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What is Niacin (Nicotinic Acid) prescribed for?

Niacin deficiency is a condition that occurs when a person doesn’t get enough or cannot absorb niacin or its amino acid precursor, tryptophan. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, it is one of the eight B vitamins. This is a vitamin that can help support the body’s ability to make and break down natural compounds which are needed for good health. And it plays a role in converting carbohydrates into clucose, metabolizing fats, and proteins, and keeps the nervous system working properly.

Niacin is a medication used in the treatment for niacin deficiency, known as Pellagra. This deficiency may be a result from certain medical conditions such as; alcohol abuse, malabsorption syndrome, Hartnup disease, poor diet, or long term use of certain medications. Niacin deficiency can also cause diarrhea, dementia, tongue redness/swelling, and peeling red skin.

Make sure you go over your dose with your doctor, and if you have any questions reading this medication confirm with your doctor.

Take this medication by meal and with a low-fat meal or snack, or however you doctor has directed. This is usually taken 1 to 3 times a day. Do not take this medication on a empty stomach, doing so increased the risk of side effects.

Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush or chew. Doing so can release the drug all at once and increase the risk of side effects.

To avoid the side effects, it is best to avoid alcohol, hot beverages, and eating spicy foods near the time you take your dose. If you are taking medication for cholesterol, take Niacin at least 4 to 6 hours before or after taking this other medcations.


Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Nicotinic Acid; or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Before taking this medication, it is for the best to inform your doctor of your Medical history. Report any of these conditions, if you have any of the follow; very low blood pressure, alcohol use, history of bleeding problems (such as low platelets), diabetes, gallbladder disease, glaucoma, gout, heart disease (such as recent heart attack, unstable angina), kidney disease, liver disease/increase in liver enzymes, untreated mineral imbalance (low phosphate levels), history of stomach/intestinal ulcers, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Side Effects

Some of these side effects may occur when taking this medication; they are as follows; Flushing/warmth in the face and neck, headache, itching, burning, sweating, chills, or tingling may occur within 20 minutes to 4 hours of taking this medication. Flushing may persist for a few hours. These effects should improve or go away as your body adjusts to the medication. Stomach upset, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. However, if these symptoms do persist or worsen, it is best then to speak with your doctor.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: severe dizziness/fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe headache (migraine), unusual joint pain, swelling of legs/arms, vision problems, severe stomach/abdominal pain, black stools, easy bruising/bleeding, unexplained muscle pain/tenderness/weakness, persistent nausea/vomiting, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), dark urine, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, yellowing eyes/skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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