Also known as Vitamin B3, niacin is available in many generic and brand
name formulations for use in lipid lowering applications.
Doses of niacin (1000 milligrams) significantly above the recommended
daily requirement of 20 milligrams a day will decrease the liver's production
of lipoprotein particles and can enhance the breakdown of these particles.
A large study has shown that niacin may increase life expectancy in patients
with coronary heart disease. Reversal of coronary artery disease has been
achieved with the combination of niacin and bile acid binding resins.
Effects On Blood Lipids
Triglycerides are reduced
zero to 20 percent
HDL cholesterol is increased
10 to 25 percent
Total cholesterol and
LDL cholesterol are reduced up to
to 25 percent
Flushing and itching
(temporary, can be controlled with
Mild dryness of the skin
Liver enzyme elevations
Increased blood sugar
Certain heart rhythm
Rapid drop in blood pressure
Schedule regular blood tests so your physician can monitor you for any
Niacin should always be taken with some food in the stomach, and the same
brand should be continually used to prevent flushing or diminished effect.
Do not use niacinamide or nicotinamide as substitutes, as they have no
Do not use time-released niacin.
Work with your physician to schedule the proper dosing schedule of niacin,
which is typically taken several times a day for lipid-lowering purposes.
A specific schedule will be provided to you by your CCND doctor. This schedule
will also tell you when you are to return for lab work.