Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Diabetes health centre


BMJ Group Medical Reference

Niacin is one of the B vitamins. It is also called nicotinic acid. Niacin is one of the oldest treatments for high cholesterol, but it's not used much now, because it can cause side effects, such as itching, flushing (a red face), and diarrhoea.

But your doctor might suggest you take niacin if you are taking a newer treatment and your cholesterol is still high, or if you can't take other kinds of treatment. Niacin comes as tablets called Niacor.

Some research shows that niacin can lower cholesterol and also triglyceride levels. [41] But many of the people who took part in this research were also taking a statin to lower their cholesterol. We don't know whether taking niacin helps lower your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.

The most common side effect of taking niacin is flushing. Taking niacin raised people's average blood sugar, but only very slightly.


For references related to Heart and circulation problems in diabetes click here.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

Diabetes newsletter

Tips for managing your diabetes.
Sign Up Now!

WebMD Video: Now Playing

person pricking finger

Managing diabetes

Learn how to eat, exercise, test your blood sugar, and take medicine to manage your diabetes.

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
womans toned abdomen
A workout for a toned tummy
Which exercises are safe?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
Immune-boosting foods
The role of diet
18 secrets men want you to know
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
hamburger and fries
A guide for beginners
salmon dinner
A diet to boost your mood & energy
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting