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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

My doctor, too, tried to push statins when my cholesterol was up, but I chose to use Enduracin, a sustained-release OTC niacin instead. I've had no problems with liver enzyme elevation whatsoever in the 38 months I've been on it. I've only been taking 750 mg, though. Before I started it my numbers were TC 247, LDL 158, HDL 62, trigs 133. With dietary change, fish oil and niacin, I brought this down to TC 190, LDL 101, HDL 72, trigs 87. My niacin costs me about five dollars a month, approximately one-tenth what the prescription medication would cost.

As I see it, the biggest problem with using OTC niacin is that, since people can buy it without a prescription, many will forego having regular liver enzyme tests. From what I've read, it appears that doctors typically order such a test three months after starting niacin and three months after any increase in dosage, then every six months thereafter. So people taking niacin should definitely let their doctors know they are taking it and remind them to order the appropriate tests if the doctor happens to forget. With regular tests, even if they do have a problem with the brand of niacin they take, they should be able to catch it in time before serious damage was done, I would think. (But I'm not a doctor!)

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