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What Is Niacin Extended-Release Used For?

What is niacin extended-release used for? Among the conditions that niacin extended-release has been licensed to treat are high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Niacin extended-release can also be used to reduce the risk of another heart attack in people with a history of a heart attack and high cholesterol. Niacin extended-release is not approved for use in children, and it currently has no off-label uses.

Niacin Extended-Release Uses: An Overview

Niacin extended-release (Niaspan®) is a medication that has been licensed to treat several conditions. Niacin extended-release uses include:
 
High Cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol in the blood can accumulate on the walls of arteries (known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries), leading to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other areas of the body. This can greatly increase a person's risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, angina (chest pain), a heart attack, and a stroke.
 
Niacin extended-release has been licensed for the treatment of high cholesterol, in combination with a low-cholesterol diet and exercise. It works by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, and apo B (a component of cholesterol that is related to several heart disease risk factors). It also raises HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol. Niacin extended-release may be used alone or in combination with a statin or bile acid sequestrant.
 
In general, cholesterol treatment is aimed at lowering LDL cholesterol levels enough to reduce the risk of developing complications associated with high cholesterol (see Effects of High Cholesterol). If you are at a higher risk, you will have a lower LDL goal.
 
(Click High Cholesterol Risk to determine your cholesterol risk and find out what your LDL cholesterol level should be.)
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Info About Niacin Extended Release

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