What You Should Know When Taking NIASPAN

When taking NIASPAN® you may experience a common treatment effect known as flushing. There are some simple tips that may help you manage flushing.

Flushing happens when tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin open wider. Many patients describe flushing as warmth, redness, itching, or tingling of the skin. It mostly occurs in the face and upper body. Flushing feels different for everyone. You may experience flushing when you first begin taking NIASPAN or when your doctor increases your dose. Many patients who continue taking NIASPAN notice that flushing lessens after several weeks.

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What you can do if you experience flushing or stomach upset

If you are experiencing flushing or stomach upset from NIASPAN, consider these four simple tips that may help you:

Take aspirin (up to the recommended dose of 325 mg) 30 minutes before you take NIASPAN to help reduce the frequency of flushing. (Ask your doctor before taking any aspirin.)
Take NIASPAN at bedtime so flushing will most likely occur during sleep. If awakened by flushing, get up slowly, especially if feeling dizzy or faint, or taking blood pressure medications.
Take NIASPAN with a low-fat snack to help lessen upset stomach.
Avoid alcohol, hot beverages (including coffee), and spicy foods near the time you take your NIASPAN to help reduce your chance of flushing.
Keep these simple tips with you as a reminder when taking NIASPAN
What you should remember

Although flushing does not affect everyone in the same way, there are some things you should keep in mind:

  • If you are experiencing flushing and need to stand, take your time.
  • If you wake up at night because of flushing, get up slowly, especially if you:
    • feel dizzy or faint
    • take blood pressure medicines
  • The flushing may lessen over several weeks with consistent NIASPAN use as your body adjusts to the medication.

Talk to your doctor about how the symptoms of flushing differ from those of a heart attack.

Additional Safety Considerations

  • Additional common side effects of NIASPAN include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, increased cough, and itching.
  • Blood tests are needed before and during treatment with NIASPAN to check for liver enzyme levels.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, as this could be a sign of a serious side effect.

If eligible, save up to $70 for NIASPAN per 30-day supply*

If you have questions, please call 1-844-415-0681

* Eligible patients will pay the first $5 and receive up to a maximum savings of $70 for NIASPAN per 30-day supply. Eligibility: In Massachusetts, co-pay assistance is not available for products with certain generic equivalents (for example, any product with an AB-rated generic equivalent). Available to patients with commercial prescription insurance coverage for NIASPAN. Co-pay assistance program is not available to patients receiving prescription reimbursement under any federal, state or government-funded insurance programs (for example, Medicare (including Part D), Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicaid, TRICARE, Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs programs) or where prohibited by law. If at any time a patient begins receiving prescription drug coverage under any such federal, state or government-funded healthcare program, patient will no longer be able to use the NIASPAN, savings card and patient must call NIASPAN customer service to stop participation. Patients may not seek reimbursement for value received from the NIASPAN savings card from any third-party payers. Offer subject to change or discontinuance without notice. Restrictions, including monthly maximums, may apply. This is not health insurance.

Please see the full Prescribing Information for NIASPAN and discuss it with your healthcare provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.

Legal Notices/Privacy Policy. Copyright 2013, AbbVie Inc., North Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. If you have any questions about AbbVie's Niaspan.com website that have not been answered click here. This website and the information contained herein is intended for use by US residents only, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace a discussion with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider and consider the unique characteristics of each patient.


  • 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, 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, blood thinner medication, or any products containing niacin or nicotinamide.

For more information, talk with your healthcare provider.


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.

Taking NIASPAN with another cholesterol-lowering medicine (simvastatin) does not reduce heart attacks or strokes more than taking simvastatin alone.