Nicotinex

Name: Nicotinex

Nicotinex Overview

Niacin is a prescription medication used to lower high cholesterol and fats (triglycerides) in the blood. Niacin is a B-complex vitamin which may work by increasing the breakdown and removal of certain fats in the blood by increasing the activity of a certain enzyme.

This medication comes in tablet form and is usually taken once daily at night after a low-fat snack. Swallow niacin tablets whole. Niacin ER is an extended-release form of niacin, and is also taken once daily at bedtime after a low-fat snack.

Common side effects of niacin include warmth and redness of the face, rash, diarrhea, and nausea.

 

Nicotinex and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Niacin is excreted into human breast milk. It is not known if niacin will harm your nursing baby.

Nicotinex Usage

  • Take niacin exactly as your doctor tells you to take it.
  • Take niacin tablets whole. Do not break, crush or chew niacin tablets before swallowing.
  • Take niacin 1 time a day at bedtime after a low-fat snack. Niacin should not be taken on an empty stomach.
  • All forms of niacin are not the same as niacin. Do not switch between forms of niacin without first talking to your doctor as severe liver damage can occur.
  • Do not change your dose or stop taking niacin unless your doctor tells you to.
  • If you need to stop taking niacin, call your doctor before you start taking niacin again. Your doctor may need to lower your dose of niacin.
  • If you forget to take a dose of niacin, take it as soon as you remember.
  • If you take too much niacin, call your doctor right away.
  • Medicines used to lower your cholesterol called bile acid resins, such as colestipol and cholestyramine, should not be taken at the same time of day as niacin. You should take niacin and the bile acid resin medicine at least 4 to 6 hours apart.
  • Your doctor may do blood tests before you start taking niacin and during your treatment. You should see your doctor regularly to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to check for side effects.

If you wake up at night because of flushing, get up slowly, especially if you:

  • feel dizzy or faint
  • take blood pressure medicines

To lower your chance of flushing:

  • Ask your doctor if you can take aspirin to help lower the flushing side effect from niacin. You can take aspirin (up to the recommended dose of 325 mg) about 30 minutes before you take niacin to help lower the flushing side effect.
  • Do not drink hot beverages (including coffee), alcohol, or eat spicy foods around the time you take niacin.
  • Take niacin with a low-fat snack to lessen upset stomach.

Nicotinex Dosage

Niacin is available both as a tablet and an extended release tablet (Niacin ER). The regular tablet is sometimes taken 2 to 3 times daily with meals. Niacin ER is usually taken once daily at bedtime with a low-fat snack. Take Niacin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

Nicotinex Overdose

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

Proper Use of niacin

This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain niacin. It may not be specific to Nicotinex. Please read with care.

Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.

This medicine should come with a patient information insert. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Remember that niacin will not cure your condition but it does help control it. You must continue to take it as directed if you expect to keep your cholesterol levels down.

Carefully follow the special diet your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your condition, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly.

If this medicine upsets your stomach, it may be taken with meals or milk. If stomach upset continues, check with your doctor.

For patients taking the extended-release capsules:

  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. If the capsule is too large to swallow, you may mix the contents of the capsule with jam or jelly and swallow without chewing.

For patients taking the extended-release tablets:

  • Swallow the tablet whole. If the tablet is scored, it may be broken, but not crushed or chewed, before being swallowed.
  • Niaspan® should be taken at bedtime after a low-fat snack.
  • To decrease flushing or redness of your face, take aspirin or ibuprofen (eg, Advil®, Motrin®) 30 minutes before taking Niaspan®.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or hot drinks or eating spicy foods around the time you take Niaspan®. This helps decrease flushing of your face.
  • If you stop taking this medicine for any period of time, contact your doctor prior to restarting taking niacin.

If you are also using cholestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam, you must take niacin 4 to 6 hours after you take these medicines.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For high cholesterol and triglycerides:
    • For oral dosage forms (extended-release capsules, oral solution, or regular tablets):
      • Adults—500 to 2000 milligrams (mg) one to three times a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
      • Adults and children older than 16 years of age—At first, 500 milligrams (mg) per day, taken at bedtime. After 4 weeks, your doctor will increase your dose to 1000 mg per day, taken at bedtime. However, the dose is usually not more than 2000 mg per day.
      • Children 16 years of age and younger—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using Nicotinex

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly to lower your cholesterol and triglycerides and if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Check with your doctor right away if you have dark-colored urine, diarrhea, a fever, muscle cramps or spasms, muscle pain or stiffness, or feel very tired or weak. These could be symptoms of a serious muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis, which can cause kidney problems.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests or if you have any questions, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause you to feel dizzy or faint, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. This effect should lessen after a week or two as your body gets used to the medicine. However, if the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Do not stop taking niacin without first checking with your doctor. When you stop taking this medicine, your blood cholesterol levels may increase again. Your doctor may want you to follow a special diet to help prevent this from happening.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take vitamins or other dietary supplements unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes vitamins or dietary supplements that contain niacin or similar ingredients.

Nicotinex 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:

Less common
  • 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:

Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • feeling of warmth
  • flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rash or itching
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
Incidence not known
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • dryness of the skin
  • fever
  • frequent urination
  • joint pain
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • side, lower back, or stomach pain
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • unusual thirst
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat

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.

For the Consumer

Applies to niacin: oral capsule, oral capsule extended release, oral elixir, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

Along with its needed effects, niacin (the active ingredient contained in Nicotinex) 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 while taking niacin:

Less common
  • Darkening of urine
  • light gray-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • severe stomach pain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of niacin 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:

Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • feeling of warmth
  • flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • rash or itching
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
Incidence not known
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • dryness of the skin
  • fever
  • frequent urination
  • joint pain
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • side, lower back, or stomach pain
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • unusual thirst
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusually fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat

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