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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Low Dose Niacin
Feb 7, 2005
I'm a niacin flusher BIG TIME. There's no way I can take even 500 mg. even after 650 mg. aspirin and a big meal.

I have been experimenting to see what I CAN tolerate in addition to my 10 mg. daiily Lipitor. I want to get my HDL up as high as I can without any alcohol. My LDL hovers around 80 and my HDL around 40 but I have heart disease (gosh, that's hard to type!)

I break 500 mg. tablets into 4 equal pieces and I can JUST tolerate the flush from each piece. I am taking one piece with each meal without much difficulty other than a pincushiony itch and a red chest and face about 1/2 hour after the dose that lasts 1/2 hour.

Now the GOOD NEWS:
I found this Medscape article:
It spells out the very modest but real benefits of a tiny amout of niacin in addition to statin therapy. They used 50 mg. twice a day and got +2.1 mg/dL in HDL. I'm hoping that my 3 X 125mg. dosing gets a little more than that.
My HDL has always been my weak point and stays up ONLY when drinking...Catch 22: too much drinking has been a problem for me and frequent long periods of teetotalling is my most workable control method!
[QUOTE=jtu91952]. . . I didn't know niaspan could be purchased otc. I started taking it but stopped bcuz of the asprin situation. Besides the flushing started with the niaspan.[/QUOTE]jtu, what did you find about the interaction of Niaspan and aspirin that caused you to stop taking it? When I looked up the interactions, it just said that "aspirin may cause blood levels of niacin (also referred to as "nicotinic acid") to be increased. This interaction is poorly documented and is considered minor in severity." So as I see it, we are just getting more bang for the buck by taking aspirin with the niacin. (Maybe that is why I'm able to get adequate cholesterol control with only 750 mg. Enduracin, whereas the usual therapeutic dose for a sustained release niacin is 1000-2000 mg.)

The flushing usually goes away as your body gets used to it. I had minor flushing for just the first week. However, I understand that for some reason it is often recommended to take Niaspan before bedtime. And were you able to start out with just 250 mg.? (The only places I've seen it listed, 500 mg. was the lowest amount.) With the Enduracin I'm taking (which is an OTC sustained release), the manufacturer recommends that it be taken with meals, and that one start out with only 250 mg. daily and build up from there. Those precautions greatly diminish the flushing and itching.

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