Vitamin B3 Niacin

Vitamin B3 Niacin

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    A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Niacin (or nicotinic acid), which is available either over the counter or as a prescription medication, has multiple effects on the cholesterol panel. The most notable effect of nicotinic acid is on raising the HDL-C (or good) cholesterol. It can also have a significant effect in reducing triglycerides and a modest effect on lowering LDL-C (or bad) cholesterol. Importantly, use of nicotinic acid also has effects on the size and density of LDL cholesterol, making the LDL molecules bigger and 'fluffier,' which may make them less likely to cause heart disease. Nicotinic acid can be used either alone or in combination with other medications, like statins. Like all medications, nicotinic acid may be associated with significant side effects, including flushing, and those risks may be increased when it is used in combination with other cholesterol-lowering medications. Be sure to discuss all medications and supplements with your personal health care provider.
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    A answered
    Niaspan (niacin extended release) is a prescription medication, where as niacin is an over the counter medication. Although similar, the prescription medication is regulated as a drug, the over-the-counter versions of niacin are only regulated as dietary supplements. The two different formulations may cause different degrees of the side effects of flushing and redness.
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    A answered
    Niaspan is a long-acting niacin. It is the same active ingredient as niacin. It does require a prescription from your physician. Niacin has been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol. Niaspan may cause less flushing than regular-release niacin in some patients.
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    A answered
    There are few ways you can manage the flushing (warmth, redness, itching and/or tingling) side effects of Niaspan: 1) you may have an easier time getting used to the flushing symptoms of Niaspan if you slowly work up to the target dose -- however, you should work with your doctor to design this plan to work up the desired dose, 2) you can try taking Niaspan at night so the flushing symptoms do not affect your daytime activities, and 3) taking an aspirin 325 mg 1/2 hour before the Niaspan dose may help to reduce the side effects of flushing -- but please discuss this with your doctor first since some people should not take aspirin because of specific drug interactions or disease interactions.
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    A answered
    Niaspan is not a statin medication. Niaspan, or niacin, is a B-complex vitamin. It is used to lower cholesterol levels.
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    A answered
    There are some over-the-counter products that are similar to Niaspan, such as Slo-Niacin. You would need to check with your doctor to see how much he/she recommends that you take based on your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. You will probably need to take the over-the-counter products more frequently.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Do not take this vitamin supplement if you may become pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about taking nicotinamide if you have liver disease or developed peptic ulcers. This supplement has been shown to cause an increase in liver enzymes. Talk to your doctor if this may affect any of your other medication conditions. This medication should be taken with care if you have gallbladder disease, diabetes or suffer from gout. Do not take nicotinamide if you develop an allergic reaction to this vitamin supplement.

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    A Cholesterol Management, answered on behalf of
    Overall, statins are the best cholesterol-lowering agents. Not only do they lower LDL cholesterol much more than niacin does, statins are proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular events, while niacin does not seem to do this.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Among the drugs and supplements that may interact with vitamin B3 (niacin) supplements are:

    • warfarin
    • doxazosin
    • terazosin
    • isosorbid
    • prazosin
    • nitroglycerin
    • multivitamins that contain niacin
    • amlodipine
    • verapamil
    • diltiazem
    • nisoldipine
    • felodipine
    • nimodipine
    • nicardipine
    • nifedipine
    • atorvastatin
    • simvastatin
    • fluvastatin
    • pravastatin
    • lovastatin

    Take some cholesterol medications (colestipol and cholestyramine) at least four hours before or after taking vitamin B3. The vitamin can also raise blood sugar, so if you're diabetic talk to your doctor about adjusting your doses of insulin and other medications. Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory a half hour before taking your dose of vitamin B3 may help prevent flushing, a common side effect.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    I recommend taking 100 milligrams of niacin four times a day to increase your (good) HDL cholesterol level. Regular (and over-the-counter) niacin is much cheaper than prescription niacin, and there seems to be a beneficial effect of extended-release doses. Sometimes higher doses are needed, in which case your doctor needs to peek at your liver function to ensure that you avoid the uncommon toxicity.

    To reduce flushing (feeling hot and light-headed), take an aspirin a half hour ahead of time and take the niacin as you go to bed.

    Do not increase the dose above this level without talking to your doctor, and check with your doctor before using niacin at any dose if you have a history of liver problems.