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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I have been on Niaspan since late 1997. My results have been great. I had flushing in the beginning but it went away with time. Look for the board "Niaspan makes me smile" on page 2. Do not take the time release niacin. It is dangerous. See the following.

<Studies in hyperlipidemic patients have been conducted with a number of SR nicotinic acid products. These studies have demonstrated that the sustained release products do not have the same advantageous lipid altering effects as IR nicotinic acid, and in fact often have a worse side effect profile compared to the IR products. The major disadvantage of the SR formulations, as can be seen in Knopp et al., in 1985, is the significantly lower reduction in triglycerides (-2% for the sustained versus -38% for the immediate release) and lower increase in HDL cholesterol, represented as HDL2 particles which are known by the art to be most beneficial, (-5% for the sustained release versus +37/% for the immediate release).

Additionally, SR nicotinic acid formulations have been noted as causing greater incidences of liver toxicity as described in Henken et al.: Am J Med, 91:1991 (1991) and Dalton et al.: Am J Med, 93:102 (1992). There is also great concern regarding the potential of these formulations in disrupting glucose metabolism and uric acid levels.

In a recent edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, an article appeared which presented research results investigating the liver toxicity problems associated with an SR form of nicotinic acid. See McKenney et al.: A Comparison of the Efficacy and Toxic Effects of Sustained- vs. Immediate-Release Niacin in Hypercholesterolemic Patients, JAMA, (271)9: 672 (Mar. 2, 1994). This McKenney et al. article presented a study of twenty-three patients. Of that number, 18 or 78 percent were forced to withdraw because liver function tests (FTs) increased indicating potential liver damage. The conclusion of the authors of that article was that the SR form of nicotinic acid "should be restricted from use."

A similar conclusion was reached in an article authored by representatives of the Food and Drug Administration. See Radar, et al.: Hepatic Toxicity of Unmodified and Time-Release Preparations of Niacin, JAMA, 92:77 (January 1992). Because of these studies and similar conclusions drawn by other health care professionals, the sustained release forms of nicotinic acid have experienced limited utilization.>

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