Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more or less of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.

Remember that niacin will not cure your condition but it does help control it. Therefore, you must continue to take it as directed if you expect to keep your cholesterol levels down.

Follow carefully the special diet your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your condition, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly.

If this medicine upsets your stomach, it may be taken with meals or milk. If stomach upset (nausea or diarrhea) continues, check with your doctor.

For patients taking the extended-release capsule form of this medicine:

  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew before swallowing. However, if the capsule is too large to swallow, you may mix the contents of the capsule with jam or jelly and swallow without chewing.

For patients taking the extended-release tablet form of this medicine:

  • Swallow the tablet whole. If the tablet is scored, it may be broken, but not crushed or chewed, before being swallowed.
  • Tablet (Niaspan) should be taken at bedtime after a low-fat snack.
  • To decrease flushing of your face (redness), take aspirin or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) 30 minutes before taking tablet (Niaspan).
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or hot drinks around the time you take your tablet (Niaspan). This helps decrease flushing of your face (redness).
  • Take this medication exactly as your doctor ordered. If you stop taking this medication for any period of time, contact your doctor prior to restarting taking niacin.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (extended-release capsules, extended-release tablets, oral solution, or regular tablets):
    • For treatment of high cholesterol:
      • Adults and teenagers—500 milligrams to 2 grams one to three times a day: use and dose will be determined by your doctor. Do not exceed the amount the doctor prescribes.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.