OTC Pearl of the Day: Vitamin B3


Patients use prescription niacin (Niacor, Niaspan) to help control their cholesterol.

OTC/Lifestyle Pearl of the Day: Vitamin B3

Indication: Niacin is a B vitamin (B3) that is made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep the nervous system, digestive system, and skin healthy.


  • Foods rich in niacin include yeast, milk, meat, tortillas, and cereal grains.
  • Patients use prescription niacin (Niacor, Niaspan) to help control their cholesterol.
  • The recommended daily amount of niacin for adult males is 16 mg per day and 14 mg per day for adult women who aren't pregnant.
  • High cholesterol: Prescription niacin is used to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol that helps remove low-density lipoprotein, the "bad" cholesterol, from your bloodstream.
  • Niacin deficiency (pellagra). Niacin and a related nutrient called niacinamide are used to treat or prevent niacin deficiency.
  • Niacin may interact with alcohol, allopurinol (Zyloprim), anticoagulant and anti-platelet drugs, blood pressure drugs, chromium, diabetes drugs, hepatotoxic drugs, herbs and supplements, statins, and zinc.


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