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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

OMG, I sure wouldn't have wanted to try it with 500mg twice a day right off! I'm taking an OTC sustained-release niacin. The company that makes it recommended starting out with only 250 mg and taking it with meals, then building up from there. Doing it that way, I had only minor flushing the first week, and none thereafter. I am now taking 750 mg, in a divided dose, 250mg 3x daily with meals. I know most people on Niaspan seem to take it at bedtime. That would never work for me, as I am a very light sleeper, and having "night sweats" from the niacin would wake me up for sure. The meals buffer the flush effect, and at least it is in the daytime. Maybe now that I've been taking it for a year, I could handle it, but I doubt that I could have at first.

I've had good results with my niacin. My TC went from 247 to 190, before I did my little egg experiment where I was eating two eggs a day. Then, of course, it went back up again. But HDL went up with the LDL, so I'm not going to get too worried about it.
My husband's dr. wanted to put him on Niaspan, but did tell him he would need the same periodic tests as a statin. This is what I found on Niaspan:

Special warnings about this medication

Niaspan is an extended-released form of niacin. It is not interchangeable with immediate-release or sustained-release forms of niacin.

Niaspan can cause problems if your liver is weak. Before you start taking this medication, your doctor may order a blood test to check your liver. Blood tests will probably be repeated 6 and 12 weeks after you start taking Niaspan and periodically after that. While you are taking Niaspan, your doctor will monitor you very closely if you have ever had liver disease or if you are or have ever been a heavy drinker.

Do not drink alcohol or hot beverages with Niaspan because they may intensify the flushing and itching effect of the medication.

Niaspan should be used with caution if you have diabetes, a heart condition, or problems with gout. If you have diabetes, tell your doctor if you have a change in blood sugar levels while taking Niaspan. Also use Niaspan with caution if you have kidney problems.

Before undergoing surgery, make sure the doctor is aware that you are taking Niaspan. This medication tends to slow the clotting process, and could prolong bleeding.

To reduce the chance of side effects, Niaspan therapy is usually started at a low dosage and gradually increased. If you stop taking Niaspan for an extended period, contact your doctor. You'll probably need to build up to your old dose over a period of several months.

Tell your doctor if you experience any dizziness while taking Niaspan.

It also says to start at about 500 mgs. at night after a small fatty snack, and if your dr. wants to increase your dose, it still should be taken ONLY once a day, at bedtime. To me, it seems like it is just a more expensive extended release form of Niacin....... :rolleyes:
[QUOTE=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. :eek:[/QUOTE]

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. :confused:

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. :eek:

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