This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Niacin-50 [OTC]; Niacor; Niaspan; Slo-Niacin [OTC]
Niaspan FCT [DSC]; Niaspan [DSC]; Niodan
- It is used to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol (HDL).
- It is used to lower triglycerides.
- This vitamin is used to treat niacin deficiency.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have an allergy to niacin, niacinamide, or any other part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Bleeding problems, liver problems or rise in liver enzymes, or ulcer disease.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take this drug.
- Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
- Do not take colesevelam, colestipol, or cholestyramine within 4 hours of this drug.
- Avoid or limit drinking alcohol to less than 3 drinks a day. Drinking too much alcohol may raise your chance of liver disease. Alcohol may cause more flushing.
- If you are taking warfarin, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while you are taking it with this drug.
- A very bad muscle problem (rhabdomyolysis) has happened when this drug was used along with certain drugs for high cholesterol like atorvastatin and simvastatin. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Dizziness or passing out.
- Shortness of breath.
- Sweating a lot.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Flushing. Taking aspirin 30 minutes before taking this drug may help. If you wake up at night with flushing, get up slowly if you feel like passing out or you are dizzy.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
All dose forms:
- Take this drug with food.
- Avoid alcohol, hot drinks, or spicy foods when it is time to take this drug.
- Do not switch between different forms of this drug without first talking with the doctor.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
- Some long-acting products may be broken in half.
- Take at bedtime after a low-fat snack.
- Do not take on an empty stomach.
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- If you stop taking this drug, talk with your doctor. You may need to be restarted at a lower dose and raise the dose slowly.
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.