Slo-Niacin

Name: Slo-Niacin

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking niacin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to niacin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in niacin tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the manufacturer's information for the patient for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); aspirin; insulin or oral medications for diabetes; medications for high blood pressure; nutritional supplements or other products containing niacin; or other medications for lowering cholesterol or triglycerides. If you take insulin or oral diabetes medication, your dose may need to be changed because niacin may increase the amount of sugar in your blood and urine.
  • if you are taking a bile acid-binding resin such as colestipol (Colestid) or cholestyramine (Questran), take it at least 4 to 6 hours before or 4 to 6 hours after niacin.
  • tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol and if you have or have ever had diabetes; gout; ulcers; allergies; jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); bleeding problems; or gallbladder, heart, kidney, or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking niacin, stop taking niacin and call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking niacin.
  • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking niacin. Alcohol can make the side effects from niacin worse.
  • you should know that niacin causes flushing (redness, warmth, itching, tingling) of the face, neck, chest, or back. This side effect usually goes away after taking the medicine for several weeks. Avoid drinking alcohol or hot drinks or eating spicy foods around the time you take niacin. Taking aspirin or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) 30 minutes before niacin may reduce the flushing. If you take extended-release niacin at bedtime, the flushing will probably happen while you are asleep. If you wake up and feel flushed, get up slowly, especially if you feel dizzy or faint.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Niacin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • increased cough

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • dizziness
  • faintness
  • fast heartbeat
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • extreme tiredness
  • dark colored urine
  • light colored stools
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • lack of energy
  • loss of appetite
  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • flu-like symptoms
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness
  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Is niacin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is not known whether the high doses of niacin used in treating elevated cholesterol levels are harmful to the fetus during pregnancy.

Niacin is actively secreted in breast milk. Therefore, nursing mothers taking niacin should avoid breastfeeding or discontinue niacin in order to prevent the newborn from ingesting large amounts of niacin.

Slo-Niacin Precautions

Do not take niacin if you have:

  • liver problems
  • a stomach ulcer
  • bleeding problems
  • an allergy to niacin or any of the ingredients in niacin.

Inform MD

Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have diabetes. Tell your doctor if your blood sugar levels change after you take niacin.
  • have gout
  • have kidney problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if niacin will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking niacin.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breast-feed. Niacin can pass into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take niacin or breastfeed. You should not do both. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take niacin.


Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements or other nutritional supplements containing niacin or nicotinamide. Niacin and other medicines may affect each other causing side effects. Niacin may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how niacin works.

Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • other medicines to lower cholesterol or triglycerides
  • aspirin
  • blood pressure medicines
  • blood thinner medicines
  • large amounts of alcohol

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

Slo-Niacin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if niacin will harm your unborn baby.

Slo-Niacin Overdose

If you take too much niacin, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

What should I avoid while taking Slo-Niacin (niacin)?

Avoid drinking hot beverages shortly after taking niacin. Hot drinks can worsen niacin's flushing effect (warmth, itching, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin).

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking niacin. Alcohol may increase your risk of liver damage, and can also worsen the flushing effects of niacin.

Avoid taking colestipol (Colestid) or cholestyramine (Locholest, Prevalite, Questran) at the same time you take niacin. If you take either of these other medications, take them at least 4 to 6 hours before or after you take niacin.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Muscle pain or weakness.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with Slo-Niacin. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Slo-Niacin, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Slo-Niacin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Slo-Niacin.

Review Date: October 4, 2017

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