What Is It?: Niacin is one of the B-Vitamins (B3) commonly used to treat vitamin deficiencies (such as pellagra). It is sometimes used reduce the amounts of cholesterol and certain fatty acids in the blood.
How To Use: Niacin comes in a variety of dosages forms and strengths. There are tablets, capsules, controlled release capsules and liquids. It is usually taken two to four times a day, preferably with meals. Do not chew or crush the controlled release form – swallow the whole.
Possible Side Effects: Niacin can cause dilation of blood vessels causing flushing (redness) of the face and neck, itching, stinging, tingling or burning of the skin, headache, blurred vision, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea or bloating. Contact your doctor if you experience dizziness, faintness, fast heartbeat or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Warnings: Niacin may alter the level of sugar in your blood and urine. If you are having surgery, including dental procedures, be sure to tell the doctor you are taking niacin. Niacin can cause drowsiness so be careful about driving a car or operating heavy equipment until you know how you are affected. Drinking alcohol along can add to the amount of drowsiness.
Storage: Keep the medicine in its original container, tightly closed and out of the reach of children and pets. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom.)