Inositol hexanicotinate, also known as inositol nicotinate, is a compound made up of niacin, or vitamin B3, and inositol, which is produced in the body or may be developed in a laboratory, notes WebMD. Scientific evidence suggests that inositol nicotinate is an effective treatment for Raynaud's disease, a condition in which individuals have painful responses to cold, especially in the toes and fingers.
Inositol nicotinate works by releasing a form of niacin when it is processed by the body, which can widen blood vessels, lower fats such as cholesterol and break up a protein used in blood clotting, WebMD explains. People use inositol nicotinate to treat high cholesterol, blood disorders of the brain, migraines, high blood pressure and restless leg syndrome, though there is not enough credible research to prove its effectiveness in treating these conditions. Stomach upset, headache, nausea, burping and hiccups are possible side effects of inositol nicotinate.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid inositol nicotinate, as there is not enough credible medical evidence regarding its safety, advises WebMD. The niacin in inositol nicotinate may trigger allergy symptoms as it releases histamines, and people with heart disease or heart-related chest pain should consult with their doctors before taking the compound. The niacin in inositol nicotinate may also trigger severe reactions in people with kidney or liver disease or stomach ulcers and those with a sensitivity to niacin.