Niacin or nicotinic acid can cause some side effects like flushing (itching, warmth, tingling feeling under your skin or redness). These side effects may even worsen if you drink hot beverages or alcohol soon after the intake of niacin. These side effects must disappear in course of time while you continue consuming the medicine.
How Effective is Niacin or Nicotinic Acid?
Niacin or nicotinic acid as it is commonly known is a vitamin B (vitamin B3). Niacin or nicotinic acid is found naturally in animals and plants which are added to several other food products as an additional vital supplement. It is found in numerous nutritional supplements and multiple vitamins.
Niacin or nicotinic acid is used in effective treatment to prevent deficiency of natural niacin and reducing cholesterol, triglycerides (type of fat) in the body. Niacin or nicotinic acid also effectively helps to reduce risk of heart attack in those people mainly suffering from high cholesterol and those who had recent heart attack. Niacin or nicotinic acid is also useful for treating coronary artery disease at times which is also known as atherosclerosis.
Intake of niacin or nicotinic acid is strictly prohibited in case you have a stomach ulcer, active bleeding, niacin allergy, severe liver disease.
Do not get up fast if you are in a sitting or lying position as you might feel like fainting. You need to get up slow and steady for preventing a fall.
Intake of cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran, Locholest) or colestipol (Colestid) is strictly prohibited when taking niacin or nicotinic acid. In case you take any one of these other medicines, you need to intake them 4-6 hours in prior to taking niacin or nicotinic acid.
Niacin or nicotinic acid is just a portion of a complete treatment program which might also include exercise, weight control, diet and other medicines. You need to follow your medication, exercise routines and proper diet very strictly.
Prior to Taking Niacin or Nicotinic Acid
Intake of niacin or nicotinic acid is strictly prohibited in case you have a stomach ulcer, active bleeding, niacin allergy, severe liver disease. In order ensure the safety of taking niacin or nicotinic acid, inform your doctor in case you have the following conditions:
- Kidney or liver disease;
- Uncontrolled angina (chest pain) or heart disease;
- Disorder in muscle like myasthenia gravis;
- Ulcer in stomach;
- Gout; or
FDA Pregnancy Category C- It is very important for you to inform your doctor if you are planning to become pregnant or pregnant as it is known that niacin or nicotinic acid can harm the unborn child if the mother is taking niacin or nicotinic acid to treat high cholesterol and other conditions. You should not breast feed your child while taking niacin or nicotinic acid as it can pass through breast milk and harm the child. Do not take this medicine without your doctor’s advice.
What is the Recommended Dosage of Niacin or Nicotinic Acid?
Standard Adult Dosage for Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IV (Elevated VLDL), Type V (Elevated Chylomicrons + VLDL):
Beginning dosage: 100 milligrams orally 2 times a day, during or post meals.
Maintenance dose: orally 3 times a day – 1-2 grams during and post meals.
The highest recommended niacin or nicotinic acid dosage is 6 grams daily.
Extended release (Niaspan)
Beginning dosage of niacin or nicotinic acid – Orally once in a day 500 milligrams during bedtime taken after having a low fat snack. Highest recommended dosage is 2 grams per day.
Extended Release (Slo-niacin)
Beginning dose: 250-750 milligrams daily orally, once during the day and night.
Usual Adult Dose Pellagra
Orally taken 50-100 milligrams of niacin or nicotinic acid 3 to 4 times a day. Maximum recommended dosage is 500 milligrams.
Treatment of Niacin Deficiency – Regular adult dosage
10-20 milligrams of niacin or nicotinic acid orally one time in a day. Niacin can also be administered through a multivitamin injection of additives that are contained in parenteral nutrition products.
Highest recommended dosage is 100 milligrams every day.
Usual Pediatric Dose of Pellagra.
50-100 milligrams orally 3 times on a daily basis.
Some experts though favor niacinamide for treatment because of the favorable side effects.
Treatment of Niacin Deficiency – Regular Pediatric Dosage
The dosages are Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA):
1st to 5th month: 2 milligrams orally daily.
6th to 11th month: 3 milligrams orally daily.
1st to 3rd year: 6 milligrams orally daily.
4th to 8th year: 8 milligrams orally daily.
9th to 13th year: 12 milligrams orally daily.
From age 14-18: 16 milligrams orally daily.
From age 14-18: 14 milligrams orally daily.
What are the Side Effects of Niacin or Nicotinic Acid?
Call for assistance immediately if you experience any of these allergic reactions to niacin: hives; breathing difficult; swelling of the face, lips or the throat.
You must get immediate medical assistance if you experience any of these following severe side effects of niacin or nicotinic acid:
- Feeling of passing out.
- Fast, pounding or irregular heart beats.
- Falling short of breath.
- Muscle pain, weakness or tenderness with fever.
- You must inform any changes in the sugar levels in blood if you are suffering from diabetes.
The other general side effects of niacin or nicotinic acid medicine are:
- Mild dizziness.
- Itchy or redness of the skin.
- Nausea, diarrhea, gas.
- Muscle pain, cramps of the leg are side effects of niacin or nicotinic acid.