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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I might add a word of caution to anyone who reads this and is tempted to self-treat. Niacin is available OTC, so you don't need a prescription. But please, please, please check with your doctor and have a liver enzyme test before beginning therapy. There are a number of conditions (including heavy alcohol use) which are contra-indications for niacin therapy and your doctor will be able to tell you if it is a poor choice for you because of your other conditions. You will need regular liver enzyme tests after you begin therapy. Although there has been a problem in a very small percent of cases, you wouldn't want to be one of them, and a liver enzyme test done at regular intervals could catch any problem before it became serious. It can be used by diabetics only with VERY close doctor supervision, as it can tend to raise glucose levels in some people.

If you should go to your doctor with the idea, be prepared for him or her to discourage it. Mine did. Now after a few blood tests, she is sufficiently impressed with the results that she asked me where I get the particular one I am using, so she can suggest it to other patients.

If you are considering it, read up about niacin therapy on the net. Many of the doctors don't think to suggest starting at very low doses and building up slowly, or to suggest taking with meals, for example.

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