|Niaspan (vitamin B3 or Niacin)|
• Start with a low dose (usually 500 mg), once per day at bedtime. Gradually increase as instructed.
• Always take with food or skim milk.
• Always take full dose aspirin (325 mg) prior to taking Niacin, unless told otherwise:
Regular aspirin, not enteric-coated, works best.
Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil - 200 mg) or Naproxen
(Aleve – 220 mg) may also be acceptable.
• Avoid heavy alcohol use (no more than 1 regular drink per day).
• Avoid spicy foods or hot drinks like coffee or tea immediately before or after taking Niaspan, since they may aggravate the flushing symptoms.
• Do not skip doses, since flushing can recur if a dose is missed.
• If you develop a rash or blurred vision, stop the medication and call your doctor.
• Remember: Niaspan is not a substitute for a heart healthy diet! It will work best only if you are choosing foods to reduce your cholesterol.
• Treatment is usually long-term. When your cholesterol levels are at goal, you will still need to take your medicine. If you stop taking it, your cholesterol will rise again.
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS:
OTHER LESS COMMON SIDE EFFECTS:
Nausea Increased blood sugar
Blurred vision Liver inflammation or liver test abnormalities
Stomach pain (ulcer) Allergic response
Gout (rare) Skin changes (rare)
Niaspan Schedule - Take at Bedtime
Laboratory tests should be done 6-8 weeks after any major change in your dose and about
2 times per year when you are on a steady dose of niacin.