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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Niaspan Benefits and Side Effects

Since I am on and have been on Niaspan for some time now, I wanted to do a post on its benefits and side effects.


GO TO WEB SITE for a more complete list.

Side Effects of Niaspan - for the Consumer

Niaspan Controlled-Release Tablets

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome when using Niaspan Controlled-Release Tablets:
Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; heartburn; increased cough, indigestion, or upset stomach; nausea; temporary skin redness, itching, tingling, or feelings of warmth (flushing); vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Niaspan Controlled-Release Tablets:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); black, tarry, or bloody stools; changes in vision (eg, cloudy or blurred vision); decrease in urine or dark-colored urine; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever or chills; flu-like symptoms (eg, chills, fever, persistent sore throat); increased sweating; loss of appetite; muscle pain, tenderness, swelling, or weakness (with or without fever and fatigue); numbness or persistent tingling of the skin; pale stools; severe dizziness or headache; severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting; shortness of breath; stomach pain; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased thirst, hunger, or urination, confusion, drowsiness rapid breathing, fruit-like breath odor); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.


Niaspan is normally prescribed to reduce cholesterol and especially triglyceride levels. Like all drugs it is a balancing act to determine if the side effects out weigh the benefits. It is a personal choice. There are other nutritional changes one can make along with exercise to reduce high triglycerides and to obtain a better HDL/LDL ratio on cholesterol.



Niaspan is the brand name prescription for the generic supplement niacin, a type of B vitamin. Unlike traditional supplements, Niaspan is an extended-release formulation that your body metabolizes over five or six hours. Talk with your medical provider about the benefits of Niaspan before you begin treatment with this prescription.

Lowers Cholesterol

Treatment with Niaspan may help to reduce your blood levels of bad or LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Additionally, this prescription form of niacin may also increase your levels of good or HDL cholesterol, and may help to prevent atherosclerosis -- a condition characterized by hardening of your arteries. These beneficial aspects of Niaspan can help to protect your heart and may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Prevents and Treats Pellagra

If you have unusually low levels of vitamin B-3 in your blood -- a condition called pellagra -- you may benefit from treatment with Niaspan. When your body doesn't get enough of this form of B vitamin, you may develop unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea, confusion, delusions or painful, scaly skin lesions. These symptoms typically resolve upon treatment with Niaspan.

Reduced Side Effects

Traditional forms of niacin supplements typically induce mild to moderate flushing shortly after treatment. Flushing symptoms may include red skin discoloration and tingling, burning or warmth across the affected skin region. Niaspan is an extended-release form of niacin, which may help to reduce your risk of experiencing flushing side effects, explains; however, additional research evaluating this potential benefit of slow-release niacin is necessary.

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