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Author Topic: Reaction to Niacin  (Read 4791 times)

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Offline Mirar

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Reaction to Niacin
« on: November 21, 2006, 06:45:42 PM »
I was prescribed Niacin 500mg taking 2 capsules daily at night to control cholesterol and triglycerides and have been taking the medication for about 6 months with no problems. I am not saying it is ok to drink but I really enjoy a scotch, glass of wine or a martini at night to unwind from a day at work. Up until a few weeks ago when I have a drink my skin in my face, ears, arms and chest feel like a small fire is under my skin and that is just one sip. I spoke with a couple of Dr's and they had no idea what was happening and their only comeback to me was "don't drink" to me that was an asinine comment to a problem. So I talked to pharmacist and we went over my medications and there it was NIACIN, I stopped taking the Niacin and instantly that night I had no more bad reactions.  To supplement the Niacin I am eating oatmeal for breakfast and problem solved.

Offline thunter34

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,361
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2006, 06:48:59 PM »
So the reaction wasn't with alcohol, but with your meds?  Your doctors should have known that from the start.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,540
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2006, 07:34:22 PM »

Niacin(b-3) info ;


Have you changed the "brand name of the Niacin you've been taking?


Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 20mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 9/24/2017

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/18/2017,  Viral load remains <40
CD 4 @358 /  CD4 % @ 13

 65 years young.

Offline Mirar

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2006, 08:38:42 PM »
Yes I have changed brands and had the same results. My doctors were stumped and asked me that if I find out the reason to let them know. I also found out that Niacin works with the liver and some HIV meds are also known to be hard on the liver, so for me Niacin was just fueling a potential problem  because I like to have a drink at night.
It is advised not to take large doses of vitamins (megadoses or megavitamin therapy) while taking this Niacin.


  • Guest
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 02:52:44 PM »
Niacin also can adversely affect renal function, especially when diuretic liquids are being ingested and potentially nephrotoxic medications are concomitantly administered.  A buddy tried over the counter niacin a few years ago and his blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels shot up significantly.  His HDL rose and triglycerides dropped during the two years he was taking niacin, but...  When he went back and compared his renal function labs when he was not taking niacin to when he was, a pretty stunning correlation appeared.  He stopped the niacin and within three months, his kidney functions were back to his pre-niacin levels.  He doesn't drink regularly, but he's a big coffee drinker and is taking Viread.  So many factors to consider.     

Offline HIVworker

  • Member
  • Posts: 918
  • HIV researcher
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2006, 12:45:20 PM »
Niacin has very strong flushing/burning activities that are made worse by other things such as drink. Your doctor should have known that, it is the single worst side effect of taking niacin!

NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline fuziwuzi

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 01:08:13 PM »
I took prescription Niacin for about a month.  I simply could not tolerate the burning sensations it caused, they prevented me from sleeping, or doing much of anything.  It wasn't just annoying, it was painful. 
Never make someone else your whole world when to them you are just an option.

Offline pozatlguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2006, 08:13:06 PM »
I had the same reaction as many of you. 

My doctor wanted me to take Niacin to help with my cholesterol and Triglycerides levels.  I bought some but didn't realize their is a flushing and non-flushing type you can buy.  I by chance picked the flushing type.  Anyway I took it and thought I was on fire.... my face, ears etc go so hot and red.  I actually thought I might be having a heart attack; of course never having had one I didn't know what one would feel like anyway.  Bottom line it scared the HELL out of me.  I stopped it right away, I eat oatmeal everyday and take my fish oil tablets instead.  I'm now always in the "normal" range but at the high end, I told my doctor that I will just have to live with that bit of success. 

HIV + since June 1990, probably got infected 6 months before.
9/06 - CD4 720, VL <50, 33.6%
12/13 - CD4 608,  VL <50, 33.8%

Offline jntmax39

  • Member
  • Posts: 81
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 07:37:33 PM »
Hey Billy
Iam also on Niacon,I have the same symptems. My Doc gave me a paper stating that I would have flushing,Oh boy I thought it meant hot flashes until it happened,that shit sucks
anyway he told me to get mettimucill tablets. I'm gonna go get some and then I'll let you know if it works.

Offline koi1

  • Member
  • Posts: 713
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2007, 08:20:28 PM »
My friend was taken off of niacin because it messed with his liver. So that is another thing to consider.

diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,517
  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Reaction to Niacin
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2007, 07:32:37 AM »
Yep, the flashing, flushing, hot flashes, are a pain.

If you take an aspirin 30 minutes prior to the niacin, it helps. I was on prescription Niacin (Niaspan 1,000 mgs) for a while. I tolerated the 500 mgs OK, so my doc upped it.

My problem was it didn't drop the lipids for me.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)


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