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Niacin

INFORMATION

Uses

Niacin is used in the treatment of nutritional deficiencies.

How it works

Niacin or nicotinic acid (Vitamin B3) belongs to class of drugs called vitamins. It reduces the rate of production of bad cholesterol and increases level of good cholesterol, thereby preventing the hardening of blood vessels.

Common side effects

Abdominal bloating, Atrial arrhythmias (altered heart rate), Blurred vision, Brown to black,velvety hyperpigmentation of the skin, Cramps, Diarrhoea, Flushing, Gastric irritation, Headache, Hepatitis (viral infection of liver), Ichthyosis, Itching, Liver enzyme increased, Muscle pain, Visual impairment, Urticaria, Liver failure

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

• Caution to be exercised by patients with active stomach ulcer, muscle disorder, and liver, kidney, or heart disease.
• Avoid alcohol intake while on niacin treatment as it may worsen the side effects.
• Do not drink hot beverages, hot water shower immediately after taking niacin as it may increase in flushing.
• Avoid taking niacin on an empty stomach to reduce side effects such as flushing, itching of skin etc.
• Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
• Do not take if allergic to niacin or any of its ingredients. 
• Do not give to infants and children.
• Patients with major or unexplained liver dysfunction; active stomach ulcer, or arterial bleeding should not be administered niacin. 
• Do not give it to patients suffering from alcohol dependency.

Frequently asked questions

Niacin

Q.Does niacin increase blood pressure?
No, niacin does not increase blood pressure. Please follow your doctor's advice regarding its use

Q.Is niacin blood thinner?
Niacin may make blood thinner

Q.Does niacin burn fat or help lose weight?
Niacin reduces the levels of bad cholesterol. It may or may not burn fat or help lose weight. Please follow your doctor's advice regarding its us

Q.Can I take niacin with statins like Lipitor (atorvastatin)/Crestor (rosuvastatin)/simvastatin?
Yes, Niacin can be taken with statins like Lipitor (atorvastatin)/ Crestor (rosuvastatin)/ simvastatin, only if you are NOT taking high dosages of niacin for the treatment of high cholesterol. Please follow your doctor's advice regarding its use

Q.Can I take niacin with Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)?
Yes, you can take niacin with Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine. Please consult your doctor prior to its use

Q.Can I take niacin with melatonin?
Yes, you can take niacin with melatonin. Please consult your doctor prior to its use

Q.Can I take niacin with blood pressure medicines?
You may or may not take blood pressure medicines with niacin. Please follow your doctor's advice regarding its use.


Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)