Side Effects of Niacin Extended-Release
For the most part, side effects of niacin extended-release are minor and require little or no treatment by your healthcare provider. Common side effects of the drug include flushing of the face and neck (which occurs in up to 88 percent of people who take niacin extended-release), stomach pain, and heartburn. Uncommon side effects include swelling of the face, hands, and/or feet. Among the side effects you should report immediately to your doctor are shortness of breath and severe stomach pain.
Side Effects of Niacin Extended-Release: An IntroductionAs with any medicine, there are possible side effects with niacin extended-release (Niaspan®); but not everyone who takes niacin extended-release will have side effects. In fact, most people tolerate niacin extended-release well. When side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. In previous research studies, up to 6 percent of people taking niacin extended-release stopped their medicine because of side effects.
The most common side effect reported with the use of niacin extended-release is flushing (warmth, redness, itching, and/or tingling) of the face and neck. This side effect was also commonly accompanied by dizziness and lightheadedness. In clinical trials, flushing episodes were seen in as many as 88 percent of people taking niacin extended-release and it was the most common reason why people stopped taking their medication.
The use of niacin extended-release with a statin (Crestor®, Pravachol®, Lescol®, Mevacor®, Altoprev®, Lipitor®, Zocor®) has been associated with a rare but serious side effect known as rhabdomyolysis (serious breakdown of muscle). Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if they are accompanied by a fever or unusual tiredness.
(The side effects of niacin extended-release discussed below are not a complete list of side effects reported with this drug. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of possible side effects with you.)