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Author Topic: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...  (Read 4079 times)

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Offline SouthSam7

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  • Posts: 428
Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« on: October 07, 2009, 01:01:03 AM »
Dear Friends,

I'm looking for a Niacin alternate for Norvir/PI induced hypercholesterolemia.  I can't handle Niacin.  I've been taking 500 milligrams of time-release niacin (nicotinic acid) for about 5 months as an adjunct to my Dr. Rx Crestor and Tricor.  The Crestor and Tricor were not lowering the blood lipids enough.  With nicotinic acid Niacin, my blood lipid profile has greatly improved to a normal range (first time in 5 years!).

I understand Niacin will cause "flushing" (I can't figure out why they call it that; such a benign word! It feels like you are swimming in boiling Tabasco sauce), but I have such an extreme and sporadic reaction to it I am never taking it again.  Today I had to call poison control because I was itching the skin off my bones.

After several Xanax, Benedryl and Atarax, the symptoms went away (about 2 hours of hell).  I took a picture of it once before but today was 10x worse!

I have read a little about a different form of Niacin called Inositol Hexaniacinate.  I need to know if it is effective like Niacin and what is a suggested amount.

I understand it is impossible for Inositol Hexaniacinate to cause the Niacin-related misery that nicotinic acid does (please correct me if I am mistaken), but I don't want to take it if it does not have a positive effect on blood lipids like Niacin proper (nicotinic acid) does, or if it is harmful to the liver, for example.

I can't explain why about once every two weeks this "time-release" form of Niacin rapidly causes me to lose my mind with burning and itching, but I'm not willing to go through that again.  I was very scared today and I've never heard of it causing that extreme degree of "flushing" in anyone else.  I have heard that it is impossible to be allergic to Niacin since your body requires it to live.

Anyone with experience or advice would be greatly appreciated.  I've attached a picture of a previous (and milder) reaction than today.  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=641930&l=9552cf7f84&id=1131761380  The whiter part is my underarm (please be kind and reserve judgment about my body, quality of photo, etc.)

Please help.

Thanks,

Sam

Offline sharkdiver

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  • Posts: 1,350
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 09:02:44 AM »
was the Niacin a prescription?

Offline SouthSam7

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  • Posts: 428
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 11:19:19 AM »
No it was Nature's Bounty, I think.

Offline sharkdiver

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  • Posts: 1,350
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 11:31:02 AM »
well that could be a major reason why you are having such an intense reaction.  What does your Dr. say about you taking niacin?


Offline SouthSam7

  • Member
  • Posts: 428
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 11:50:18 AM »
Why would the brand matter?  Niaspan is Niacin but you have to pay hundreds of dollars for it because it's a prescription.

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2009, 12:03:41 PM »
my question for you then is...Are you taking niacin per your Doctor's recommendation?


Offline SouthSam7

  • Member
  • Posts: 428
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 04:20:23 PM »
No.  The medication the doctors put me on is not doing enough.

Does anyone know about the other form of Niacin, Inositol Hexaniacinate, I listed at the beginning of this thread?

Thanks,

Sam

Offline Buckster2005

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  • Posts: 15
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 08:31:16 AM »
No.  The medication the doctors put me on is not doing enough.

Does anyone know about the other form of Niacin, Inositol Hexaniacinate, I listed at the beginning of this thread?

Thanks,

Sam

I tried to respond yesterday but my post disappeared.  Anyway I take Slo-niacin.  You can get it at walmart.  I take 2 500mg with prvastatin at bedtime.  Not sure if there is flushing since I am alseep.  I also take enteric coated fish oil.  My cholestrol is excellent but my trigs are still high but not as high.

http://www.amazon.com/Slo-Niacin-Polygel-Controlled-Release-Niacin-Tablets/dp/B000052YTD

Hope this helps.

Buck


Offline risred1

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  • Posts: 419
  • My Source for Supps - www.newyorkbuyersclub.org
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 04:09:10 PM »
If your having cholesterol issues, well, I would hope that you'd be working with your doctor on your medical options for controlling it.

I will share that I have had a 40 count drop from total cholesterol from 200 to 160 by using a psyllium fiber drink supplement daily. The value of soluable and insoluable fiber is well established in Oatmeal, and Psyllium fiber. I don't know if this is all fiber and I don't know if you'd get the same results form fiber tablets versus a fiber supplement you put in water.

I use Costco Psyllium Fiber, but its essentially the same as Metamucil Orange Flavored Fiber Supplement. Its a powder that you mix with cold water. I take my vitamins with this drink and even add some glutamine to the drink.

There are other things like Peanut Butter or an Intake of Nut Oils which can help trim cholesterol numbers. So before reaching for pills, you might want to look that these things if you need to make non prescribed progress.

You didn't state what your number is, so I don't know if a 40 point drop that I got would be enough for yourself. You don't mention if you smoke or not. Of course all these things can impact your cholesterol. If these other factors such as diet and smoking cessation aren't realistic for you or don't work, then the appropriate Cholesterol medication that is compatible with your HIV meds as prescribed by a doctor would seem to make the most sense to me. Of course when these things start boiling down to money, then I don't know what to say.
risred1 - hiv +
02/07 CD4 404 - 27% - VL 15k
10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,388
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2009, 11:16:16 AM »
Hey Guy,

I empathize with you. I have been fighting lipid battles for some time now.

I take an aspirin a half-hour to hour before I take my Niaspan. I still get a bit of flushing once in a while, but nothing like you are describing.

I would like to add that you should sit down with your doctor and go over this. Just adding something to the mix is hazardous, especially with the interreactions between many of the meds.

I finally had to switch my HIV meds. I now take Isentress and Truvada. A month after I started them, my lipids dropped and now stay within the normal range with just fish oil and Niaspan.

Have you talked to a nutritionist? That is another option. I eat a partly vegetarian diet most of the time. I do cheat now and then and provide myself with treats such as real eggs once a week.

Increasing the amount of fish in your diet also helps. Salmon is delightful, so is trout. Remember, though, it should be broiled, poached, grilled, steamed, etc., but not fried. I make this point because I note you are from the south, the home of fried everything.

Are you taking fish oil? As I mentioned earlier, it has really knocked my triglycerides down.

Exercise is also important. The best diet in the world won't help if all you do is sit on your butt in front of the TV. Getting out and walking, running, swimming, etc., is great for you and fun too.

These are just some suggestions. I would definitely talk to your doctor though.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 11:20:39 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline AboutToStart

  • Member
  • Posts: 134
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2009, 12:36:48 PM »
My doctor put me on Niaspan 500mg. It is a prescription drug that is FDA approved and takes care of the "flushing". I take it before bed time, together with Atripla didn't have a single problem with it* so far.

Good luck!

Ammended to add: there was one night, about a month after starting the Niaspan, that MAYBE I got a very mild flushing. I say "maybe" because I'm not sure if it really happened or was I just dreaming it, but I "think" I felt very hot in the middle of the night, like my body was on fire and I had to pull off the blanket to cool off, but as I woke up the next morning there was nothing, so I don't know if it was a dream or not..

PS: this thread belongs at Treatment & Side Effects, not Nutrition.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 12:44:51 PM by AboutToStart »

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
Re: Niacin alternate for high cholesterol...
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2009, 01:24:01 AM »
it's been a month since this post was discussed

I am now on Niacin. Not timed or extended release or Niaspan. My doc put me on just regular over the counter type. Why because the extended release and Niaspan are hard on the liver (especially when you've been on meds a long time)   

I started at 50mg 3x a day after a meal and every week add 100 until I reach 500mg 3x a day. This was to reduce the stress on the body and not cause excessive flushing.  so far so good.

 


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