Generic Name : NIACIN
Pronunciation : (nye' a sin)
Trade Name(s) : Nicotinic acid, Nicotinamide
Why it is prescribed: Niacin, a vitamin, is used with diet changes (restriction of cholesterol and fat intake) to reduce the amount of cholesterol and certain fatty substances in your blood. Accumulation of cholesterol and fats along the walls of your arteries decreases blood flow and, therefore, the oxygen supply to your heart, brain, and other body parts. Lowering your level of cholesterol and fats may help to prevent heart disease, angina, strokes, and heart attacks. Niacin also is used to prevent and treat pellagra i.e., niacin deficiency, a disease caused by inadequate diet and other medical problems.
When it is to be taken: Niacin usually is taken two to four times a day, preferably with meals. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand.
How it should be taken: Niacin comes in the form of regular and extended-release tablets, extended-release capsules, elixir (oral liquid), and injection form. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose.
Special Instruction :
1. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory so that your response to this medication can be evaluated. You probably will have periodic blood tests.
2. The major risk factors in developing heart attacks and strokes are high blood levels of cholesterol and fats, obesity, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Follow your doctor's advice on smoking, diet, exercise, and weight control.
3. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, take your medication regularly and follow your doctor's dietary instructions e.g., low-sodium or low-salt diet for high blood pressure.
4. If you take niacin to reduce the amount of cholesterol and fats in your blood, eat a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet: cottage cheese, fat-free milk, vegetables, poultry, egg whites, and polyunsaturated oils and margarines, egg yolks, whole milk, cream, butter, shortening, lard, pastries, cakes, cookies, gravy, peanut butter, chocolate, olives, potato chips, coconut, coconut and palm oils, and other fatty and fried foods.
5. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if you remember a missed dose at the time of your next dose, omit the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
Side Effects :
1. Flushing of face and neck. Avoid hot beverages. This effect usually lasts for 30 to 60 minutes after taking a dose; the frequency and severity decrease as you continue to take the drug. Contact your doctor if flushing persists.
2. Itching, stinging or burning of the skin; headaches; blurred vision; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; heartburn; bloating; gas; hunger pains; oily skin. Take niacin on a full stomach or with antacids. If these effects persist or are severe, contact your doctor.
3. Dizziness, faintness, fast heartbeat, yellowing of skin or eyes. Contact your doctor.
Other Precautions :
1. Before you take niacin, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding or if you are allergic to aspirin or tartrazine.
2. Before you take niacin, tell your doctor if you have diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, gout, ulcers, allergies, or a history of jaundice or liver disease.
3. Before you take niacin, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking especially medication for high blood pressure or diabetes.
4. If you take insulin or oral diabetes medication, your dose may need to be changed because niacin may increase the amount of sugar in your blood and urine. Consult your doctor before changing your dose.
5. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.
Storage Conditions :
1. Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children.
2. Store in at room temperature.