niacin (nicotinic acid) (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking niacin ?
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to niacin, or if you have severe liver disease, a stomach ulcer, or active bleeding.
To make sure you can safely take niacin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category C. Niacin may be harmful to an unborn baby when the medication is taken at doses to treat high cholesterol or other conditions. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Niacin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take niacin ?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Niacin is sometimes taken at bedtime with a low-fat snack. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Niacin can cause certain side effects, such as flushing (warmth, itching, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin). These effects can be made worse if you drink alcohol or hot beverages shortly after you take niacin. These effects should disappear over time as you keep taking the medication.
Take niacin with a full glass of cold or cool water. Taking the medication with a hot drink may increase your risk of side effects such as flushing.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Niacin extended-release tablets and capsules contain higher strengths of the medicine than the regular niacin tablets. Take only the dose that is correct for the type of niacin tablet or capsule you are using.
Niacin can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests (urine tests). Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using niacin.
If you stop taking niacin for any length of time, talk with your doctor before starting the medication again. You may need to restart the medication at a lower dose.
While using niacin, you may need blood tests at your doctor's office. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked. Visit your doctor regularly.
Niacin is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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