The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.
NIACIN EXTENDED RELEASE - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Niaspan
This medication is used, along with dietary measures and possibly other medications, to improve blood cholesterol or lower fats (called triglycerides or lipids) in the blood. Proper treatment may prevent heart disease, strokes and other diseases.
How To Use
Take this by mouth, generally at bedtime after a low-fat snack. Take this exactly as directed by your doctor. Therapy begins with a lower dose and is gradually increased in order to minimize side effects. This is true even if you are switched from another niacin product (e.g., regular tablets) or if you stop using extended release niacin for more than a few days. Consult your doctor or pharmacist. Do not stop taking this medicine unless instructed to do so. Stopping niacin may require returning to your original dose and gradually increasing again. Consult your doctor or pharmacist to learn how to properly use this medicine. Swallow this product whole. Do not break, crush or chew before swallowing. Dosage is adjusted based on your condition and response to treatment. Separate doses of niacin from bile acid resin drugs (e.g., colestipol or cholestyramine) by at least six hours, since the bile resin drugs can prevent niacin absorption into your system.
This medication may cause flushing and a feeling of warmth about the face and neck within the first two hours of taking a dose. Itching, tingling, or headache may occur as well. These effects should subside as your body adjusts to the medication. Stomach upset, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Unlikely but report promptly: vision problems, dark urine, stomach (abdominal) pain, yellowing eyes or skin, irregular heartbeat, black stools, increased urination, muscle aches/pain. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms include: rash, swelling, dizziness or fainting, trouble breathing. To minimize the flushing effect (redness, itch) take a plain (not enteric coated) 325 mg aspirin tablet (or other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen) 30 minutes before each niacin dose. After a few weeks, this flushing effect should stop occurring, or decrease in intensity. Also, avoid alcohol or hot beverages near the time of the niacin dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor your medical history, including: allergies (especially drug allergies), ulcers (peptic ulcer), liver problems, heart problems, kidney problems, gout, diabetes, alcohol use. Inform all of your doctors that you are using niacin (especially if you are having surgery). This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Niacin is excreted into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug/dosage is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor of all nonprescription and prescription medication you may use, especially of: fibrates (e.g., gemfibrozil, fenofibrate), "statins" (e.g., lovastatin, atorvastatin), drugs for high blood pressure, high potency vitamins with niacin (or nicotinamide), "blood thinners" such as heparin or warfarin. This drug may interfere with certain laboratory test results. Inform laboratory personnel that you are using niacin. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory tests (e.g., liver function) will be performed to monitor for drug effectiveness and possible side effects. Follow all instructions related to lifestyle, dietary and medical therapy for your cholesterol or lipid condition.
If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose. Do not make up the missed dose; do not double the dose to catch up. Instead, take your regular dose at the next scheduled time. If you stop taking this for one week or more, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking it again.
Store at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.