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How do you prevent niacin side effects?

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Quick Answer

To prevent niacin side effects, carefully follow dosage instructions, swallow extended-release capsules completely, take the medication with a meal and start by taking small doses initially, according to MedicineNet. Taking aspirin before taking a niacin dose may reduce itching and flushing, claims Jennifer Moll, PharmD, of About.com.

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Avoid eating or drinking foods that contribute to skin flushing immediately before or after taking the medication, asserts MedicineNet. The side effects of niacin include tingling, itching, diarrhea, heartburn and dizziness. Chewing on the capsules increases the risk of experiencing these side effects as does attempting to substitute the medication with another type of B-complex vitamin or taking immediate-release niacin at a high dose. Some individuals are allergic to niacin and may experience allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing and rashes.

Although niacin treats niacin deficiency, it also treats blood cholesterol problems and decreases risk of heart attack, claims Everyday Health. Because niacin comes in different forms, such as tablets and capsules, know how to take the medicine properly, and speak to a doctor about developing the correct dosage for your individual needs. Niacin can sometimes be taken with other drugs to increase the benefits of the medicine, but niacin is known to interact with colestipol and cholestyamine.

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