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Niacor

Generic Name: nicotinic acid (niacin)
Brands: B-3-50, B3-500-Gr, Niacin SR, Niacor, Niaspan ER, Niaspan ER Starter Pack, Nico-400, Nicobid Tempules, Nicolar, Slo-Niacin


What is the most important information I should know about nicotinic acid?

· Follow any diet or exercise plan outlined by your doctor. Diet and exercise are very important factors in controlling cholesterol levels.

· Take nicotinic acid with food to lessen stomach upset.

· You may experience warmth and flushing of the neck, ears, and face along with itching, tingling, and headache after taking nicotinic acid. This side effect generally lessens with time. You may need to take aspirin or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug 30 minutes before taking a dose of nicotinic acid to prevent this side effect. Continue to take nicotinic acid and talk to your doctor if you experience this side effect.

· Dizziness may occur, especially when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly and use caution when driving or performing other hazardous activities.

· Because large doses of nicotinic acid can result in liver damage and other health problems, you should not take this drug unless a doctor is monitoring your liver function.

· Regular-release and sustained-release forms of nicotinic acid are not the same. Also, over the counter nicotinic acid products and dietary supplements may be different from prescription preparations. Do not change the type of nicotinic acid product you are taking without talking to your doctor.

 

What is nicotinic acid?

· Nicotinic acid, also known as niacin, is vitamin B3. It occurs naturally in plants and animals, and it is also added to many foods in small amounts as a vitamin supplement. Nicotinic acid is also present in small amounts in many multiple vitamins and nutritional supplements.

· Nicotinic acid is used as a supplement to treat and to prevent niacin deficiencies and pellagra. In larger doses, nicotinic acid is used to lower high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fat) in the blood.

· Nicotinic acid may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

 

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nicotinic acid ?

· Do not take nicotinic acid if you have liver disease, or if you have an ulcer in your stomach.

· Alcohol can affect your liver and make treatment with nicotinic acid dangerous. Discuss with your doctor the amount of alcohol that you drink.

· Before taking nicotinic acid , talk to your doctor if you have     ·heart disease,     ·kidney disease,     ·severe low blood pressure,     ·gallbladder disease,     ·a history of jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes related to liver problems),     ·diabetes,     ·muscle pain or disease;     ·glaucoma, or     ·gout.

 

· You may need a lower dose of nicotinic acid or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

· Nicotinic acid is in the FDA pregnancy category C when used in doses greater than those found in vitamin supplements and multiple vitamins. This means that it is not known whether large doses of nicotinic acid will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

· Nicotinic acid passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

 

How should I take nicotinic acid ?

· Take nicotinic acid exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

· Follow any diet or exercise plan outlined by your doctor. Diet and exercise are very important factors in controlling cholesterol levels.

· Because large doses of nicotinic acid can result in liver damage and other health problems, you should not take this drug unless a doctor is monitoring your liver function.

· Regular-release and sustained-release forms of nicotinic acid are not the same. Also, over the counter nicotinic acid products and dietary supplements may be different from prescription preparations. Do not change the type of nicotinic acid product you are taking without talking to your doctor.

· Take each dose with a full glass of water.

· Take the Niaspan brand of nicotinic acid at bedtime, after a low-fat snack.

· Avoid drinking hot beverages or alcohol with your dose of nicotinic acid.

· You may experience warmth and flushing of the neck, ears, and face along with itching, tingling, and headache after taking nicotinic acid. This side effect generally lessens with time. You may need to take aspirin or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug 30 minutes before taking a dose of nicotinic acid to prevent this side effect. Continue to take nicotinic acid and talk to your doctor if you experience this side effect.

· Take nicotinic acid with food to lessen stomach upset.

· Do not crush, chew, or break the extended-release tablets or capsules (such as Niaspan ER). Swallow them whole. Ask your pharmacist if you do not know whether you have an extended-release formulation.

· Colestipol (Colestid) and cholestyramine (Locholest, Prevalite, Questran) may interfere with nicotinic acid. Take colestipol and cholestyramine 4 to 6 hours apart from nicotinic acid.

· To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the elixir form of nicotinic acid with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

· If you stop taking nicotinic acid for an extended length of time, talk to your doctor before re-starting therapy.

· Store nicotinic acid at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

 

What happens if I miss a dose?

· Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

 

What happens if I overdose?

· Seek emergency medical attention or call a poison control center near you.

· Symptoms of a nicotinic acid overdose may include nausea, dizziness, itching, vomiting, upset stomach, and flushing.

 

What should I avoid while taking nicotinic acid ?

· Dizziness may occur, especially when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly and use caution when driving or performing other hazardous activities.

 

What are the possible side effects of nicotinic acid ?

· If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking nicotinic acid and seek emergency medical attention:     ·an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);     ·chest pain or an irregular (fast or slow) heartbeat;     ·yellowing of your skin or eyes (liver damage);     ·a flu-like feeling, including nausea, loss of appetite, aching, and a general feeling of not being well (liver or blood problems);     ·unexplained muscle pain, aching, or weakness (muscle disease or gout); or     ·dizziness, faintness or fainting spells;     ·cloudy or blurry vision.

· If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor if you have changes in your blood glucose.

· Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take nicotinic acid and talk to your doctor if you experience     ·stomach upset, gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea or nausea (take nicotinic acid with food to decrease this side effect).     ·warmth and flushing of the neck, ears, and face along with itching, tingling, and headache (you may need to take aspirin or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug before taking a dose of nicotinic acid to prevent this side effect, which generally lessens with time).

· Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

 

What other drugs will affect nicotinic acid ?

· The use of nicotinic acid to lower cholesterol may cause muscle damage. The use of nicotinic acid with the cholesterol-lowering drugs lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin, (Lipitor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), fluvastatin (Lescol), or gemfibrozil (Lopid), may increase the risk of muscle damage. If you have any muscle pain, aching, or weakness, stop taking nicotinic acid and contact your doctor immediately.

· Colestipol (Colestid) and cholestyramine (Locholest, Prevalite, Questran) may interfere with nicotinic acid. Take colestipol and cholestyramine 4 to 6 hours apart from nicotinic acid.

· Before taking nicotinic acid , talk to your doctor if you are taking vitamins, supplement or other product containing niacin or nicotinamide.

· Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with nicotinic acid. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbal/health supplements.

 

Where can I get more information?

· Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider may have more information about nicotinic acid.


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