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Old 07-14-2005, 06:51 PM   #16
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by babydog
I just took this tonight and I am as red as a lobster!! My husband says it will go away but my whole body is red and tingly. I don't think I'm going to like this.
See how long it takes to go away, U might be lucky and get use to it. I tried the non flush stuff, a lousy 100 mgs. and I itched for hrs. Kept taking it for over a week, but it didn't get better. Hope ya have better luck then I did, but I know my system is VERY sensative, so I just gave up....

 
Old 07-14-2005, 08:30 PM   #17
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Babydog,

Of course you'll get over it. This often happens when people first take niacin. It happened to me too. But at the same time, I felt very relaxed and calm. It was almost like a feeling of euphoria. I just don't understand why people find it so objectionable. But then again, I suppose I'm just different. But overall, I really enjoyed the experience. It didn't worry me one bit.
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Old 07-15-2005, 04:42 AM   #18
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARIZONA73
Babydog,

Of course you'll get over it. This often happens when people first take niacin. It happened to me too. But at the same time, I felt very relaxed and calm. It was almost like a feeling of euphoria. I just don't understand why people find it so objectionable. But then again, I suppose I'm just different. But overall, I really enjoyed the experience. It didn't worry me one bit.
Hi Arizona,

Yes, I would say it took about an hour or so and then I fell asleep and this morning I seemed fine. You sound like my husband! He said "what's the point in taking niacin if you are not going to get the buzz?"!

I take it you are taking niacin. Is it the over the counter stuff? If so, do you think I could get as good a result with an over the counter brand as I could with Niaspan? I know Uff-Da uses Enduracin and has gotten wonderful results. I just don't see the concept in taking a vitamin and putting a prescription label on it.
Gail

 
Old 07-15-2005, 05:01 AM   #19
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Babydog,

The particular kind of niacin you take pretty much depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For example, for raising HDL levels, using an immediate-release niacin may work best. I've been using over-the-counter immediate-release niacin (250mg taken 4 times a day) for nearly twenty years. The last time I had my cholesterol checked my HDL was up to 107. Of course, I also take quite a few other supplements as well.

A time-release niacin, such as Niaspan or Enduracin, may work better if your main goal is to lower LDL. I really don't know if there are actually any real advantages to using Niaspan instead of another over-the-counter time-release product. It's true that Niaspan will cost considerably more than an over-the-counter product such as Enduracin. But if you have an insurance plan which picks up most of the cost, then you wouldn't end up paying so much for it.
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Old 07-15-2005, 05:11 AM   #20
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

The night time dose might also have to do with the body's stepped up transport of LDL and HDL back and forth to the liver. Perhaps, niacin, like statins works better when the liver can "concentrate."
Of course, the "less pain from flushing while asleep" theory seems quite plausible also.

 
Old 07-15-2005, 05:20 AM   #21
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Well, I can think of another advantage of taking the Niaspan at bedtime. I guess if you are going to flush from it, it's better to do it in the dark, and in the privacy of your own home rather than in broad daylight, and in the presence of a room full of people.
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Old 07-15-2005, 06:44 AM   #22
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARIZONA73
Well, I can think of another advantage of taking the Niaspan at bedtime. I guess if you are going to flush from it, it's better to do it in the dark, and in the privacy of your own home rather than in broad daylight, and in the presence of a room full of people.
The prescription says to take 1 tablet 2x a day. I have decided to take 1 at night only. Had I taken it yesterday during the day, my coworkers and my boss would have called 911 and had me rushed to the hospital.

I wish I didn't have to stay one step ahead of the doctor all the time.

Last night I decided to take a warm bath. Something I had not done in 20 years. Thought it would make me relax. I guess it hastened the flush instead. The last time I took a tub bath, I broke out in hives from a sulfa drug which had elevated my liver enzymes. Guess it will be another 20 years before I try to relax in a tub. Too stressful for me.

 
Old 07-18-2005, 02:35 PM   #23
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by babydog
Hi Everybody,

Looks like I have given up the ship. My doctor has given me a prescription for Niacin which I began today. I will have my numbers checked again in 3 months.

Here are the current numbers:
TC 227
HDL 54 (down from 64!)
LDL 164 (up from 148!)
Trigs 65 (down from 76 - but so what)

I am 49. Also going thru menopause. I think menopause is affecting my numbers right now despite my best efforts with diet.
I have to admit I have been a little remiss with exercise except for walking and housework.

Has anyone had a positive result from Niacin?
I am taking Niaspan 500mg 2x a day.

Best wishes to all my cholesterol fighting friends.

Yes,

I've been taking Niacin for approx. 3 years. Niacin corrects all lipid abnormalities. (No other prescription drug can make this claim). It raises HDL,
lowers LDL, lowers trigs, lowers total cholesterol, and improves LP(a). It also improves circulation, and removes arterial plaque.

I take a prescription niacin called "NIACOR" this is not an Extended release formula. NIASPAN is an extended release formula. The dose allowed is much less then an immediate release niacin. NIASPAN is an excellent niacin formulation and probably the most researched. With doctor supervision
it is a very safe and effective choice. I purchase NIACOR through my prescription plan (which is cheaper than OTC). The NIACIN flush will be much less with NIASPAN.

Note: The flush is very beneficial (It's both a cleansing reaction and a circulation enhancer) The flush will be much less when taken with food.
My numbers with my current dosage of niacin are approx :

Total = 195
LDL = 120
TRIGS =110
HDL = 52
CRP 0.7

(Not too bad considering I am not strict on diet and exercise) I hope this info helped.

 
Old 07-18-2005, 02:41 PM   #24
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACE28
Yes,

I've been taking Niacin for approx. 3 years. Niacin corrects all lipid abnormalities. (No other prescription drug can make this claim). It raises HDL,
lowers LDL, lowers trigs, lowers total cholesterol, and improves LP(a). It also improves circulation, and removes arterial plaque.

I take a prescription niacin called "NIACOR" this is not an Extended release formula. NIASPAN is an extended release formula. The dose allowed is much less then an immediate release niacin. NIASPAN is an excellent niacin formulation and probably the most researched. With doctor supervision
it is a very safe and effective choice. I purchase NIACOR through my prescription plan (which is cheaper than OTC). The NIACIN flush will be much less with NIASPAN.

Note: The flush is very beneficial (It's both a cleansing reaction and a circulation enhancer) The flush will be much less when taken with food.
My numbers with my current dosage of niacin are approx :

Total = 195
LDL = 120
TRIGS =110
HDL = 52
CRP 0.7

(Not too bad considering I am not strict on diet and exercise) I hope this info helped.
Hello
Yes! this is very helpful! Can you tell me what your numbers were before starting on niacin??

Thanks.

 
Old 07-18-2005, 03:05 PM   #25
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Hi Babydog,

About 3 years ago I tried Lipitor. (My numbers were great but the side effects were awful). I then began to experiment with niacin (approx 500 - 1000 mg immediate release a day) At this time my doctor took me off the lipitor (due to neck and shoulder aches) My numbers about 4 years ago were approx:

TOTAL = 250
LDL = 150
HDL = 45
TRIGS = 370

6 months after 10 mg lipitor:

TOTAL = 170
LDL = 95
HDL = 41
TRIGS = 125

After lipitor my doctor switched me to 10mg of pravachol and approx.1000 mg of OTC niacin

TOTAL = 190
LDL = 110
HDL = 53
TRIG = 170

My doctor was fairly pleased with these results.

P.S As I mentioned NIASPAN is a very good choice. (listen to your doctor on this one) The Sustained Release (OTC) has caused liver failure in most of the cases of Niacin use. NIASPAN is also FDA approved (MD prescribed) Why take chances with your liver on unregulated OTC Niacin products.

Just my opinion...

 
Old 07-18-2005, 05:28 PM   #26
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACE28
As I mentioned NIASPAN is a very good choice. (listen to your doctor on this one) The Sustained Release (OTC) has caused liver failure in most of the cases of Niacin use. NIASPAN is also FDA approved (MD prescribed) Why take chances with your liver on unregulated OTC Niacin products.
(bolding above mine)I think your statement might be easily misinterpreted. There have been more cases of liver damage with sustained release formulas than with the other formulas. But problems still affect only a very small proportion of users. And if they'd had their liver enzymes checked as they should, problems would be caught before they become irreversible. Also, from what I've read, one case resulted in needing a liver transplant when a doctor recommended a specific dosage immediate release and the patient, without conferring with the doctor, substituted an equal dosage sustained-release. Duh! The amount he took was, as I recall, about twice the maximum strength recommended by the manufacturer of that product!

I suspect the majority of problems are when people take an OTC product without being under supervision of a doctor at all, or who just don't go in for liver enzyme checks when they should. People who are heavy drinkers or who have other liver problems, for example, should not be taking niacin of any kind.

You might be interesting in reading this research abstract: Varying Cost and Free Nicotinic Acid Content in Over-the-Counter Niacin Preparations for Dyslipidemia. You'll find it at
http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/139/12/996

For the 500 mg OTC products tested the research found:
Quote:
The average content of free nicotinic acid was 520.4 mg for immediate-release niacin, 502.6 mg for sustained-release niacin, and 0 for no-flush niacin.
I don't know about you, but I don't think if I get an average of 502.6 mg instead of 500, it is going to make much difference in my lipids or in risk.

Also, note that the lead author has financial ties to the maker of Niaspan. They state the toxicity risk this way:
Quote:
Over-the-counter sustained-release niacin contains free nicotinic acid, but some brands are hepatotoxic.
(bolding mine) Unfortunately, they gave no indication of how many brands.

I've been taking Enduracin for about 21 months now. My liver enzymes in that time changed as follows:

AST - from 21 to 23 (reference range 5-40)
ALT - from 16 to 19 (reference range 5-50)

So for me, liver toxicity is not something I'm likely to have to worry about. However, though the greatest likelihood of problems is initially, problems can occur later, so I'd still encourage anyone taking niacin and getting good liver enzyme reports to continue getting checked out every six months or as directed by your doctor.

With all that said, I would agree that if the cost of Niaspan is covered by insurance or if the cost out of pocket is not a major concern, by all means, go with the Niaspan. But for those like me who have to watch money carefully in retirement and whose every prescription dollar comes out of pocket, I see the OTC products as an easy way to save a bundle with relatively little extra risk, provided you take appropriate precautions.

Last edited by Uff-Da!; 07-18-2005 at 05:30 PM.

 
Old 07-19-2005, 09:23 AM   #27
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uff-Da!
(bolding above mine)I think your statement might be easily misinterpreted. There have been more cases of liver damage with sustained release formulas than with the other formulas. But problems still affect only a very small proportion of users. And if they'd had their liver enzymes checked as they should, problems would be caught before they become irreversible. Also, from what I've read, one case resulted in needing a liver transplant when a doctor recommended a specific dosage immediate release and the patient, without conferring with the doctor, substituted an equal dosage sustained-release. Duh! The amount he took was, as I recall, about twice the maximum strength recommended by the manufacturer of that product!

I suspect the majority of problems are when people take an OTC product without being under supervision of a doctor at all, or who just don't go in for liver enzyme checks when they should. People who are heavy drinkers or who have other liver problems, for example, should not be taking niacin of any kind.

You might be interesting in reading this research abstract: Varying Cost and Free Nicotinic Acid Content in Over-the-Counter Niacin Preparations for Dyslipidemia. You'll find it at
http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/139/12/996

For the 500 mg OTC products tested the research found:I don't know about you, but I don't think if I get an average of 502.6 mg instead of 500, it is going to make much difference in my lipids or in risk.

Also, note that the lead author has financial ties to the maker of Niaspan. They state the toxicity risk this way:
(bolding mine) Unfortunately, they gave no indication of how many brands.

I've been taking Enduracin for about 21 months now. My liver enzymes in that time changed as follows:

AST - from 21 to 23 (reference range 5-40)
ALT - from 16 to 19 (reference range 5-50)

So for me, liver toxicity is not something I'm likely to have to worry about. However, though the greatest likelihood of problems is initially, problems can occur later, so I'd still encourage anyone taking niacin and getting good liver enzyme reports to continue getting checked out every six months or as directed by your doctor.

With all that said, I would agree that if the cost of Niaspan is covered by insurance or if the cost out of pocket is not a major concern, by all means, go with the Niaspan. But for those like me who have to watch money carefully in retirement and whose every prescription dollar comes out of pocket, I see the OTC products as an easy way to save a bundle with relatively little extra risk, provided you take appropriate precautions.

Hi Uff-Da

Sorry for the mis-interpretation..

To clarify "my opinion". If a choice were given by my MD, for NIASPAN a researched and tested (FDA approved) Extended release Niacin formula with excellent and proven results with a very low insurance co-pay or; OTC (questionable non-consistent ingredients) sustained release NIACIN, I would choose the NIASPAN. (Just my opinion..) There is also a difference between Extended Release formulas versus Suspended release formulas. Oddly the NIASPAN Extended release has proven extremely safe even with statin use.
I choose the Immediate release because even at 20,000 - 30,000 mg a day (as was used at psych clinics for different ailments) there were very few cases of elevated enzymes, which reversed quickly after lowering the dose.
Extended Release/Sustained Release warn not to exceed 2,000 - 3,000 mg a day. I once took several OTC niacin products with very poor blood test results. Some products gave me no flush at all. The prescription NIACOR gave me better and more consistent results. The best OTC Niacins which helped my numbers were CARLSON(500 mg) PURITAN'S (250 mg) and CVS (100mg).

Note: I agree, the most important thing is to be monitored by your MD, regardless of the type or brand of Niacin used.

 
Old 07-29-2005, 06:25 PM   #28
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Hang in there. I had a similar experience as I also went on Niaspan about nine months ago. I started at 500mg for a few weeks, then when to 1000 mg for about a month before trying 1500mg. Now I take 1500 per day at a time (750mg twice). It worked for me, although the flushing concerned me initially. But it does appear harmless as my doctors says. My TC when from 340 to 240 and my Tri which were extremely high at 1126 when to 217. I also started a statin now and it's even lower but I prefer the natural way first.

Try this to help the flushing: take a full aspirin 1 hour before you take Niaspan and try a low fat snack and a full glass of water with the Niaspan. I found that exercise or activity increases your flushing so just try to be relaxed if possible. After a few months the flushing becomes part of your daily life and you notice it less but you never loose the feeling totally.

Hope that helps...

 
Old 08-01-2005, 10:30 AM   #29
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Chris
Hang in there. I had a similar experience as I also went on Niaspan about nine months ago. I started at 500mg for a few weeks, then when to 1000 mg for about a month before trying 1500mg. Now I take 1500 per day at a time (750mg twice). It worked for me, although the flushing concerned me initially. But it does appear harmless as my doctors says. My TC when from 340 to 240 and my Tri which were extremely high at 1126 when to 217. I also started a statin now and it's even lower but I prefer the natural way first.

Try this to help the flushing: take a full aspirin 1 hour before you take Niaspan and try a low fat snack and a full glass of water with the Niaspan. I found that exercise or activity increases your flushing so just try to be relaxed if possible. After a few months the flushing becomes part of your daily life and you notice it less but you never loose the feeling totally.

Hope that helps...
Hello Mr. Chris,

Thanks for your advice. I am currently taking just the 500mg since 7/13. In 2 weeks I will try the 1000mg which is the dose I am suppose to be taking.

I do take the aspirin and eat yogurt with the niaspan most days and that really helps.

But this is not an easy drug to take if you are female and going thru menopause! The body flushes without provocation at this time. I don't need the extra help! I'm kinda of wondering if maybe I shouldn't just ask the doc if I can switch to a statin or if I am opening a can of worms with that.

 
Old 08-05-2005, 12:46 PM   #30
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Re: Experiences with Niacin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACE28
Hi Babydog,

About 3 years ago I tried Lipitor. (My numbers were great but the side effects were awful). I then began to experiment with niacin (approx 500 - 1000 mg immediate release a day) At this time my doctor took me off the lipitor (due to neck and shoulder aches) My numbers about 4 years ago were approx:

After lipitor my doctor switched me to 10mg of pravachol and approx.1000 mg of OTC niacin

TOTAL = 190
LDL = 110
HDL = 53
TRIG = 170

Just my opinion...
ACE28,
Are you saying that you have also been on Pravachol for the past 3 years, along with the niacin? Pravachol lowered my numbers about 6 years ago until I could hardly walk from the leg weakness and stopped taking it.

 
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