What should I know before taking niacin to lower cholesterol?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Your doctor will need to do liver function tests before starting treatment. If you have impaired liver function, niacin may not be a good option for you. If you take niacin, you should limit alcohol consumption and avoid alcohol around the time you take your dose.

If you have heart disease, diabetes, gout, or kidney disease, niacin may not be a good option for you.

If you are pregnant, may be pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant, you should not take niacin.

Niacin is passed into breast milk and may not be a good option for breastfeeding mothers. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.