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Nicotinic Acid Controlled Release

Nicotinic Acid Controlled Release

Uses

Niacin (nicotinic acid) is used to prevent and treat niacin deficiency (pellagra). Niacin deficiency may result from certain medical conditions (such as alcohol abuse, malabsorption syndrome, Hartnup disease), poor diet, or long-term use of certain medications (such as isoniazid).Niacin deficiency can cause diarrhea, confusion (dementia), tongue redness/swelling, and peeling red skin. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, one of the B-complex vitamins. Vitamins help to support the body's ability to make and break down natural compounds (metabolism) needed for good health. Niacinamide (nicotinamide) is a different form of vitamin B3 and does not work the same as niacin. Do not substitute unless directed by your doctor.Check the ingredients on the label even if you have used the product before. The manufacturer may have changed the ingredients. Also, products with similar names may contain different ingredients meant for different purposes. Taking the wrong product could harm you.

Immediate-Release Nicotinic Acid

Immediate-release (IR) nicotinic acid, also known as "fast-release" nicotinic acid, goes into your blood as soon as you take it. Because the whole dose goes into your blood at the same time, IR nicotinic acid is also the form that causes the majority of niacin-induced side effects such as flushing, warmth, and itching.

Some bottles of nicotinic acid may not state if they contain an “immediate-release” or a “sustained-release” (see below) product. If the label doesn't say which form of nicotinic acid is in the bottle, it's safe to assume that it's an IR product.

Extended-Release Nicotinic Acid

This type of nicotinic acid can be obtained with a prescription from your doctor under the trade name Niaspan. (Slo-Niacin, an OTC controlled-release product, may be less expensive.)

Extended-release (ER) nicotinic acid fits somewhere in between the IR and SR forms of nicotinic acid. Its release into your body is a little slower than with the IR form, but it's faster than with the SR form. Side effects still may occur, but again, they're not as severe as with the IR form. Additionally, there are no problems of liver toxicity associated with this form of nicotinic acid.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

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 medicine (niacin controlled-release capsules and controlled-release tablets). 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.

Precautions

Before taking niacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication: 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 drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

 

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