NIASPAN is a prescription medication used along with diet when diet and exercise alone have been unsuccessful. What NIASPAN means for you:
- With proper diet and exercise, NIASPAN works to help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol and help raise HDL ("good") cholesterol in people with abnormal cholesterol levels.
- NIASPAN reduces the risk of another heart attack.
NIASPAN has been shown to reduce the chance of having another heart attack in patients with a prior history of heart attack and have high cholesterol.
- NIASPAN can help slow down or help clear away plaque buildup.
Plaque buildup is a complex process and has a number of risk factors that lead up to it, including a family history of early heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Cholesterol and other substances can build up in the walls of the heart's arteries, resulting in plaque. NIASPAN can slow or even help clear away some plaque that builds on artery walls – when used in combination with diet and a bile acid-binding resin (another cholesterol medication) in patients who have a history of coronary artery disease and high cholesterol levels.
NIASPAN, combined with a bile acid-binding resin, has not been shown to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or stroke.
- NIASPAN should not be taken by people with stomach ulcers or liver or serious bleeding problems.
- Severe liver damage has occurred when switching to a long-acting niacin, such as NIASPAN, from immediate-release niacin.
- Blood tests are needed before and during treatment with NIASPAN to check for liver problems.
- Contact a healthcare provider if serious side effects such as unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness develop. The risk of these side effects may be higher when taking NIASPAN with a statin.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of gout, drink large amounts of alcohol, or if you are diabetic and experience increases in blood sugar.
- The most common side effect of NIASPAN is flushing (warmth, redness, itching, and/or tingling of the skin).
Deciding if NIASPAN is right for you
Only your doctor can decide if NIASPAN should be a part of your treatment plan.
Some medicines should not
be taken with NIASPAN.
Tell your healthcare provider
about all the prescription and
you take, including:
- Cholesterol medication
- Blood pressure medication
- Blood sugar medication
- Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners
- Any products containing niacin or nicotinamide
USES for NIASPAN
NIASPAN® (niacin extended-release) tablets are a prescription medication used along with diet when a low-cholesterol diet and exercise alone are not enough.
- NIASPAN raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides in people with abnormal cholesterol levels.
- NIASPAN is also used to lower the risk of heart attack in people who have had a heart attack and have high cholesterol.
- In people with coronary artery disease and high cholesterol levels, NIASPAN, when used with a bile acid-binding resin (another cholesterol medicine), can slow down or lessen the buildup of plaque (fatty deposits) in your arteries.
- NIASPAN can be used in combination with lovastatin or simvastatin to improve abnormal cholesterol levels when taking NIASPAN, simvastatin, or lovastatin alone is not enough.
No additional benefit of NIASPAN on heart disease has been demonstrated when used with simvastatin or lovastatin over and above that shown for niacin, simvastatin, or lovastatin alone.
In people with heart problems and well-controlled cholesterol, taking NIASPAN with another cholesterol-lowering medicine (simvastatin) has not been shown to reduce heart attacks or strokes more than taking simvastatin alone.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for NIASPAN
- NIASPAN is not for people with liver problems, stomach ulcers, serious bleeding problems, or those allergic to any product ingredient.
- Severe liver damage has occurred when switching to a long-acting niacin (NIASPAN) from immediate-release niacin. Do not switch between forms of niacin without talking to your healthcare provider.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, as this could be a sign of a serious side effect. This risk increases when NIASPAN is taken with a statin, particularly in the elderly, diabetics, and those with kidney or thyroid problems.
- NIASPAN should be used with caution if you consume large amounts of alcohol and/or have a past history of liver disease.
- Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before and during treatment to check liver enzyme levels, as these can increase with treatment.
- NIASPAN can cause an increase in blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels more frequently during the first few months or with NIASPAN dose changes.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems or a history of gout. NIASPAN can cause an increase in uric acid levels.
- The most common side effects with NIASPAN are flushing, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, increased cough, and itching.
- Flushing (warmth, redness, itching, and/or tingling of the skin) is a common side effect of NIASPAN therapy. It may vary in severity and is more likely to happen when starting NIASPAN or during dose increases. Flushing may get better after several weeks of consistent NIASPAN use. Talk to your doctor about how the symptoms of flushing are different from symptoms of a heart attack. By dosing at bedtime, flushing will likely occur during sleep. If awakened by flushing, get up slowly, especially if feeling dizzy or faint, or taking blood pressure medications.
- If you are taking another cholesterol medication called a bile acid-binding resin (e.g., colestipol, cholestyramine) along with NIASPAN, take these medicines at least 4 to 6 hours apart.
- Some medicines should not be taken with NIASPAN. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including aspirin, any cholesterol medication, blood pressure medication, or blood thinner medication, or any products containing niacin or nicotinamide.
For more information, talk with your healthcare provider.
Reference: NIASPAN [package insert].
If eligible, pay no more than
$30 for a 90-day supply.