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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Re: Niaspan....
May 6, 2003
I took this for close to a year. Unfortunately, I was one of the rare individuals that had the liver bilirubin elevated from Niacin. It really is one of the more benign treatments available for certain types of dyslipidemia. Particularly, if your affliction is a combined effect of low HDL-C, high triglycerides, and smaller, more dense LDL-C (and HDL-C).

The 2 g daily dosage of niacin drops LDL-C 5-25%, raises HDL-C (15-35%), and a 20--50% drop in triglycerides. By going to the home page, you can find their averages for the clinical trials. For the 500 mg dosage, they report a decrease in total by 2%, LDL by 3%, increase of HDL by 10%, decreased in TC/HDL ratio by 10%, triglycerides by 5%, Lipoprotein (a) by 3%, Apoprotein B by 2%, and Apoprotein A-1 increased by 5%. However, you will notice there is not much difference between these and the results observed for patients given the placebo.

I imagine your physician is going to gradually increase the dosage; you don't really start seeing much of a noticed benefit until you hit 1000 mg and the higher the dosage you can tolerate, the greater the benefit.

I noticed two side effects. The first was a slight increase in blood sugar levels (averages 9 mg/dL in all patients). Mine went up by 7-14 mg/dL, but the highest fasting I had on this was 91 mg/dL. The second side effect was flushing. Sometimes it was more intense than others, but since I knew the cause, and the benefit from niaspan, I accepted this minor inconvenience.

You were probably told to take a 325 mg aspirin with the niaspan? That helps reduce the flushing. Good luck with it.

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