Niacin (Nicotinic Acid) is an over-the-counter medication used to lower the level of bad cholesterol (Low-density Lipoprotein and triglyceride). Conversely, it increases the level of good cholesterol (High-Density Lipoprotein) in the blood. Therefore, it may be used with restrictions on certain food such as fatty food and regular activities, including exercising, losing weight if overweight, and stopping smoking. The active ingredient in Niacin is Nicotinic Acid. Nicotinic Acid, also known as Vitamin B3, belongs to the class of medications called Lipid-lowering agents. It lowers serum cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations by inhibiting the synthesis of very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), which are the precursors to the formation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the principal carrier of blood cholesterol. Maintaining an optimal level of good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol helps to prevent stroke, pancreatic disorder, or sudden death.
We currently offer the brand Niacin from Canada manufactured by Vita Health and Odan in the strength of 500 mg tablets only. In addition, we also offer Niacin No Flush Capsule from Canada by Webber in the strength of 500 mg tablet only.
Get medical help immediately if you have any signs of an allergic reaction while taking Niacin. The most common side effects of Niacin may include the following:
• Abdominal pain;
• Changes in the heartbeat;
• Postural hypotension (a drop in blood pressure while standing up);
• Tingling sensation;
Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the severe side effects, including:
• Burning sensation of the skin, sweating, and changes in skin colour;
• Dark urine;
• Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction such as rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing;
• Worsening of your sight
Before taking Niacin, tell your pharmacist if you are allergic to it or have any other allergies. Niacin is a tablet and should be taken orally with food as directed by your doctor, usually 1-3 times daily. If you take this medicine once daily, take it with your evening meal. Taking Niacin on an empty stomach increases side effects (such as flushing and upset stomach). Niacin is available in different formulations (such as immediate and sustained release). It would be best to know that Niacin comes in various brands. You should not switch between brands or forms of Niacin. Niacin can be obtained over the counter; you should read the leaflet carefully. If you take other medication to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take Niacin at least 4-6 hours before or after these medications. Continue to take other medicines to lower your cholesterol as directed by your doctor. This drug may make you feel dizzy. You should stand up gently from a sitting or lying position. Book an appointment with a doctor if there are no changes in your weight or cholesterol level.
Before you start taking this medication, tell your doctor about your medical history, especially if you:
• Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed;
• Are pregnant or preparing to become pregnant;
• Have had episodes of depression or seizures;
• Have eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma;
• Have problems with your heartbeat;
• Have liver diseases (including gallbladder disease);
• Have low blood pressure (hypotensive);
• Have underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant. If you become pregnant using the Niacin tablet, you should stop the medication immediately. You should visit your doctor for a proper assessment. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Niacin. You should consult with your doctor before breastfeeding your child. Niacin passes into human breast milk. It can harm the child, including hepatotoxicity. It would be best not to use Niacin while breastfeeding. There may be a drug interaction between Nicotinic Acid and other medications such as aspirin, blood pressure lowering agents (such as amlodipine, verapamil, carvedilol) and warfarin. Keep Niacin tablets in the bottle until it is time to take them. Store in a safe, secure, and away from the reach of children.
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