Niacin Instruction Sheet

Niacin or nicotinic acid is a B vitamin that improves cholesterol levels. It has the advantage of not only lowering total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, it also lowers triglycerides and raised HDL (good) cholesterol. Niacin also makes LDL particles less likely to block arteries. It can be obtained over the counter without a prescription.

Types of Niacin

Immediate Release Niacin – a tablet or capsule that dissolves in your stomach within minutes after you swallow it and releases niacin quickly into your bloodstream. We recommend that you take immediate release niacin.

Slow Release, Extended Release Niacin – a tablet or capsule that is released into your bloodstream slowly. This type of niacin has been associated with potential liver problems.

We recommend IMMEDIATE RELEASE NIACIN because it more effectively corrects abnormal cholesterol levels and is not associated with liver problems.

Niacin, in some people can cause side effects such as flushing (sunburn sensation) and itching. These side effects are not harmful and will go away with time as your body gets used to the medication. You are less likely to have significant side effects if you follow the directions below.

  • Take niacin with food
  • Avoid hot liquids, alcohol and spicy foods at the time you take niacin
  • Take 1 aspirin ½ hour before your niacin dose. If you are taking Coumadin or Warfarin please consult with us before starting aspirin

We recommend that you gradually increase your niacin to the dose recommended by your doctor. One schedule for increasing dose is presented below. If you have significant side effects go slower.

  • 1st week: 100-125 mg twice daily
  • 2nd week: 200-250 mg twice daily
  • 3rd week: 500 mg twice daily
  • 4th week: 750 mg twice daily
  • 5th week: 1,000 mg twice daily
  • 6th week: 1,500 mg twice daily

If you have questions please call us at 329-1620.