MAPLE GROVE, Minn., March 17 Niacin, or nicotinic acid, when used under the care and monitoring of a healthcare provider, is the most effective agent available for increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good cholesterol (1)."
HDL is known as "good cholesterol" because it has protective effects on the heart and blood vessels. It not only removes excess cholesterol in the blood and brings it to the liver for disposal, it may also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects (2). Some experts also believe that HDL removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its buildup (3). With HDL, higher levels are better. Low HDL (less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women) puts you at a higher risk for heart disease (4).
"Maintaining levels of HDL, or 'good cholesterol,' within a healthy range is a crucial step in maintaining overall heart health," states Mark Evenstad, president of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. "Slo-Niacin®, a non-prescription dietary niacin supplement, features nicotinic acid - the most effective substance available for increasing HDL, which supports heart health and cholesterol management."
Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is a type of B vitamin that aids in the function of the digestive system, skin, nerves and heart health. The adult body needs at least 14-16 mg of niacin daily to function properly (5). First used in the 1950s, niacin is the oldest of today's commonly used agents for lowering cholesterol (6).
When used under the care and monitoring of a healthcare provider, Slo-Niacin® has been shown in clinical studies to raise HDL ("good cholesterol") and lower LDL ("bad cholesterol"), total cholesterol, and triglycerides on its own and in combination with other cholesterol-lowering agents, such as statins (7-10).
The SLIM Study, published last year in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, evaluated the effects of Slo-Niacin® and Lipitor® given separately and together. With proper monitoring and dosing, combination therapy was shown to have a greater effect on cholesterol levels than either agent alone. Monotherapy with Slo-Niacin® decreased median triglyceride levels 15%, mean LDL 12% and increased HDL 8% (8). Persons already taking cholesterol lowering drugs should contact a healthcare provider before taking niacin because of possible side effects (11).
Dietary supplement niacin is sold in three forms: immediate-release, controlled-release and "flush-free." Immediate-release niacin can be inconvenient because it requires relatively small doses to be taken several times a day and the side effects, such as flushing, can be problematic. Controlled-release niacin, such as Slo-Niacin®, is less likely to cause flushing. Inositol hexaniacinate and nicotinamide, both referred to as "flush-free" niacin, prevent flushing, but have not been shown to have any effect on cholesterol levels. Only nicotinic acid has been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol (6).
Slo-Niacin® Tablets utilize a patented polygel® controlled-release delivery system, not available in other dietary supplement niacin products, that assures the gradual and measured release of niacin. It is designed to reduce the incidence of flushing commonly associated with immediate-release niacin use (11).
Slo-Niacin® is economical and often costs less than an insurance co-payment. At approximately $16 per month for 100, 500-mg tablets, Slo-Niacin® helps heart health without hurting your wallet (12). Patients should talk with their healthcare provider about how Slo-Niacin® may help them.
Three dosage strengths (250 mg, 500 mg, and 750 mg) of Slo-Niacin® Tablets are available to meet the specific goals you set with your healthcare provider. Using more than 500 mg of niacin daily may cause side effects (11). Proper monitoring by a healthcare provider can help manage these side effects.
Slo-Niacin® Tablets are manufactured by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc., a trusted manufacturer of high quality prescription and dietary supplement products, and are conveniently available at pharmacies and other retailers nationwide. For more information, contact a healthcare professional, call 1-800-654-2299 or visit www.Slo-Niacin.com for more information, coupons and a store locator.
About Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.
Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. is a rapidly growing pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets both prescription and consumer products. Privately held since 1919, the company strives to recognize the unmet healthcare needs of our customers. Over the last 20 years that Upsher-Smith has been manufacturing Slo-Niacin®, more than 9.3 million bottles have been sold. Upsher-Smith prides itself in providing safe, effective, and economical therapies to the ever-challenged healthcare environment. For additional information about Upsher-Smith, visit www.upsher-smith.com.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Important Safety Information
Read the information leaflet provided with each bottle of Slo-Niacin® Tablets.
Do not use Slo-Niacin® Tablets if you have a known sensitivity or allergy to niacin. Do not take niacin unless under your healthcare provider's supervision if you have heart disease (particularly, recurrent chest pain or recent heart attack), gallbladder disease, gout, arterial bleeding, glaucoma, diabetes, impaired liver function, stomach ulcers, or are pregnant or lactating. Before taking more than 500 mg/day, call your healthcare provider. If you are taking high blood pressure or cholesterol-lowering drugs, call your healthcare provider before taking niacin due to possible interactions. Case reports of unexplained muscle-related complaints, including discomfort, weakness, or tenderness, have been documented with HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors in combination with niacin. Increased uric acid, glucose, and abnormal liver function tests have been reported in persons taking 500 mg/day or more. Discontinue use and call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience persistent flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, not feeling well), loss of appetite, decreased and dark-colored urine, muscle discomfort or weakness, irregular heartbeat or vision problems. Niacin may cause temporary flushing, itching and tingling, feelings of warmth and headache, particularly when beginning, increasing dosage or changing brands. This safety information is not all-inclusive. For more information, contact your healthcare provider, call 1-800-654-2299, or visit www.slo-niacin.com.
(1) Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/niacin/cl00036. April 13, 2009.
(2) Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hdl-cholesterol/CL00030. February 22, 2010.
(3) American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=180. January 13, 2010.
(4) American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=183. January 13, 2010.
(5) MedlinePlus. Niacin. http://www.nlm/nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002409.htm. Accessed December 17, 2009.
(6) Harvard Health Letter. "Niacin into the void: Failure of HDL cholesterol drug may be this B vitamin's big chance." April 2007.
(7) Lavie CJ, Mailander L, Milani. "Marked benefit with sustained-release niacin therapy in patients with 'isolated' very low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and coronary artery disease." Am J Cardiol. 1992;69:1083-1085.
(8) Squires RW, Allison TG, Gau GT, et al. "Low-Dose, Time-Release Nicotinic Acid: Effects in Selected Patients With Low Concentrations of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol." Mayo Clin Proc. 67:855-860, 1992.
(9) Gray DR, Morgan T, Chretien SD, Kashyap ML. "Efficacy and Safety of Controlled-Release Niacin in Dyslipoproteinemic Veterans." Ann Intern Med. 1994;121:252-258.
(10) Knopp RF, Retzlaff BM, Fish B et al. "The SLIM study: Slo-Niacin® and Atorvastatin Treatment of Lipoproteins and Inflammatory Markers in Combined Hyperlipidemia." Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Volume 3, Issue 3, Pages 167-178.
(11) Slo-Niacin product information. http://www.slo-niacin.com/images/pi.pdf. Upsher-Smith Laboratories, 2003.
(12) Drugstore.com website. http://www.drugstore.com. Accessed February 10, 2010.
SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.