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Nicotinamide is used to treat vitamin B3 deficiency and inflammatory skin diseases like acne and pellagra.

How it works

Nicotinamide is an amide form of nicotinic acid. Nicotinamide is a component of two coenzymes, which help in tissue respiration and metabolism of  lipids, amino acids, proteins, and purines. Nicotinamide lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels by inhibiting the synthesis of very low density lipoproteins.

Common side effects

Rash, Abnormal liver function tests, Allergic sensitization, Blurred vision, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Flushing, Gastrointestinal discomfort, Vomiting, Nausea, Headache, Liver toxicity, Increased glucose level in blood


Expert advice

  • Do not use nicotinamide in children.
  • Caution should be observed if large doses are prescribed in patients with a history of jaundice, liver disease, or diabetes mellitus.
  • Do not take nicotinamide along with fibrates (e.g. Clofibrate) and statins (e.g. Simvastatin) as it may cause rhabdomyolysis.
  • Do not take nicotinamide along with alcohol.
  • Caution should be taken in the use of supplements containing copper, which may cause severe heart defects (second or third degree heart blocks) in patients with chronic liver or renal failure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken, or might take any other medicines.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is nicotinamide safe?
Nicotinamide is safe if used as recommended. In case of any side effects, consult your doctor.

Q. Does nicotinamide contain nicotine?
No. Nicotinamide in no way contain nicotine. Nicotinamide is amide form of nicotinic acid and used to treat skin diseases like acne and pellagra.

Q. Is nicotinamide good for acne?
Yes. Nicotinamide when taken along with zinc and folic acid is a good treatment of acne.

Q. Is nicotinamide the same as niacin?
No. Nicotinamide is an amide form of nicotinic acid.

Q. Is nicotinamide available over the counter?
Yes. Nicotinamide is available over the counter. However, please consult your doctor regarding its use.

Q. Does nicotinamide cause flushing?
In case of overdose, nicotinamide may cause flushing or rash. Always follow the instructions of doctor regarding the dosage and duration.

Content on this page was last updated on 28 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)