NICOTINIC ACID

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): None

GENERIC NAME(S): NIACIN

 

Description: Nicotinic acid is a derivative of vitamin B3

Pharmacokinetics:

Absorption: Readily absorbed from the GI tract (oral).

Distribution: Widely in body tissues; enters breast milk.

Metabolism: Converted to N-methylnicotinamide, 2-pyridine and 4-pyridine derivatives.

Excretion: Urine (small amounts as unchanged drug).

  • Used for:
    • Prevention and treatment niacin deficiency (pellagra) that 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) which 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.

 

  • May also be used to improve cholesterol and lower fat levels (triglycerides) in the blood

 

How to use Nicotinic Acid

  • Always refer to your doctors instructions before taking this medication. Duration and dosage will be determined by your medical condition and its response to the medication. Make sure to take this mediciation in the prescribed amount and time period even after symptoms disappear. Discontinuing the medication before completion of treatment may cause incomplete treatment of condition. If Symptoms persist, consult your doctor

 

  • Taken by mouth; With a low fat meal or snack; usually 3 times a day or as directed by your physician;
  • Niacin is available in different formulations (such as immediate and sustained release). Do not switch between strengths, brands, or forms of niacin. Severe liver problems may occur.

 

  • Swallow extended-release capsules whole. Do not crush or chew extended-release capsules or tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
  • To lessen the chance of side effects such as flushing, avoid alcohol, hot beverages, and eating spicy foods near the time you take niacin. Taking a plain (non-enteric coated, 325 milligram) aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen, 200 milligrams) 30 minutes before taking niacin may help prevent flushing. Ask your doctor if this treatment is right for you.

 

If you also take certain other drugs to lower cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take niacin at least 4 to 6 hours before or after taking these medications.

    • Minor side effects (if these symptoms persist or worsen, inform your doctor)
      • 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.
    • Serious side effects (inform your doctor immediately)
      • 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, change in the amount of urine, dark urine, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, yellowing eyes/skin.

     

    • Severe allergic reactions are rare. Get immediate medical help if you notice the following:

    Rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing

    • Precautions:
      • Inform your doctor
        • Allergy to the medication or any allergies
        • Medical History of 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).

       

      • May cause dizziness

       

      • May cause elevated blood sugar levels, which can cause or worsen diabetes.

       

      • Should only be used when there is a clear need during pregnancy as it may harm an unborn baby. If you are planning to be pregnant or think you may be pregnant, discuss the risks and benefits of use with your doctor.

       

      • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding as this medication passes into breast milk and may cause unwanted effects on your baby

       

      Interactions:

      Taking multiple drugs may affect how medications work and/or cause unwanted side effects. List down all the medications you are taking and inform your physician and pharmacist. Do not take, discontinue, or alter any dose of medications without prior approval of your physician.

       

      • Products that may interact with this medication include:
        • “blood thinners” (such as warfarin, heparins).

       

      • Labratory tests that may be affected:

      urine or blood catecholamines, copper-based urine glucose tests

    • Overdose: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

       

      Notes

      If you are taking this for high cholesterol, in addition to eating a proper diet (such as a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet), other lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. Consult your doctor for more details.

       

      It is best to get your vitamins and minerals from food whenever possible by maintaining a well-balanced diet, and following any dietary guidelines as directed by your doctor.

       

      Missed Dose

      If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and As soon as you remember, take a regular dose or if the time of the next dose is near, wait for it before taking another dose and resume your usual schedule. Do not increase the dose to compensate for the missed dose.

       

      Storage

      • Room temperature
      • Do not expose to light and moisture
      • Do not store in the bathroom
      • Keep all medications away from pets and children

       

      Brands:

       

      Also marketed as:

      Niaspan [ Abbott ]

    • Rhea Nicotinic Acid [ Philusa ]

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