Niacin Side Effects
What should I watch for?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You may need regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Do not drink hot drinks or alcohol at the same time you take this medicine. Hot drinks and alcohol can increase the flushing caused by this medicine, which can be uncomfortable. Alcohol also can increase possible dizziness. Taking aspirin or an NSAID like ibuprofen 30 minutes before this medicine may help reduce flushing.
This drug is only part of a total heart-health program. Your doctor or a dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to help. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.
If you are diabetic, close regulation and monitoring of your blood sugars can help your blood fat levels. This medicine may change the way your diabetic medication works, and sometimes will require that your dosages be adjusted. Check with your doctor or health care professional.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Darkening of urine
light gray-colored stools
loss of appetite
severe stomach pain
yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Abdominal or stomach pain
feeling of warmth
flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
nausea or vomiting
rash or itching
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.