesn't improve distress in people with PTSD.
  • Hair pulling (trichotillomania). Taking inositol by mouth doesn't seem to improve symptoms of compulsive hair pulling.
  • Cancer.
  • Hair growth.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Problems metabolizing fat.
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate inositol for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Inositol is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth. It can cause nausea, stomach pain, tiredness, headache, and dizziness.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Inositol is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 12 weeks in children ages 5-12 years old. It is also POSSIBLY SAFE when used in the hospital for premature infants with a sudden and serious lung condition (acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS) for up to 10 days. However, inositol is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used for longer than 10 days in premature infants with ARDS.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Inositol is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Not enough is known about the use of inositol during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Inositol may lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use inositol.


We currently have no information for INOSITOL Interactions.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:



  • For diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes): 2 grams of a certain form of inositol (isomer myo-inositol) plus 200 mg of folic acid have been taken twice per day beginning during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • For treating lithium-related psoriasis: 6 grams of inositol has been taken daily.
  • For metabolic syndrome: 2 grams of a certain form of inositol (isomer myo-inositol) has been taken twice per day for one year.
  • For panic disorder: 12-18 grams of inositol has been taken daily.
  • For treating symptoms associated with polycystic ovary syndrome: 1000 to 1200 mg of a certain form of inositol (isomer D-chiro-inositol) has been used. Also, a product containing 4 grams of another form of inositol (isomer myo-inositol) plus 400 mcg of folic acid has been taken daily for up to 6 months. A specific product containing 550 mg of myo-inositol and 13.8 mg of D-chiro-inositol has also been taken twice daily for up to 6 months.
  • For complications during pregnancy: 2 grams of a certain form of inositol (isomer myo-inositol) plus 200 mg of folic acid has been taken twice per day beginning during the first trimester of pregnancy.

  • For a breathing problem in premature infants called respiratory distress syndrome: 120-160 mg/kg of inositol or 2500 mcmol/L of inositol has been used in the hospital.
  • For a breathing problem in premature infants called respiratory distress syndrome: 80-160 mg/kg of inositol has been used in the hospital.

View References


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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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