These medicines contain the nicotinic acid form of niacin.
How It Works
Nicotinic acid reduces the production of
and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein,
which is converted to
in the blood). This leads to decreased LDL ("bad")
("good") cholesterol, and lowered triglycerides.
Nicotinic acid raises HDL cholesterol more than other lipid-lowering
Why It Is Used
Nicotinic acid is especially useful
in people who have low HDL levels and high triglyceride levels, because it
raises HDL and lowers triglycerides. Niacin may not be appropriate for some
people who have:
- Active stomach
- Oversensitivity to niacin.
and do not have their blood sugar levels controlled.
disorders, such as
- Active liver
How Well It Works
- can be
reduced by 5% to 25%.
- can be increased by 15% to 35%.
- can be reduced by 20% to
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
- Trouble breathing.
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor if you have:
- Severe stomach pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Yellow eyes or skin (symptoms of ).
Common side effects of this medicine include:
- Flushing or redness of skin on face and neck.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
These side effects are more severe when higher doses are
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)