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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

For Niacin Flushers
May 24, 2005
I flush BIG time from niacin but I find that I can get a boost in my HDL which I need in addition to the huge LDL drop I get from Lipitor.

I found something that helps avoid the unbearable flushing.

I have ALWAYS flushed badly at 375 mg. immediate action niacin (3/4 of a 500 mg. tablet.) I take niacin ONLY on a full stomach and can then tolerate 125 mg with no flush. (On an empty stomach ANY amount is unbearable.)
Since my flushes usually last about 10-15 minutes, I figured that that amount of time was what it took to absorb, peak and eliminate or deactivate most of it.

Thus, yesterday I had a decent peortion of spaghetti and meatballs and 15 minutes later I took 125 mg quarter pill, a half hour later I took another and a half hour after that another...NO FLUSH AT ALL and a 375 mg. total!
Thus I am in effect giving myself a SLIGHT extended release formulation but probably no more than 90 minutes...far faster than even Niaspan so it should be pretty safe.

It is a bit of a pain in the asp (like Cleopatra) to do this timing, especially if I am running around outside, but I'll see if I can work something around this!

So here's something to help those who want to take immediate release niacin but not TOO immediate!:D

I think that an extended release, or slow release, or long acting niacin will always risk a protracted flush once it occurs. With immediate release plain nictotinic acid the stuff is aborbed quick, flushed and is finished. With any slow relkease, one the flush dosage is reached it STAYS there for a long time. I have enough trouble with quick flushes and the longest that I truly thought might KILL me lasted 20 minutes. Had it gone much longer, I think I'd have actually died from anxiety and fright!

Why is it worse some days...hard to say. Maybe JUST the right stuff in the stomach; maybe your "histamine stores" were brim full. MAybe you were on the brink of an allergy reaction from pollen or something else and this pushed you over the edge.
I doubt you'll find out. it seems that sometimes we just FLUSH worse than at ather times.

If you want to avoid the LONG flush, I suggest titrating with REGULAR least it's pretty predictable. I'd prefer to choose when the niacin hits my liver than to allow some vitamin company to make that decision.

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