Drug Infonet provides drug and disease information for your healthcare needs. Visit our FAQ page to find answers to common health questions. Look on the Manufacturer Info page to link to pharmaceutical company pages. Click to Health Info and Health News for the latest in healthcare developments.
Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Niacin
Answer: No truth to this that I'm aware. The flush is dilation of peripheral arteries and does nothing except cause a hot flash and lower your blood pressure. Niacin has potential liver toxicity and needs ongoing liver function tests, however, this is a pretty low dosage.
Answer: Niacin is a naturally occuring vitamin. Many years ago it was found to lower cholesterol and until the advent of zocor and some of the newer drugs was used extensively. Although it is non-prescription use in excess of 500-750mg a day can produce elevated liver enzymes and in some cases liver damage. Consequently, it needs to be monitored regularly. The optimim dose is dictated by ones cholesterol. Some patients are very sensitive to this drug and will have their cholesterol lowered by 750-lOOOmg a day. Others will need 1500-2000mg a day. Diarrhea and flushing are usually the limiting side effects-the flushing can sometimes be blocked by an aspirin taken 20-30 minutes before the drug.