niacin - oral, Slo-Niacin (cont.)
HOW TO USE: See also Drug Interactions section.Take this medication by mouth with food, usually once or twice a day or as directed by your doctor. Taking niacin on an empty stomach increases side effects (e.g., flushing, upset stomach). Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Niacin is available in different formulations (e.g., immediate, extended-release). If your doctor has prescribed niacin, do not switch strengths, brands, or forms because doing so may increase the risk of severe liver problems.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 prevent flushing, do not take this medication with alcohol or hot drinks. Taking a plain (non-enteric-coated, 325-milligram) aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (e.g., ibuprofen) 30 minutes before taking niacin may help prevent flushing. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for specific directions on aspirin/NSAID use before starting your niacin treatment to make sure it is right for you, especially if you are also using "blood thinners" (anticoagulants such as warfarin or heparins).If you also take certain other drugs to lower blood fats (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take niacin at least 6 hours before or after taking these medications. These products interact with niacin, preventing its full absorption. Continue to take other medications to lower your cholesterol as directed by your doctor.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Follow the directions on the label or your doctor's instructions carefully. If you are taking this for lipid problems, your doctor will start you at a low dose and gradually increase your dose in order to minimize side effects. Your dose will need to be increased slowly even if you are already taking niacin and are being switched from another niacin product to this product. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.If this medication has been prescribed by your doctor, do not stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to do so. If your doctor tells you to stop taking niacin, do not start taking it again until your doctor has given you instructions on how to restart it. Your dose may need to be gradually increased to the dose you were on.It is very important to continue to follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise.If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index