Niaspan

(Niacin)

3.2/ 5 average rating with 380 reviewsforNiaspan
Skip to: drug prices sectionSkip to: what to expect sectionSkip to: side effects sectionSkip to: risks and warnings sectionSkip to: common concerns from users and pharmacists
ADVERTISEMENT

Lowers cholesterol.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Niaspan (Niacin) lowers triglycerides, but isn't as good as statins for improving cholesterol levels.

Lowest price near you
  • Lowest price with coupon
    $31.87
Quick facts about Niaspan
  • Drug class: Cardiovascular
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (niacin)

Upsides

  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raises "good" cholesterol (HDL) in people who have trouble doing this through diet and exercise.
  • Good for lowering triglycerides (fats).
Get the newsletter!

Sign up and get Pill Talk, the latest in health & medicine news from Iodine

Get our free fact sheet

What to expect from Niaspan, on one page

Download Fact Sheet
People’s experience with Niaspan

380reviews so far. What do you think?

Downsides

  • By itself, Niaspan (Niacin) isn't as effective as statins for improving cholesterol levels.
  • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.
  • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
  • If you miss doses often, you may need to re-start taking the medicine more regularly at a lower dose.
Get the newsletter!

Sign up and get Pill Talk, the latest in health & medicine news from Iodine

Get our free fact sheet

What to expect from Niaspan, on one page

Download Fact Sheet
How it works

Niaspan (Niacin) is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to lower the amount of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) made by the liver.

Quick facts about Niaspan
  • Drug class: Cardiovascular
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (niacin)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Extended release
People’s experience with Niaspan

380reviews so far. What do you think?

Prices and coupons

Skip prices section. Skip to what to expect section.
Prices and coupons for 30 (500mg) tablets of niacin ER near
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
See more prices and coupons in your area

What to expect when you take Niaspan (Niacin) for High cholesterol

Skip what to expect section. Skip to side effects section.
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Flushing
  • Itchiness
  • Sore muscle (with statin)
  • Nausea
Skip side effects section. Skip to risks and warnings section.

Side effect rates for Niaspan (Niacin)

From 244 clinical trials of Niaspan when taken for high cholesterol (500 mg/day)
  • Flushing
    68%68%
    19%19%
  • Itching
    8%8%
    2%2%
  • Diarrhea
    7%7%
    13%13%
  • Nausea
    5%5%
    7%7%
  • Rash
    5%5%
  • Cough increased
    3%3%
    6%6%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Niaspan.

Niaspan (Niacin)
Placebo

People taking Niaspan felt side effect more

People taking Niaspan felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Niaspan (Niacin)

Skip risks section. Skip to common concerns section.
    • Higher risk if:
    • Taking Niaspan (Niacin) with statins

    People taking Niaspan (Niacin) who are also using a statin medicine have reported muscle pain. This is very rare, but can lead to muscle and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor if you develop sudden unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or fever.

Pharmacist Q&A

Niaspan (Niacin) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats high cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood.

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats high cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood.

Common concerns from people taking Niaspan (Niacin)

Final section. Do you want to return to drug navigation?
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Tip: Always talk with your doctor before you take any medication while pregnant.
FDA pregnancy category for Niaspan
CWeigh risks vs. benefits
Interactions
  • Niaspan (Niacin) can interact with blood thinners and make you more likely to bleed. Your doctor may have you do regular blood tests and change your medication doses.
Alcohol
  • Don't have alcohol, spicy foods, or hot beverages right before you take this medicine.
Food
  • You need to take it before bedtime with a low-fat snack.
Pain
  • It can cause flushing and stomach pain or discomfort.