Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Overdosing on Niacin: Side Effects, Toxicity, Symptoms, Poisoning

I promised to write one column about the side effects of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin, niacinamide), vitamin C, and vitamin D (cholecalciferol). Deficiency in these four vitamins causes beri beri, pellagra, scurvy, and rickets respectively. I started with vitamin D because it causes the most problems. Vitamin B3 (niacin, niacinamide) is second because it is the most troublesome.

The situation with niacin is what it is. The Food and Nutrition Board has set the RDA for niacin at 20 mg/day and the upper safe limit (UL) at 35 mg/day. This is far and away the closest for the four most important nutrients. At the same time, niacin is the only vitamin embraced by mainstream medicine. It is used to treat high cholesterol. Heart doctors prescribe 2000 mg/day niacin for this purpose – more than 50 times the UL. Are we supposed to believe that some people can take 2000 mg/day with no problems and others have to both make sure that they get 20 mg/day (the RDA) without exceeding the UL of 35 mg/day? Oddly enough, the answer to this question is yes.

Niacin is famous for causing flushing. Rapid absorption of as little as 35 mg of niacin (think 35 mg of niacin with a hot coffee on an empty stomach first thing in the morning) can cause flushing. The duration and severity of flushing is proportional to the dose. A severe flush can be fearfully painful – an unforgettable experience. A mild flush could possibly be described as a pleasant experience by an unusual person – a feeling of warmth accompanied by tingling. Here is a fairly comprehensive list of other side effects listed by authorities:

Itchy feeling spots on the skin (skin looks perfectly normal upon inspection)
Dry feeling spots on the skin (skin looks perfectly normal upon inspection)
Rapid heartbeat
Low blood pressure
Liver malfunction
Tooth pain
Gum pain
Decreased Thyroid function
Blurred vision
Lazy eye

I read this information and was well aware of the side effects before I started taking niacin. The information was useful, but lacking in many important details. So, once again, from here on the story is based on my personal experience. It will take time to tell how relevant my experiences have been.

I’ve been taking niacin and reacting to niacin side effects for 12 years. Here are side effects I believe were caused by niacin that I experienced and aren’t on the list above:

Restless legs

Early on, I was taking over 1000 mg/day of niacin and feeling great. Then one day, for no obvious reason, after months supplementing near 1000 mg/day, nausea started in the morning right after I took my daily supplement. The nausea intensified throughout the morning until it became disabling. I ended up home and in bed. There, the nausea further intensified until it became agonizing. Finally, over the course of an hour or two, I vomited several times. The vomiting ended with a bright yellow fluid that I suspect is bile. When my wife was niacin poisoned, she also vomited this yellow fluid. I believe it is characteristic of the vomiting caused by niacin. One day I was taking regular doses of niacin and feeling fine, and the next day I was deathly ill. Once the vomiting was over, my recovery was astonishingly rapid. I was back to work feeling well the next day. I told my boss I had a 24-hour stomach bug. Despite great care, this happened to me two more times while taking regular doses of 500 to 1000 mg/day of niacin.

In recent years, I’ve been taking 100 to 1000 mg/day of niacin for several days in a row in short, intermittent bursts separated by weeks and months with mostly none interspersed with several days in the 60 to 125 mg/day range. When I do take it, I like to take the 60-120 mg/day dose of straight release niacin first thing in the morning with a cup of hot coffee on an empty stomach. That way I get the strongest possible reaction. I typically get a very mild flush that, to me, feels good. Less frequently I experience nothing or a severe flush. Rarely, I have experienced a 5 to 15 minute bout of intense nausea along with a severe flush.

In recent years, niacin reliably accelerates my heart rate and makes me less inhibited. I have trouble falling asleep. These effects last for about 24 hours.

On average, as the years have passed, I have been taking less and less niacin and experience a wider range of side effects at a wider range of severities. My testimony directly contradicts the common claim that niacin side effects dissipate with time. It’s not just me. I persuaded friends and family members to start taking niacin at 250 to 500 mg/day doses. Today, many of them have quit taking niacin supplements because of side effects. At the same time, I know several are taking 1000 mg/day niacin to control cholesterol and reporting no problems with side effects.

In summary, the list of niacin side effects is long. The list is so long that I recommend that anyone taking niacin stop taking it for 3 to 7 days at least once/year just to see if niacin is causing any trouble. Stopping for such a short time is not known to do any harm, and symptoms assumed to be a result of aging may actually be niacin side effects. I’ve taken 500 mg/day for several days with no side effects and have taken a single 60 mg dose that’s ruined most of a day. So, in my experience not only have I found that niacin tolerance varies widely from person to person, I’ve found that niacin tolerance in individuals varies widely. As a result, I’ve found niacin to be the hardest to use of the four vitamins associated with deficiency diseases.


At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been taking 2000 mg niacin for about 5 years. I have told several doctors and they do not object to this dose. However I always take Vitamin C with niacin. I usually take two doses a day: 1000 mg Niacin and 2000 mg of Vitamin C. All of my liver tests have been normal. I usually take the first dose just before going to sleep along with a glass of water. I awake in the middle of night and take the other dose along with another glass of water.

When I first took the niacin and Vitamin C, I had the classic flushing symptoms. But after a few days, it has mostly disappeared. I use to have severe hay fevers complete with allergy shots and prescription drugs. Since taking the niacin my allergy symptoms are greatly reduced and I do not take shots or prescription drugs. I still have allergy symptoms but they are greatly reduced.

If my stomach is upset at night, I do not take the niacin and Vitamin C. But this only happens a few days out of the year.

I decided to take niacin after reading about Dr Hoffer use for various diseases. Here is the link:

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for posting a comment. I'm glad that your doctors do not object to your dose of 2000 mg/day of niacin. They should not. It is the prescribed dose for controlling cholesterol.

I'm glad that you can take 2000 mg/day without side effects, and that this treatment has helped you to control your allergies.

Finally, I'm glad that you take vitamin C and niacin together.

Thanks also for the link to Dr. Hoffer's writings at Dr. Saul's website. I have studied most everything they have written, and am always on the lookout for what comes next. You can see from the website that Dr. Saul has just published two new books. I'm looking forward to reading them.

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a heart attack in 1993 and a triple bypass op in 1994, using the same incision route as my 1987 quad bypass surgery. At times prior, my cholesterol had been measured as high as 458 and triglycerides at 900+.
I have been taking 1 gram of niacin fast release 3 times a day since 1994. I also take 2 x 1 gram of C each day, along with some more benign supplements.
The only identifiable side effect has been a momentary flushing shortly after taking the niacin. The flushing period is only a short time and missing completely if I am working or exercising.
I am seeing a cardiologist twice a year for blood tests and take prescription Zocor. My HDLs typically are 75 and LDLs around 30. So I assume I am lucky - minimal side effects and great results. The only problem is finding the fast release niacin. The stores I have checked recently have only non-flush niacin, which has a significantly higher hepatic complication side effect. I may be forced into the slow release kind because I can't find the good stuff.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know what "symptons confused with aging." I have been on niacin (500-1000 mg daily) and seem to have developed neuropathy in my extremities.
Thank you,
Also anonymous

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Marine said...

I came to this blog because I've just started taking Niacin (started at 100mg/ twice a day and have increased to 200mg/twice a day) and I too have noticed such a severe decrease in my allergies that I've stopped taking my over the counter allergy medication.

Based on the cost of niacin to otc allergy medication I'll happily deal with the 30 min flush I get from the niacin (which incedently men is supposed to help stimulate hair growth).

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for your information. I just took my first dose of 100 mg about 45 minutes ago and the intense itching is starting to subside. I was about to jump into the cold shower to get rid of the feeling but took the dog out for a walk instead to get my mind off of it. I am to take this dose 3 times a day for 4 days and then increase every 4 days up to 500 mg 3 times a day. My mother could not tolerate niacin and I am hoping to "stick it out" as my liver enzymes were elevated with statins and cholesterol and triglycerides are way up. Your information encourages me to think that I can get through the side effects with a little patients and I will try the aspirin. Has anyone tried to use Benadryl for the itching?

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Steve said...


Thanks for stopping by with your comments. I believe most people can maintain good health without suffering any vitamin side effects. Niacin alone is not the best way to solve your problems with cholesterol and triglycerides. You should also be getting optimal doses of vitamin D (lots of sunshine), 2000 mg vitamin C per day in the morning and evening (4000 total), and 100 mg/day of thiamine in the morning and evening (200 mg/day). Since niacin is bothering you, why not use the lower dose I recommend and add in the other three?

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I am going to try that (vitamins C,D and thiamine)because I have now had two episodes of intense (and I mean intense) head-to-toe beet red niacin flush on 100 mg three times a day. Tomorrow I am supposed to increase to 200 mg three times a day. It is so intense that I don't know if I can take it much longer.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Steve said...


Thanks so much for returning to share your experiences. I am very sorry that the medical profession is not more flexible. I don't know why they insist on such high doses despite side effects and then switch to 100% statins and quit niacin altogether if the high dose doesn't work out.

If the four vitamin combination doesn't get your lipid levels into the range of normal, I recommend adding a statin to the vitamins. Adding a statin drug to the vitamins will lead to further improvements if the vitamins alone are unable to get the job done. Keep on coming back to update the blog on your progress.

Thanks again,


At 10:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Steve for your encouragement. As it turns out, I happen to work in the medical field and I know how rigid they can be with the protocols. I wound up asking the doctor to take me off of Niacin as I could no longer handle the side effects and am now taking gemfibrozil and fish oil supplementation. I know that there are some people who have been able to lower there lipids dramatically with niacin supplementation, unfortunately I am not one of them. Good luck to all of you out there. Stay healthy!

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Dear Virginiac,

Thanks for stopping back. It is highly likely that the troubles you are having maintaining blood levels of important lipids within the normal range is due to a deficiency of vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and/or thiamine. I strongly recommend that you get all four of these vitamins. The doses I recommend for starters are at the upper limits set by the food and nutrition board. 95% of the population manages these doses without side effects. These are: 100 mg of thiamine twice per day, 2000 mg of vitamin C twice per day, 250 mg time release niacin two or three tablets per week (the time release is very important. Do not take straight release). Vitamin D should be gotten primarily from the sun. Full body exposure for just a few minutes between 11 am and 3 pm most days the sun is out works wonders.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am relatively new to niacin for cholesterol control; I have tried Zocor (became really incontinent, bloated...) then tried Lipitor 20 mgs a day tolerated it for 2 months(got some headaches and headaches on one side of the face a nd head later found out were migraines and lastly nose drains it was like I had a mucus hose attached to the inside of my nose)Now I tried Niacin 500 mg 2 times a day for the last 3 months, stopped this morning after a couple of days very uncomfortable; this morning at 4 am got out of bed with very hard chest pains and back, arms, worst the left and some breathing problems...
I am hoping is the Niacin.

At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very interesting that I have ran across this blog. I was searching for information on Niacin and what effects it has on kidneys and ....well, Here I am!

My Dr. initially started me on 500mg of the -Flush Free Niacin- due to my triglycerides are high. I have taken that dosage for 3 months and returned to have my blood rechecked. My labs came back the same everything was normal except--- now my triglycerides went up higher.

It seems like I get a pain in my lower back on the right side now that my dosage of Niacin has been moved to 1000mg (I take it at night, prior to bed, per my Dr.orders) Have you ever noticed something similiar?

At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I started taking niacin (100mg), for chronic treatment resistant-depression. It is the only thing that seems to help(all other anti-d's have failed or been too intolerable), and I can't quite believe it works though my partner assures me I am dramatically different. I had played around with food/etc thinking I had got the combination right (taking it on a full stomach at lunchtime, with a glass of cold water and avoiding anything hot, and especially chilli, or red wine then stupidly I had it before I had a bath and ended up staggering to the bathroom, vomiting (the same yellow bile you mention) getting diarrorhea and passing out,whilst having incredible sweats. It was worse than my many episodes sick with stomach bugs in Thailand; so I stopped it.
Yesterday I started again, and my mood and energy improved dramatically, and if it is placebo, it's doing one hell of a job. Thanks for the info, because it sounds at this dosage I shouldn't be too concerned.


At 2:36 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your experiences using niacin as an anti-depressant. Depression is a major problem and is difficult to treat. The nervous system depends upon vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine. You may want to consider adding vitamin D, vitamin C, and thiamine to the niacin you are already taking. Especially important is a form of vitamin B1 called TTFD. It's hard to find but well worth the effort.

I was especially moved by your side effect story - vomiting caused by rapid absorption of just 100 mg of niacin. This is a remarkably low dose. I totally believe it since a 100 mg dose on a cup of hot coffee and empty stomach recently had me lying on the floor moaning from the intense nausea. Happily I recovered in about 30 minutes and did not vomit.

At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …


At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Christine said...

I had to laugh out loud when I read about you taking your morning dose with coffee on an empty stomach for the 'full effect'. I also do the same thing (I take 500mg of instant release niacin a day, at one time). I get a furious flush, a bit of sting and often the itch. The itch I can do without, but I live for the 'flush', the instant mood and energy boost and the occasional euphoria. I also have depression and bipolar (I think the niacin can trigger slight hypomania, which is fine by me because hypomania=I can take on the world). My triglycerides dropped 70 whole points after a couple months, my total cholesterol dropped from 250-260 range, fasting, down to 215. My LDL didn't improve an awful lot and is still high, but my HDL raised so that my HDL/LDL ratio is finally normal.

I was wondering: Is it abnormal to develop skin abnormalities from taking niacin? I have three red bumps on my left hand, about the same circumference as a cocktail drinking straw opeing. They are almost perfectly round and started out feeling like a pimple that never quite comes to a head. Now they are painless (had them from 7-10 days now), flattening and slightly shiny on top.

From what I've read about niacin, it increases blood flow to the capillaries of the skin, which is what causes the flush. Perhaps this causes the skin, an excretory organ, to flush out impurities from the body? Who knows... just a thought I'd put out there.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and many warm, glowy, happy flushes to you! xD


At 7:49 PM, Blogger Steve said...


Fantastic comments!

I hope your red bumps are gone. They are not a reported niacin side effect. If they are a side effect, they will come and go in response to niacin dosage. Please let me know if withdrawing niacin causes bumps to disappear and restarting niacin causes them to reappear.

Since you liked this column, I hope you'll read my other columns and add sunshine (vitamin D), vitamin C, and thiamine to your daily routine.

Thanks again,


At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Calabash Gal said...

I have been on niacin therapy for over 2 years increasing the dosage to 2,000 mg 5 months ago. I have experienced the red bumps which I come to see are a dense thickening of the skin that are itchy. I tolerate rash on my legs, forearms and hands that at times is very uncomfortable. My HDL has been in the range of 49 - 53, my overal cholesterol began at about 293 and last reading 5 months ago was 233. I asked my physician if I could increase the doage to 2,000 mg to see if that would lower the LDL which is still over 200. Triglicerides are around 150. My skin is very dry and I use a lot of vaseline and moisturizers to control the itching which has been moderately successful. I will have my blood checked in a few weeks to see if things have improved. In addition to niacin I also grind flax seeds (6 Tablespoons)and make a pudding of it with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 healthy Tablespoon of honey, I also take 50 to 100 mg of CoQ10 and fish oil daily , eat no animal proteins or dairy, I occassionally choose to eat refined sugar but it is not a treat I allow myself with any regularlity as it suppresses the immune system, I make every effort to eat unprocessed food, whole foods are the best, I stay away from fried foods, only once in a while will I splurge on scallops that are deep fried or french fries. All of these efforts have been consistently used and I am still experiencing high LDL levels that my physician advises are dangerously high. If my blood work does not show improvement at the 2000 mg of niacin a day I plan to discontinue its use and try plant sterols maintaining all the other protocols I have mentioned.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Calabash Gal,

Also a fantastic comment.

I admire your willingness to tolerate niacin side effects.

Regardless of how you choose to proceed, you can also consider working to optimize vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin A, and thiamine intake. I've written extensively about vitamin D, vitamin C, and thiamine. I haven't written much about vitamin A yet - I'm working on it.

Good luck and please keep in touch to let us know how you're doing.


At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wow, I'm so happy to have found this blog! Hahahahaha! I market and sell an energy drink called Xs, which I knew had a little bit of niacin in it but didn't think too much of it until today! One of my co-workers said, "Jenny, isn't that your fifth Xs today?!! You had four yesterday!" and the other knew about the niacin and the funny red, itchy reaction my brother had to it MONTHS ago after drinking two. I had been having crazy itching!!! On my arms, thighs, and legs and also those bumps!!! "Like pimples" it is so irritating and I was so worried it was something else but I couldn't figure out what!! I feel like such a dork now, but this blog and people's responses have been helpful!

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried 1000 mg of niacin last night for the 1st time. Had very bad flushing which felt like bad sunburn. Had to ice my skin with an icepack to tolerate the sensation.
But, I also had swelling under my eyes, big bags, like an allergic reaction.
Today, I feel like I had been hit by a train. Very low energy and something just doesn't feel right.
The whole episode lasted a couple of hours (though the swelling under the eys lasted much longer) and then even though the other syptoms subsided, I just feel exhausted and "beat up".
Has anyone else had these sort of reactions besides the flushing?
Can this mean that I am pehraps allergic to niacin?
Should I even attempt to take another dose today?
Frankly I am scared to try it.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Dear Anonymous,

Other people have had similar reactions to niacin.

1000 mg is a large dose. I recommend 250 mg of time release niacin and I stress that it is critical to get the time release tablets.

I hope that you took ordinary niacin (not time release). Plain niacin at 1000 mg causes bad flushing in almost everyone.

So - provided your initial experience was with 1000 mg of niacin, I recommend that you go out and get 250 mg time release niacin tablets and try one a day.


At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I took niacin 250 and after a few minutes my whole body was red and burning. Is this normal for someone whom is taking the pill. Should I discontinue this pill. I am very scared to take it again. Please advice.

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have being taking 1000 and 2000 mg of niacin for over 8 years, at first i was getting flush which was not to bad,talked to my dr, and he told me my body woul get amune to it and it did, another cure for flush is ababy asprine 81 mg 30 minutes before and that works very well.verify with your dr.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Steve said...


Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you've been able to tolerate 1000 to 2000 IU of niacin for over eight years.

Forgive me for making assumptions, but I assume that you have significant health problems to motivate you to take so much niacin. Please consider adding sunshine, thiamine, vitamin C, and vitamin A to your supplement program. Just type cforyourself thiamine (or vitamin C, or vitamin D) to find other blog items I've written.


At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been directed to take 1000mg on a daily basis of Niacin for cholesterol maintenance . To avoid the flushing and hot flash I have been taking an adult Aspirin about 1 hour before the Niacin usually around bedtime. This seems to work fairly good for me.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the author of this blog will read the paper I wrote on "Allergies and Schizoophrenia: Immune System Starvation?" published December 1981 in Dr. Abram Hoffer's magazine, Orthomolecular Psychiatry, now called Orthonolecular Medicine. The article is available online.

There appeared to be a negative correlation between allergies and some mental disturbances.

The subject of this study found allergies decreasing or eliminated with high dosage niaciin use. The study was terninated because of questions of heart function. However, the subject later resumed niacin use and was finally competely free of allergies, including asthma, hayfever and eczema. Type I atopic allergies.

Niacin dosage as needed went as high as 9 grams a day, but uaually much less.

Suspected but not proven: (1) Niacin elevates prostaglandins, especially prostaglandin E, a potent broncodilator. Other PGs may cause the elevated liver enzymes, and possibly aspirin, which suppresses some PGs, might alleviate this effect.

(2) IgE is the only immunoglobulin which does not require Complement for its function. Therefore if Complement is depleted, the body may try to use IgE to cope with allergens. Thus, what we call "hay fever." (It would be one of the higher numbered conplement compoonents.)

The trick to using niacin is to start low and slow. Don't raise the dose until you no longer get a flush at that level, Then go up just a little, maybe from 50 to 100 mgs, etc. The niacin is clearing out cholesterol, that's what causes the flush.

Peg MacPherson Lamkin

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Ross said...

I have been taking 500mg-1000mg of time release niacin for the last three months to try and raise my HDL levels which have been under 40 the last two times I have had blood work. A few times I have had some nasty "flushing" episodes but I have gotten used to it now. I usually take a 500mg in the morning and one before going to sleep. I am glad I found this blog as I will try supplementing with vitamin C.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been taking 500 mg niacin in the morning and another 500 mg at bedtime instead of niaspan (which can be very expensive even with my rx prescription coverage).
I've been taking this dosage for about two months and now I have developed a dry cough. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem, it is the only change in my meds for some time.

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After discovering Dr. Hoffer online. I took my first ever dose of Niacin 500mg by the company Major, ( which are not time release). I thought I'd start with 500mg Niacin and twice that in Vitamin C at 1000mg. I experienced a very mild flushing, almost undetectable. I did enjoy the flushing experience . I may increase to 1000mg Niacin/2000mg Vitamin C. Maybe break up doses twice a day. Morning and evening? I believe the reason for flushing may be how toxic a person may be. My daily diet consists of organic raw (not cooked) greens such as kale, celery, bell peppers, broc., etc. brown rice, take probiotics, no junk food. no dairy, no gluten/wheat, no sugar, little to no coffee, and absolutely no processed foods. Nutrition has a lot to with well being period. I am a years into this lifestyle and will say I have not had a cold or flu in five years plus look many years younger, plus energy. I have suffered from occasional anxiety, etc. from my intense work load which is how I discovered niacin online articles. After a single dose I felt 100% mental calmness and rested easily. I am excited to report the news as the evenings I usually dwell on my days events, etc. Thanks.

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Jake said...

I've been taking 1000mg of Slo-Niacin (time release) every day for a year for cholesterol. This week on my doctor's suggestion I upped the dosage to 1500mg. Not sure if this is related, but starting last night I've had severe vomiting. I've always been concerned about liver toxicity and have my liver enzymes checked annually. They've been normal so far (most recent test was 2 weeks ago). I think I am going to stop the niacin for a few days and once I am feeling ok, go back to the two 500mg pills/day regimen (instead of 3).

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Rwoodin said...

I've read many of the posts and I'm glad to have stumbled upon this blog. I have just 'reached' the 1000mg per day level by taking 500mg 2x pr day. I have been experimenting with niacin at various levels for the past 6 months after reading about it's ability to raise HDL levels. I started 5 or 6 years ago on lipitor (statin) and that brought my total chol. Down frm 230's to 170's. The HDL was down in lower 40's to upper 30' however and I would like very low cholesterol because I read that is when any arterial deposits start to get cleared out and reabsorbed. My last blood work just a few weeks ago had total HDL of 157, LDL 70 or 80 or somewhere around there and HDL 42. So that was with smaller very sporadic doses. I was not taking any for a few weeks before the test. I will try to maintain 1000 and maybe more for next 6 months and see what next blood work shows. One thing though, I read that vitamin C counters the cholesterol lowering/HDL raising effect of niacin??

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Rwoodin said...

I've read many of the posts and I'm glad to have stumbled upon this blog. I have just 'reached' the 1000mg per day level by taking 500mg 2x pr day. I have been experimenting with niacin at various levels for the past 6 months after reading about it's ability to raise HDL levels. I started 5 or 6 years ago on lipitor (statin) and that brought my total chol. Down frm 230's to 170's. The HDL was down in lower 40's to upper 30' however and I would like very low cholesterol because I read that is when any arterial deposits start to get cleared out and reabsorbed. My last blood work just a few weeks ago had total HDL of 157, LDL 70 or 80 or somewhere around there and HDL 42. So that was with smaller very sporadic doses. I was not taking any for a few weeks before the test. I will try to maintain 1000 and maybe more for next 6 months and see what next blood work shows. One thing though, I read that vitamin C counters the cholesterol lowering/HDL raising effect of niacin??

At 8:22 PM, Blogger ugonyonyo said...

I have taken 500mg niacin on and off for the last six months together wih 40mg simvisatain.
Three months back I started a sever left sided chest pain. When I stopped the statin the pain abated so I blamed the statin.
However, today when I took niacin, after a months break, the pain returned within 5 mins of taking the niacin !!
A hot water bottle helped to reduce the pain. BUT tomorrow I'll halve the niacin dosage, and report yhe result.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Mr Philo said...

Hey mate, nice blog.
Im currently taking 500MG Niacin with Flush everyday. Everything is fine, just finished 1 month taking niacin.

My only concern is the liver problem as it can cause quite some damage. But people like you have taken it for god knows along time but had the 'normal' side effects.

Im just worried about the side effect after reading this. I am currently 18 years old. I take Niacin as it boost my energy everyday and the flush feels great!

Any advice if I should be worried about the liver problem?


At 7:41 PM, Blogger Mr Philo said...

Hey mate, nice blog.
Im currently taking 500MG Niacin with Flush everyday. Everything is fine, just finished 1 month taking niacin.

My only concern is the liver problem as it can cause quite some damage. But people like you have taken it for god knows along time but had the 'normal' side effects.

Im just worried about the side effect after reading this. I am currently 18 years old. I take Niacin as it boost my energy everyday and the flush feels great!

Any advice if I should be worried about the liver problem?


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Mr. Philo,

Niacin side effects, even liver damage, respond quickly when niacin supplementation is stopped. A full recovery is the expected outcome. So - you can go ahead and use the niacin without any fear of serious harm.

The problem is that niacin side effects can sneak up on you after months or even years of supplementation without side effects. I recommend a niacin fast (5 days without supplements) at least once per year. If niacin is the cause of any discomfort, the discomfort will fade during the fast and then return immediately when niacin is reintroduced.

Niacin is fantastically powerful. I'm really glad you are using it and doctoring yourself.

Don't hesitate to return and ask questions.


At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


With all due respect, are you a doctor, M.D. or N.D., or do you have any degree in nutritional counseling?

I ask this because some of your advice is just beyond the pale, and frankly, incredibly naive. You imply that only vitamins affect the nervous system...

"The nervous system depends upon vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine."

...leaving out b2, b5, b6, folate (not folic acid) and b12, among just some of the other co-factors.

In fact this entire posts reflects the fact that no one should be taking such astronomically high doses of niacin or niacinamide.

These aren't "side effects", they're EFFECTS.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Dear Anonymous,

I'm mortified that I have written posts that are being interpreted to mean that I believe that only vitamins affect the nervous system. I'm going to go through my posts and work to edit them to be more clear - starting with the sentence you quoted. For sure the other vitamins are awesome.

Indeed, this post on side effects highlights the downsides of extra niacin/niacinamide. Over the last couple of months, my tolerance for niacin has risen again and I'm back on a steady diet of 100 to 300 mg/day. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm stung by bad effects again. In the meantime, I'm happy with what I perceive to be good effects.

Regarding my credentials, what difference does it make? Would you think more highly of my blogs if I told you I was a Harvard M.D. with Ph.D's in both medicine and nutrition? I doubt it. I don't want readers to judge me, or what I have to say. I want them to get into the sunshine to try getting extra vitamin D, and I want them to take vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin B1 and get back to me with data.

Thanks for your comment,


At 10:35 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Took 50g (half a tablet) niacin this morning on empty stomach with coffee with half a tablet of thiamin and half capsule of 5htp (a seratonin precursor available over the counter).
20 mins later - intense flushing while driving the car - looked like a giant tomato. Felt sweaty and shaky so stopped and went into a local pharmacy and bought some anti-histamine syrup (thought it was an allergy). Pharmacist was so concerned that she called an ambulance. Highly embarrassing - rash settled down while paramedic was examining me - he found raised pulse and slightly low blood pressure (must have been why I was light headed). I had no idea that Niacin could cause this reaction which was very unpleasant - the burning and fast heart rate was awful. I have taken lower doses of niacin before with no problems, so will start with quarter tablet (25mg) of niacin on its own with food and work up gradually, before I add any other supplements. I guess I have a low tolerance to it. I'm taking this to help with anxiety. This morning's experience didn't help with that!!

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been taking 250mg of Niacin in time release capsules for two days. I didn't know about the flushing reaction, I simply read it was a good alternative for depression/anxiety. The first day I didnt get any symptoms, but the second day I experienced what I think was a flush, but at least 3 hours after I took the Niacin. At first I thought it was some sort of allergic reaction to a strawberry shake I had, but it would be unlikely since I have never had any food allergies.
Now I don't know how to proceed. Should I reduce the dose, buy Niacin in non time released form, what should I do?
Also, what role does vitamin C play when you take it together with the Niacin?

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to weigh in. I started taking around 1000 mg of Niacin a day around a week ago. I'm now sitting the hospital with liver failure! I hope that you all, at the minimum, start taking it slow, and in a controlled environment.

Also, don't go for time-release capsules.

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started taking 100mg of niacin about a month ago and had a bad flush after taking it on an empty stomach. Learned to take it with meals and a baby aspirin and gradually worked up to 2000-3000 mg a day with no flushing. Then I started feeling queazy and soon was vomiting violently. I thought it was a stomach virus until the same thing happened then following week followed by a dramatic drop in blood pressure and severe , crushing chest pains. Spent the night in the emergency room. I haven't read much about others experiencing severe chest pains. Don't think I will continue the niacin!

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous mrmick said...

Hi All
This is the 1st blog that I have seen that had comments from people that had adverse reactions to Niacin. By adverse reactions, I mean liver failure and vomiting. That is scary. But then I see that the liver failure resulted from the time release product, which Drs always say is toxic.
I have been taking Niacin on and off for years, mostly off, just to clean myself out. Lately I have started taking it again because I have diabetes and started getting tingling in my foot. The Niacin stops it(250mgs). I have just recently upped the dose to 500mgs and I just ordered a btl of 1000mgs. I try to take it just before I go to the gym, where I do a little weight training for about a 1/2 hr and about 20 min of carido and then hit the steam rm for about 20 min and then the sauna for about 20 min. If I am lucky I get the flush when I am in the steam rm. I actually like the flush and I don't mind the itchiness. When I am exercising or especially if I am in the steam or sauna I hardly notice it. I have found that if I eat before the Niacin that it almost stops the flush. I just read that eating an apple before taking the Niacin will stop or really limit the flush. Well that's my contribution I hope it helps someone.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I began taking Niatain about two months ago 500mg and experienced mild flushing with no other side effects. Unfortunately my cholesterol went up which surprised me but that included the HDL too. I then was told to start taking 1000mg which I did at night and the side effects remained the same. However, recently I cannot seem to fall asleep or if I do, I only sleep for a few hours and then cannot fall asleep again. I am exhausted and I can only attribute it to the Niatain. I was wondering if I am experiencing the sleeplessness because I am taking one niacin pill during day and one at night. Would it be better to take both at night? I can handle the flushing, but honestly, cannot take this insomnia. Thoughts???

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Shirtyourself said...

I too, have tried Niacin 2000mg/day and have encountered sleepless nights a bit of nausea, and bright yellow pee.

Does anybod know how to deal with the sleepless nights encountered with Niacin? please thanks

At 12:51 AM, Blogger Karron said...

I started out with low dose of niacin each week and worked my way up to 500mg. Taking the adult asprin as directed by my Dr before my dinner and taking the niacin after my meal. I do not seem to have much flushing. He seems to think the regular niacin works better than the flush free type. I am expiercing pain on the left side of my back near my kidney area and muscle's tightening. Will keep an eye on things...

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mistakenly took 2, 500 mg time release niacin. I have been taking niacin for a good 2 years now and once before i got the flushing, throwing up, diarhea, low energy but i was taking that daily. This time, I took it closer in range. (it was a mistake because I had already gotten my vitamins out and didnt realize i had 2 until afterward when checking my vitamin bottle.) i just want to make sure that it will not certainly kill me or do any damage? If I have to, I will forcefully throw them up. The flushing is absolutely unbareable... Hopefully someome can het back sooner than later

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am taking 1000 to 1500 mg of No Flush Niacin a day. After over a month I am noticing my heartrate is over 100 and I think that is dangerous. Just to be sure I am stopping the Niacin now and hope in a few days to see normal. I am fit and work out and normally have a HR under 80. I am almost 70.

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello All,

I just want to start out saying that I was 290 lbs 3 mouths ago and now I am 260 ounds. I have not eaten differently or anything like that. The only thing I have done was I started talking naicin. I heard about the whole flushing thing and wanted to try it so started out with the no flush 500 mgs and took 8 of them. Felt great afterwards and took them for a month. then I wanted to try the other naicin that causes the flushing just straight naicin no time relaese or anything like that. I have lsot 30 pounds my skin has dramatically improved all over my body I hardly get a pimple. I take about 2 g a day and some days I cleanse my body and take 4 g a day some days I skip a day. My mind state is clearer then ever. I have read naicin is so strong it has help people with mental disorders and it has helped me with depression I am so much happier now. I also started taking Vitamin C with my niacin between 1500 - 2000mgs a day because I read that it helps store the niacin and everyone knows vitamin C is great for the immune system so it's a win win.

I also have an enlarged liver and the days I don't take them is because I get a slight pain in their but I think it's helping it because once the pain goes away it doesn't come back for days whereas I was feeling a little pain there everyday before the naicin. I mean it's cleasing ur body so it should in a sense help ur liver and kidneys.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It is not difficult to avoid the niacin flush and get up to a useful dose of this very valuable vitamin.

Get 100mg tablets, get a vitamin cutter. Quarter them. Start with 25 mg - 3x - always with meals. If little or no flush, gradually increase. Gradual is the key. Increase by 25mg increments and if excessive flush encountered, back off your dose by 25mg for a meal or two. Then begin increasing again. This will take time to get to 250 or 500 (or more) mg but its worth the effort.

You will likely find, as I did, that if you reduce the dose by 25% or so you can easily take niacin between meals as well with little or no flush.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Angel A Knight said...

The first time I took Niacin it was a 750mg dose, lol I had read up on it but had real difficulty believing a vitamin could have such dramatic effect physically, as most vitamin supplements leave you wondering if they are working at all, even months later!...
However *chuckles* 5 mins after taking it I was left in no doubt the flush and everything was very real, the insane itching was the worst! Very strangly I found myself giggling for no reason and couldnt stop! (hilarious for my friend to see)
I've only been taking it for about two weeks and it hardly has any effect on me at all now, sometimes just a bit of a tingle when taken on an empty stomach, so I wonder if it is just working silently, I dont want to take it if it is of no benefit.
I'm using it for depression and as a metabolism booster, I've heard it helps in osteoarthritis (which I have in my hand) and also as high cholesterol runs in the family... so potentially it could have many positive long term effects ... if it still works!

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I have been taking 500-1000mg of niacin for almost a year for adult attention disorder. It is regular niacin since I read time released was bad for liver. Anyway the past week I have been noticing my liver being achy. Has anybody had this issue? I am going to stop taking for a while to see if it stops. Heavily into fitness I also take C, fish oil, b complex, D if sun is scarce, selenium, and a multi. Most are low dosage taken at different time of day. Please send comments to sweaty burrito at yahoo. Thank u

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Steve, it's Mr Philo. Been awhile since I visited your blog.

I'm still taking Niacin at the moment, but I have moved to 1g Niacin.

The problem is that I now see blood in my stool (when taking a poo), I'm curious should I seek doctor or stop taking it for awhile and see if it will go?


At 10:31 AM, Blogger Mr Philo said...

Hey Steve, it's Mr Philo.

I posted awhile ago on your blog. I have recently moved up to taking 1000mg daily and now I have blood in my stool. Should I carry on taking this or should I see a doctor?


At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Brian E Jensen said...

I went to this site because I started taking nicotinic acid and vitamin C My pulse, perhaps by coincidence, increased from 56 yo 90.

People write in to this blog and say that slow release niacin does not affect their triglycerides.

I started taking niacin after reading the EIGHT WEEK CHOLESTEROL CURE bu Robert Kowalski. He says that only the nicotinic acid and not the inositolhexaniconinate form will reduce cholesterol. Almost all of the niacin in the store is inositolhexaniconinate. I told the pharmacist that their niacin is not the form that will reduce cholesterol. I did an Internet search and Wikipedia says the same think.

The few boxes I saw were called "non-flushing and were inositolhexaniconinate, the firm which does not work. I'm no expert, but I think what you want is "slow release niacin" which doesn't cause flushing. It should say "nicotinic acid" on the ingredients.


Brian E. Jensen
Edina, Minnesota

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, from what I've read it it best to use rapid release Niacin opposed to the non-flush. In fact it is highly recommended. And drink plenty of water along with the high doses of Niacin.


At 9:00 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Mr. Philo and Others Needing Medical Attention,

If you are not feeling well, always go and see your doctor. If you have blood in your stool, there is an urgent need to see your doctor. In time, doctors will play the primary role helping people find the right doses of vitamin A, B1, niacin, vitamin C, and sunshine, and you will go to your doctor for help with vitamin side effects instead of coming to a blog like this. The goal of this blog is to help that day come sooner.


At 9:00 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Mr. Philo and Others Needing Medical Attention,

If you are not feeling well, always go and see your doctor. If you have blood in your stool, there is an urgent need to see your doctor. In time, doctors will play the primary role helping people find the right doses of vitamin A, B1, niacin, vitamin C, and sunshine, and you will go to your doctor for help with vitamin side effects instead of coming to a blog like this. The goal of this blog is to help that day come sooner.


At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iwas givena niacincream on my back 3 hrs ago and my back is burnt, and still burning.Ihave applied milk to counter act the niacin, but still burning. Any ideas on stopping the burning

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous steve D said...

hi all.
researched b3 niacin 1000mg for lowering my exceptionaly high cholesterol.after 5 weeks on 1000mg per day it lowered cholesterol by an easy 50%.didnt want statins so looked into the natural way so got b3 niacin & manesium citrate 100mg of which I also took (300mg) per day.i bought the b3 niacin from life extension on amazon & magnesium citrate from holland & barrett.the flush you experience is the veins all over your body increasing in size by 3 times hence your rashes by the way.also spicy foods & alcohol increase your niacin flush so avoid these 2 either side for a couple of hours.also drink lots of water.
p.s my review on b3bniacin is also on amazon.

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At 8:21 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me why my body is now rejecting niacin. For me I started drinking the cheap 5 hour energy drinks stacker. Moved up to 5 hour. One day I slammed two 5 hours and later that night I was drinking. Felt like shit after nausea the hole 9. Didnt think nothing of it. Months later I drink another 5 hour before my trip. I felt the same way I was so sick. Just recently I started a new supplement and felt the same way . Found out it had 20mgs of niacin. Now I cant take that. Is there any way to get my body back normal . I would love to drink 5 hour energy drink again?

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Can your body reject niacin for good if you mixed 2 5hour energy drinks and started dtinking later that night. Because thats the case with me . Any high does of niacin im sick as a dog. Is there anyway to get my body back normal cuz I really miss my 5 hour energy drinks

At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, let me be clear. I am a doctor and taking 1000 mg of niacin will never hurt you. All B vitamins are water soluble as is vitamin C. This means that it does NOT harbor in your fat cells. It DOES flush out in your urine when you take more than your body needs.

The reason you flush when taking niacin is because it opens your capillaries and flushes your cells with oxygen.

Niacin, will make you feel alive, give you more energy, and the extra oxygen flow to your cells will allow you to lift more weight if you exercise regularly.

On a side note, niacin will also aid in alcoholism, adhd, and depression. There are numerous studies that have shown 1000 to 3000 mg of niacin has diminished and even stopped alcoholism, and given depressed patients a more positive outlook than prozac.

If anyone criticizes the benefits of B3 (Niacin), then they want to get you hooked on prescription drugs that will give you more side effects than taking a natural substance.

Niacin is the best thing you can do for you body and outlook on life!!!

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Billy Bee said...

Good blog Steve, especially in sharing information.

First of all, when it comes to Niacin, I urge people to read the works of the late Dr. Abram Hoffer (who lived to 92 by the way) who was a huge proponent of Niacin.

I personally take 1000 mg a day of a no-flush Niacin. And when I say no-flush Niacin I specifically mean Inositol Hexaniacinate. I've taken as much as 3000 mg a day (3 doses of 1000 mg) in the past but I was hot all the time, an annoyance, but nothing to be afraid of, I just lowered the dose.

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had taken niacin.before.. working up.from 1000mg vitc and 500 mg of niacin
3 times a day then working up to 1000mg e times a day with vit c.

this time.I.wasn't lol .I took my vit c 1000mg but went straight back to 1000mg niacin after e months of not taking Amy. oppps. so I'm reading this while flush.

I'm red it by n shaking like a leaf.
I know it will pass and that it helps me. I'm bipolar and its the only thing that helps (thank God for Dr hoffer n friends.)as normal meds make me worse in every way.

next time ill start slow and tomorrow ill start slow as the red n itch I can take but the feeling ill.shake apart for me is too.much.LOL. I can nearly type.

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought Slo Niacin 500mg and used the first dose yesterday. only thing I noticed was loose stools. of course I did eat fresh watermelon and tomatoes from the garden. I am hoping to stop simvastatin 40mg. I use coQ10 as well. I did stop the statin 4 days prior to the slo 500mg niacin. reason I choose to quit statins; forgetfulness, fatigue. many people report this to the sites of statin discussion in seattle times newspaper. shall I -a 64 yr. old female, wt 111 lbs. continue to take slo niacin, vita D and ester C(haven't gotten thiamine yet)? I never ever had any history of high cholesterol until my mother began living with us. my eating became erratic with lot of sugar. my weight did just 10 lbs.being a small person, 10 lbs took me to 111-114 lbs. I try very hard to eat veggies more but my mind wanted sugar. not so much fats, but sugar, and then carbs. I used to exercise all the time and that dwindled due to caring for mom and other household duties. my hubby helps as much as he can-as it was his idea to let her live with us. is stress another factor in high cholesterol ?

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have taken several grams of niacin a day for 40 years and never had a problem after I added a tablet of Pepcid to my dose. Niacin will stimulate the production of acid, and that will get worse with time, resulting in nausea and reflux.

At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend checking the very helpful article I just read about the diff types of niacin and getting a new doctor. Sorry, could not post link but the article is on , very informative

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great site and I'm learning a ton about niacin on several lately, one thing niacin does is dilate your vessels to assist in flushing out toxins. Anytime something flushes you out your body will attempt to dilute the effects on your kidneys by releasing more water, so you'll want to drink much more water and keep your pottasium up. Also, almost all B-vitamins and vitamin K will flush the other vitamins out of your system so keep up on those about an hr or two after the niacin and avoid regular menthol use as it dries out the throat and lungs

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about the credentials Steve, after all this is a blog where People can share their experiences, not a medical site. However, you may want to be careful about some of the recommendations you have posted because niacin can indeed be dangerous, flushing also wipes out all the other vitamins in your system in addition to toxins and dehydration issues. Also, I recommend you check out the different forms of niacin on as I saw some recommendations for time release on here (bad?) which may actually be harmful without the benefits at all. All in all, great site and credentials are irrelevant here (I've been studying drugs and herbal medicine for 22yrs and have college level nutrition and TCM and don't have any credentials) but to quote my genius TCM teacher (30+ yrs as dr and surgeon in American and Chinese TCM - EACH!!). "Everything is herb, everything is poison! Only difference is the dosage."

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Niacin is good but that is definitely around overdose proportions, everybody please be careful with niacin, that kind of dosage should only be done prescribed with other vitamin supPlements taken After flushing. Most of the "side effects" I have seen on here are likely due to lack of other vitamins or water due to the flushing itself, or toxins from time release or no flush niacin, not true side effects. If you are using this to remove thc from your system people please be responsible and do your research. If its for cholesterol and triglycerides 60-75 mg is usually sufficient and nothing over 500mg twice a day should be neccisary unless prescribed, that might even be too much.

At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks mrmick I will try the apple trick, I usually take it at the beginning of my meals to minimize flushing and remove extra triglycerides and cholesterol as I had to quit the gemfibrosil statin prescribed because it started to make my back lock up after about 3 mo, also I eat a lot of fast food so I figure at the beginning of my meAl would be most effective, so far it seems to be helping my arteries clear up but fear it is causing me anxiety, as I just had my first attack in about a yr and it may be also causing insomnia, I'm on 75-150mg at this point, will see what happens and post

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are not talking about a colon 'flushing', but the red, itchy rash called "FLUSHING"

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was on 2000mg a day niacin for years and suddenly began to be nauseated almost all of the time, with low energy and a buzzing in my head. Spent 8 months seeing all kinds of specialists and finally a neurologist suggested that I stop taking the niacin. With in three days I was back to normal.

The nausea normally led to vomiting a dark yellow fluid.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Frank Stuart said...

I am 65 and have suffered chronic depression most of my life. I saw a short video with Andrew Saul and immediately dove into the niacin. I have been taking straight full flush 500Mg caps. Way quicker than I should have, I was up to 3Grams/day with no particular flush.

So, following Dr. Hoffers "take it till you puke" (my phrasing :} philosophy theres no telling how much I might end up taking.

The main point is that I feel better emotionally than I can remember. There is no doubt in my mind as to the effect niacin has on depression.

As I said, the ramp up to 3,00Mg was very quick with me adding 1,00Mg a day to the previous dose. 3 days right?

About the same time I hit 3,000Mg I contracted a pretty bad case of contact dermatitis. Although I have never tied down the source of the pollutant, I thing it was being exposed to Alder Tree sawdust. I had blood blotches on my fingers and the skin is still peeling a week later where my fingers were swollen.

I still feel as if I have a bad sunburn+itching all over. I'm going to knock off the niacin for a day or so to see what happens to the body rash and itch.

Have any of you guys had a "whole body" flush that left red skin behind for days? It might be the dermatitis... still trying to figure this out.

Great forum, I've had a good bit of education as well as gotten a laugh or two at the occasional ignorance. I especially liked the person who basically said 500Gm was an overdose. If that's true.... boy am I in trouble.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Frank Stuart said...

I'd also like to ask the board if blurriness of vision is something any of you have dealt with. Is that indicitive of needing to stop or just reduce dosage?



At 6:31 PM, Anonymous said...

i have been taking flush -free niacin for over a year i have it on all the doctor meds report as to what i take en it has lowered my cholesterol don't seem to have any side effects but all the other pills capsule i can not take as right away I become very flushes and red neck etc. I seen on the doctor oz this week it can be dangerous taking it don't know what dose it would be can any one tell me thanks

At 10:03 AM, Blogger KB said...

Hello, I wondered, if one could be showing signs/symptoms of B3 overdose, but isn't actually taking a supplementation....... could the body be over reacting to natural intake/consumption....... or some other intake be causing it to be over registered/produced/reacted to in the body maybe?

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe your problem is the coffee you take in the morning with niacin. I'm no expert but wouldn't that cause issues with caffeine uptake and would that be what causes the nausea? too much caffeine gives me nausea. I take 500mg of niacin with water in the morning and drink my coffee like 30 minutes after the flush. Good Luck

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. O my goodness. I have familial hypercholesterolemia and cannot tolerate statins at all. Here in south africa i can buy niacin over the counter so I thought to take that plus lipostabil - Niacin 500 mg caps twice a day with food. I am sitting here now (after breakfast and my heart is beating around 140. The other night I couldn't sleep for palpitations. Now I see this! I'm not taking it any longer. This is SCARY!

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting info here--but please be careful in your recommending the time release form of niacin--check you research, this is the form that harms the liver--if continue to get the severe flush with pure niacin, look into your diet--remove allergens, and the flushing not as intense. the flushing is pushing histamine--with less allergens in system, less histamine reaction. Also, the high vitamin C ameliorates the reaction, detoxifying.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started niacin about 5 weeks ago at 125mg and worked up to 750 fairly quickly. trying to get the HDL increase. Last week i started having diarrhea, which is not typical for me, i am wondering if this is related to Niacin toxicity? 6 days later after decreasing and dropping the niacin i am still have the diarrhea..could the niacin be the cause and how long before it gets out of my system? thanks!

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After a great deal of research, I am taking 1500 mg niacin with medical supervision. I take it in the morning only - routine: handful of almonds, baby aspirin, 30 minutes later, the three tablets of niacin. Helps to reduce the flushing discomfort. Greatly.
I am not taking it twice a day as I have heard that it is too hard on the liver to have to process that twice daily rather than once, so there you have it.
Things I can say about it without the benefit of a blood test (cholesteral check) is that I am less lethargic, less inclined to bouts of depressive behaviors, a little more upbeat.

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I began taking a non-flush niacin and an immediate acting niacin on Dec 30th. I had a rather intense flush the first day of taking 500 mg of the flush niacin. I turned beet red, was super hot, felt dizzy and when the tingling and heat subsided I was left with chills. It was very unpleasant. On Jan 1 I took another 500 mg dose. This one was so intense that I thought I was going to die and went to the ER. The heat was unbearable. My heart raced to what I counted as 160 bpm and when I was admitted to the ER, I began shaking almost uncontrollably. Once it subsided, after an hour of fluids and benadryl, I was perfectly fine again. Needless to say, it scared me to death and I won't take it ever again. My wife took the same dose without the unpleasant feelings. I wonder why my reaction was so much worse.

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had been taking an over the counter diet pill, where niacin is an ingredient at 30mgs. Three times over the past two week I have had SEVERE hives within 10 minutes of ingesting the pills. Today I made a connection that each time I have had a reaction it was after drinking red wine the night before. Do you think the reaction I had is a simple random niacin reaction or some combination of the wine and niacin? (for the record I am allergic to sulfa drugs, don't think it's related unless it is affected by sulfites in the wine???)

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At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read the book "Clear Body, Clear Mind" It will explain Niacin and how to properly use it. Along with the essential vitamin combinations to take with it.

Niacin is a detox vitamin, you flush when you have a deficiency in it. You are actually releasing toxins and radiation from taking it. All good things. Read the book to better understand.

At 1:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been taking Niacin for 6 weeks. Started of at 600 mg for a few days, progressed to 1,5 grams a day. I started feeling extremely nauseous throughout the day, but don't know if it is the Niacin because I have changed my diet and other supplementation drastically last 6 weeks. Last four weeks I started taking 3-7 grams a day, up to 4 grams on an empty stomach in the morning. I now have serious heart palpitations, I can continously hear my heart beat. It has lasted for 3 weeks. I'm really scared now, I'm going off the Niacin from today, hoping it is this that's causing the nausea and palpitations.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Felecia said...

I am a female aged 32 and started taking Vitamin bs in the hope of regaining my energy. I came here to post this because I believe I am experiencing a delayed niacin flush. I have been taking different forms of vitamin Bs and have had different results- My first flush I experienced a few years back when I started taking only a 50mg dose- this happened within a half hour. I stopped taking niacin for a while after that. Then I tried the liquid- this made me extremely tired so I took it at night. I continued to take it and didn't see any change so I stopped. Recently I have been taking chewables in 50-100mg doses. I started to notice constipation and then got hemmoroids! A FEW DAYS LATER I WAS OUTSIDE ALL DAY- April 18th- and GOT A LITTLE SUNBURNED. I started to get ITCHY!!! very itchy the day after- with my lips and and groin getting very dry the days after that on top of the itchy skin. At first I thought it was an allergy to the outdoors but my sinuses were not affected and my eyes are fine. No stuffy nose or trouble breathing. Oatmeal baths don't work and nothing topical. I have stopped taking the vit bs for a few days now and still have itchy skin....seems to be subsiding. IS THIS POSSIBLE TO HAVE A DELAYED AND EXTENDED NIACIN FLUSH? I can't find info on this anywhere.

At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used Niacin a few days before a drug test. I had never taken it before. I grabbed a 500mg bottle from whole foods, not knowing that was such a high dosage. I took one capsule that evening. Took 2 the next morning and another one later that day. I repeated that the next day. Then one last time took 2 capsules. I realize NOW that was way too much. I have since felt a slight uncomfort in my heart area, but no other side effects. Should these pains go away? What should I do to secure my liver and body health?

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Josh said...

Hi Steve,

Thank you so much for this post. I'm in my 20's and read a study indicating that taking niacin on an empty stomach significantly increases HGH production in the body. I bought a bottle of 500mg quick release capsules and took one when I woke up. About 10 minutes later, my stomach started hurting and my face felt like it was on fire. I quickly grabbed some food to eat and washed it down with a bottle of water. I searched and found your site, and was relieved to know that the side effects are rather common and I don't need to make myself sick to expel it. I took it about 30 minutes ago now, and my face and extremities are still reddish and tingling, but it's wearing off. My stomach no longer hurts.

I just wanted to thank you for explaining the side effects to me and everyone else who didn't quite know what they were getting into.

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At 4:44 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Llewellyn K said...

Thanks for sharing your findings on Niacin.

I would like to add that I think that excess coffee was the cause of nausea I experienced recently when taking Niacin. Perhaps someone can look further into this.

At 11:40 PM, Blogger 2setsof2winners said...

Thanks for your input. Made me feel less alone on this depression journey. God bless!

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have been taking 1.5g of instant release niacin for a week.
Here's what I've noticed (39-year-old man):
-sex drive has increased dramatically
-I can easily ejaculate at least 3 times a day whereas previously it was more of a chore.
-more volume in ejaculation through masturbation
-I feel a lot more energy at work and keeping up with my three year old.
-I'm willing to tolerate flushing. In fact, I have been taking it with spicy food because I have a hunch that the flushing may be the cause for all the good things with niacin as opposed to just the vitamin.
-I have a rash that has been itchy due to stress. It's probably do to some kind of histamine response due to stress. But it has improved significantly since taking niacin.

I can tell this isn't placebo. I started taking Niacin because I've been working in a very sedentary job and was worried about LDL/HDL. The energy/sex drive increase was not expected but I've noticed it's happened.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope this blog is still going. I know health and lifestyle are big factors in all health related matters so here is a basic overview of my body.

Very Healthy - Young Adult - Work Out almost everyday;Heavy Cardio - Do not smoke or drink more than twice a week. No history of any medical illness; except for asthma as a kid (outgrew it)

On a Sunday, when I got word I would be taking a drug test the following week and had been partying hard the same weekend, I went and grabbed a bottle of Niacin from whole foods. 1 pill was 500mg.

I took 500mg of niacin Sunday night. The next morning I took 2 of those pills in the morning at the same time equaling 1000mg - and later that evening 2 more at the same time. All while drinking cranberry juice and other detoxification liquids. Ya bone headed I know, but wait.. it gets better. I did the same thing for the next 3 days. So I was taking about 2000mg of Niacin for 4 days. Of course I got the flushing and I was expecting it so it didn't bother me all that much, but it still took over my whole body for about 2 hours every time.

After my 4 day niacin phase I completely stopped. I passed the test and everything seemed fine. Then I had some heartburn in the following weeks with some acid reflex but I thought "Well this is expected you completely drowned your system with a foreign substance." The heartburn eased up after a while but still had some acid reflex.

As time progressed I developed a gnawing, constant, everyday uncomfort feeling/pain favoring my left side under my pectoral. At first I thought I had done something real bad and almost life threatening; so I went to the emergency room. They did an EKG and some other tests and found nothing.

The uncomfort/pain is in the same area all the time.

Then I did some research and figured I rubbed my GI tract raw and caused an Ulcer. I got an Endoscopy with a GI specialist that cost about $1000 dolllars and they found absolutely nothing.

Then i factored in I could have some chest pain due to high emotional stress (lots of other things going on in life at this point)

Then I went and saw a Cardiologist and did an EKG and Stress Test. They took pictures of my heart and everything and I was sure they could give me some insight. Well, they found absolutely nothing and said they were even impressed by my stress test.

So here I am, Its 7 months later and I still have a gnawing, constant, everyday uncomfort feeling/pain favoring my left side right around what feels like my left heart area. Its not hindering my life badly (Except for always thinking about it) I just wish I could get an answer, and hope I didnt do anything to harmful in the long run. Any insight what so ever?

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Rick413 said...

Truly amazing story of being cured of HIV... I lost my mother to AIDS in 94 and my father as well i 98 tbey were divorced many yrs. Last night I was researching hollistic methods to detoxing from opioid pain meds and came upon the Center for Health and Well Being headed by Dr. Mestayer in Ca. They treat folks who want to get off alcohol and painkillers with NAD IV therapy protocols. In A nutshell, patients go to the clinic for 8 to 10 days where they are administered by IV Nicotonic acid/Niacin along with Vitamin C and certain amino acids for 8 hrs a day and this protocol helps repair neurotransmitters in the brain to overcome horrible withdrawal syptoms and kick the body in hight gear to repair itself from drug use and alcohol use and everything I read about this seems to be the real deal. There is so much more to this than I care to post but as I understand it this type of therapy is being used for a number of health reasons and felt it was worthy to mention.

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I had a very severe reaction to 150 mg of niacin (not time release) this morning. I immediately began flushing, very, very red over whole body, became weak, felt sick…went to toilet where my vision began to go black around the edges, then I must have blacked out and fell to the ground where I found myself, with no memory of falling, on the floor, very weak, dizzy and unable to get up. With no one there to help me, I made myself as comfortable as possible with towels under my neck, and stayed and rested there on the floor until I could get up. Very dramatic for me, a healthy 74 year old woman. Feel fine again. But don't want to chance niacin again. 50 mg created no problem for me. This was the first time I'd taken 150 mg. Any thoughts?

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiya Steve. I just replied to someone re: Niacin as Nicotinic Acid. This one works to lower cholesterol. It needs to be immediate release. You don't want the "flush free" as it is the wrong form of Niacin. Immediate release Niacin as Nicotinic acid or slow/extended release supposedly do not cause liver problems. As ridiculous as this sounds, the timed release easily can. Some people get prescription Niaspan which is slow release Niacin. It's also very expensive. If you check out Puritan Pride, the have the right kind of Niacin you want for lowering cholesterol. Item #18645. I don't work for Puritan Pride. I'm just a customer. It was so hard for me to find the correct form if nicotinic acid. All the other types of Niacin I found are all the ones that do not lower cholesterol. Just wanted to make sure you got this and hopefully you do. Hope this helps you and/or someone else.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently had a cold and took 300mg of Niacin to relieve nasal congestion, it worked great!

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

To avoid most side affects of Niacin EAT wait a few minutes then take the NIACIN.

When taking Niacin in doses greater than 1000mg. Take after each meal. Do not take all at once.

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

GNC carries regular niacin. I couldn't find it at any other pharmacy or store.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Sierra Thomas said...

I have been taking Niacin for almost 4 months now. I take it in the morning with magnesium, around lunch time, finally before bed with magnesium and 5htp. I am off of anxiety meds, i drink far less alcohol than ever and i have drop a significant amount of weight. I suggest everyone watch " Food Matters" and do your research. I am 34/female and niacin has been my magic pill. 1500mg total daily .

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been taking 3000mg of niacin for over a year now. I haven't noticed any ill effects other than an occasional flush. I chose to do this because it helps with my sinus issues and seems to help me concentrate much better. Should I lower my dose?

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this blog by mere chance and am glad I did. i have been researching for months to find a solution to my problem: benzo withdrawal. After switching to diazepam, I have been tapering kinda fast, so I have been taking 3000 mg niacin and 3 g of vitamin C. I am less arthritic now and recently, I was able to exercise a little more. Tapering off benzos is hell, but I'm glad I found out about Dr, Hoffer, Dr. Saul and last but not least, Dr. George Yu and his videos on lipolysis through niacin. I think I am going to increase vitamin C as I think 3 g are not enough. When I first started taking niacin I started out with 500 mg, then I increased it to 1000mg, then 2000 mg and today I took 3000 mg because of the anxiety attack I had. In the beginning I would flush ( it was a pleasant effect for me!) , now I don't flush anymore. I hope I'm not overdoing it, but vitamins never killed anyone as far as I know. I just hope they can work for my problem. Any comments are appreciated.

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Kaylyn M said...

Came across this article in search of articles regarding Niacin Supplement and pain in the lower back region. My father has been using the flush-free niacin for three weeks, and for the past two weeks has experienced pain in his lower back; kidney area. He said he feels like his kidneys are going to explode. The pain has got increasingly worse, so today he quit taking them and we're going to see if that helps. Do you have any others who've experienced this? I've seen at least two or three comments regarding lower back pain. Any ideas or suggestions? He is currently taking 500mg for breakfast and sometimes 500mg at dinner.

I am wondering if he needs to cut down the dose. Say 250mg for breakfast and 250mg for dinner. I wish he would do the regular niacin, but he doesn't think he can handle the flush.


At 6:11 AM, Blogger Noni said...

Does niacin react with L-thianine? I have taken 1000mg niacin for over a month with no flushing. About 30 min before would take 2 aleve 440 mg. Recently I ran out of aleve and had no flushing. I started taking l-thianine 100 mg. To night 4 hrs after taking niacin, I took l-thianine. In few minutes had horrid flushing, like bad sunburn, red skin, and itching. It started with head and went entire length of body. An hour later and still tingling in legs but heat has about gone. I've only notice flushing once before, after out of akeve but was very mild.

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been getting severe neck pains since I started drinking an energy drink with niacin in it. I wasn't sure if it was the drink or just a freak neck pain....but it continues after almost 2 months. I have stopped drinking the drink to see if it helps.

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Are you saying your liver failure is caused by niacin?

At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seem to have an allergy to niacin. It causes intense itching and feels like a sunburn. It has been at least 5 days since I had any niacin and the itching is still there while the sunburn pain is not as intense. How long does it take for the niacin to completely be free from the body?

At 5:15 PM, Blogger harmonious1 said...

Try some b1, thiamine. Take enough and your vision will improve.

At 5:20 PM, Blogger harmonious1 said...

You probably have some kind of histamine problem and your wife does not.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger harmonious1 said...

I used to take some niacin and enjoyed the flush. I was under methylating at that time, and had some hayfever symptoms, so I quit the niacin. I have been taking vit c, bioflavonoids, and Trimethylglycine, and my histamine reactions are way better. Today I tried a tiny bit of niacin, and passed out, vomited while out. I'm ok now, but realize niacin is really powerful and you have to know what you're doing. Especially if you are prone to high histamine. Good luck folks, and to all you guys who can take niacin with no side effects, well I'm happy for you. All you people on here taking it for drug tests, stop it. And you people with no concept of how your own body works, get educated before you hurt yourself and/or get a good supplement banned. Research. Have a happy day!

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed by the amount of people starting with Niacin or any kind of supplement/vitamin without doing the research first.
There are different kinds of Niacin and taking thousands of mgs of Niacin without knowing what the result will be is just plain stupid. Check out, read up on the info and the dosage tables BEFORE you start taking it.

Just sayin'.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Jay said...

While there maybe some side effects (the flush etc) but from what I have heard the benefits of Niacin far outweigh any negatives.

A study I read stated that using Niacin could increase HGH levels by as much as 600%. Now, that is quite a benefit I would say.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Just started on niacin, only 100 mg. this morning - had a furious flush but I handled it. I eat frozen blueberries every day (also for cholesterol control) in plain yogurt, and I've decided to eat those when I begin the flush.

For Christine, Dr. Rudolph Ballentine wrote in his fabulous book Radical Healing that impurities in the body move out through the skin, too, and it sounds like that could be what's happening to you with your bumps.

Thanks for this blog. I plan to increase my niacin, for concussion and cholesterol. I felt better today after taking it.


At 11:12 PM, Blogger Apex Dairy Technology said...

I'm too much suffering from Body aches & stomach upset.. There is much swelling on my whole body. I think this is due to the overdose of Vitamin B Complex tablets. So sir what to do to avoid its side effects.

At 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was once hiv positive for 3yrs before dr walanta cured me with herbal treatment. is unbelieveable to many people. i was surprise too. i've done series of tests from different hospitals and is negative. Am very greatful to him though. i owe him my life. if you positive you can try out same herbal meds. Am sure it will work for you reach him on

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Niacin Dose or niacinamide may result in the following side effects: abnormal heart rhythms, ascites (fluid build-up in the gut lining), blurred vision.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger said...

My husband fainted while on 4000 mg of this drug. Severe injuries sustained in a car accident. Our Dr. did not believe it was this drug. No one can convince me otherwise. He went off the drug and we had no more incidents. A couple months ago they put him back on 500 mg daily and now 1000 mg. Last night he awoke went to the bathroom and felt nausea. he fainted again. I thought he had a heart attack when I heard him fall. Niacin is dangerous. All his medical work ups come up with nothing. He can take this for awhile with no side effects and then is done. Never will he take this again as far as I am concerned.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger said...

My husband takes this drug. 1000 mg a day. A year ago he took 4000 mg a day. He said he use to have "slow days", he would get nausea and just feel down. One morning he felt nausea, and was out having coffee with friends. He left the diner and got in his truck and fainted with the foot on the gas. Serious injuries. Drs. did all kinds of test and scans. Nothing unusual, I said I thought it was this medicine. Our Dr. doesn't think so. Now he put him on 1000 mg a day. Last night he woke up and went to the bathroom and felt nausea coming on. He turned and fainted. I don't think enough side effects are listed for this medicine. I have always been against him taking it, and now even more so. There has got to be other options to lower tryglicerides.

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Ray said...

I take 7 grams of nicotinic acid pure powder between 2 am & noon every day (4 grams between 11 am & noon) with no problems; & only positive mental & body effects. Have been taking gram+ doses every day for 35+ years, after reading about Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw taking 11 grams every day in 1982. It has never caused me a problem; &, I gather it never caused them a problem. They wrote that they take it for "Psycho-pharmalogical effect" in their book "Life Extension". Cholesterol ratios are outside the "normal range" in the better than normal direction. since it is "better" than Nicotine I would take it even if it was as deadly. Thankfully it has the opposite effects on bodily health.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lower the dose. Too much Niacin causes Nausea. After being deficient for years, you can take a higher dose of Niacin for a period of time. However, when the body has enough nauseousness occurs. Lowering the dose not eliminating a necessary nutrient is the key. When I checked how much Niacin I needed, 2000 mg made me throw up. 1500 mg. was fine. After a few years of regular consumption, more than 1000 mg is too much.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, the timed-released type of niacin is dangerous. I take regular nicotinic acid with equal mg of vitamin C. If niacin is coming from a prescription, it may have other substances (drugs) with it.

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Endurance Products sells one type of Niacin (nicotinic acid, not niacinamide) which dissolves in less than an hour. It is called Plain Niacin.

It also sells a Niacin product which dissolves over several hours. This is an extended release product, and therefore has more risk to the liver

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are distinct differences between plain or straight nicotinic acid and extended release nicotinic acid. (Most over the counter "niacin" is not nicotinic acid, but rather niacinamide.) Extended release niacin has much higher risks to the liver than does plain or immediate release niacin.

A superb book on this subject is the late William B. Parson's book, Cholesterol Control Without Diet: The Niacin Solution. ISBN 0-9662568-6-7.

I take 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) per day and have done so for about a year,now, using the product he recommends---Plain Niacin by Endurance Products. My blood tests after a month, and again at eleven months were excellent. The "flush" only bothered me the first week of dosage. By the way, Doctor Parsons does not recommend the slow increase in dosage, arguing that the flush is about the same, small or large dosages.

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take Endurance Products Plain Niacin which is available on the internet and is recommended by the late Doctor William B. Parsons in his book: Cholesterol Control Without Diet---The Niacin Solution.

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, be careful. "Niacin" is sometimes niacinamide or hexanicotinate or nicotinic acid. The latter helps control cholesterol; the two former types do not.

The other distinction is immediate release nicotinic acid versus extended release nicotinic acid. The extended release type poses greater threat to the liver. Also, to switch from immediate release to extended release type can be dangerous. A fixed dosage of extended release type is, as I understand it, comparable to twice the amount of immediate release type.

High dose niacin therapy needs to be monitored by regular blood tests and a doctor's expertise

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have been taking Niacin (2000-4000mg) every day for about a year now. Empty stomach or full stomach no problems whatsoever. I enjoy the flush and the mental/ physical benefits have made it a part of my set daily regimen. A couple days ago I ran out to pick up some more but the store was all out, I opted for the "time-released" nicotinic acid version and what a mistake that was. I became extremely sick, blood sugar crashed, terrible nausea and stomach (liver?) pain. 36 hours later and I still feel disabled/ sick.

In short, "time-released" niacin was a terrible experience for me. Research is showing its liver-toxic. The more you know.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Bigdawgz said...

Hello Faza. I know this was a long time ago and I am just reading up in the effects of Niacin for myself now. My story is almost identical to yours that you documented on this blog. I'm wondering if it ever got better and if so how ling did it take etc etc. Any info or feedback would be helpful at this point. Thanks and hope that you're well.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Spider woman said...


At 2:45 AM, Blogger Freshly Baked said...

I would like your advice or comment if you have experienced this. I'm sorry this is so long winded but It's a problem.
My entry for 9th Feb. 2017
includes, " Threw up 5 times last night."
This all stemmed from the evening of the eighth where just after dinner I took 9 grams
of Nicotinic Acid. This is a lot but was trying it to treat a mental disturbance, based on Dr. Abram Hoffer's recommendations. For a week or so previously, I had just been taking the niacin. Knowing I needed to have all the B vitamins, I also took B complex. Bad mistake. This resulted in the vomiting I have mentioned. At this stage I stopped taking all supplementation.
I was able to swallow water. On the 10th I also managed a few grapes. On the 11th I tried some fruit smoothie and had a few sips but pain in swallowing. Then I had a throat spasm. After that for the rest of the day I had to hold my hands to my throat to swallow saliva and was harder to take water sips. Also a dry cough started around this time.
Then I decided to fast on water completely and within a day or so swallowing water/ saliva gave no pain. I have just finished a 40 day fast..yesterday, in fact. The suprising thing is that the dry cough has remained. I have always been a firm fasting believer, but it seems the throat still has damage. Other things are better; not that I was ill beforehand. I have also had, through the fast, blocked up ears and often sound congested. When I cough I bring up fine bubbled, white and frothy mucous. Another thing that has been there all through, is the feeling that I have hairs or fibres stuck in my throat. Today I broke the fast on half water, half diluted fresh juice.It was mandarin. I found at first fine but then irritating my throat, making me cough and bring up this mucousy phlegm.
Has anyone had this experience or similar?

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hello. I just found your board. About a month ago I started taking Niacin for high cholesterol and was interested in why some take vit. C with it? Also, for the last 5 days, I have been having extreme muscle pain between my shoulder blades and into my neck. Has anyone had issues with muscle pain in the upper back while taking these supplements? Ta


At 12:26 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think the hand thing is coincidence. They sound like flat warts. Ive had them on my index finger for 8 years and recently found out what they were. They are difficult to remove but only spread to the back of the hands, face, and legs. Mine flare up and look worse and redeer sometimes too? I couldn't tell you why, but I recommend a dermatologist. Take care!

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Juzzylf said...

Hi there, I thought taking a B3 supplement would help me avoid a miscarriage, thanks to some recent medical research findings in Australia, so I asked for a Niacin supplement at my local health food store. I was advised to take 1000 mg and I did see a warning about flushing but was told that this wouldn't happen as long as I took this after food.

So I took one pill after I ate a piece of toast but I still had the most horrific reaction which was terrifying at the time.

Within minutes of taking it, my face and body turned red and I broke out into a prickly heat rash, my eyesight started going blurry, I started shaking uncontrollably and then had intense labour-like abdominal cramps and diarrhea. It lasted for over an hour and I thought my husband was going to have to take me to the hospital. Even though this passed, I was still red, hot and shaken hours after taking just one of these pills.

There should be warning labels on the pack, and people behind health food counter shops shouldn't be selling 1000 mg to people who haven't built this product up in the body by starting on much smaller doses, and working their way to this strength over time. Further to this, I don't have a cholesterol issue, so it shouldn't have been sold to me at all.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Juzzylf said...

I bought 1000 mg of b3 (niacin) thinking it would be a safe and gentle supplement but within minutes of taking it, I had a severe reaction - my face and body turned red and I broke out into a prickly heat rash, my eyesight started going blurry, I started shaking uncontrollably, and then had intense labour-like abdominal cramps and diarrhea. It lasted for over an hour and I thought my husband was going to have to take me to the hospital. Even though this passed, I was still red, hot and shaken hours after taking just one of these pills.

There should be warning labels on the pack, and people behind health food counter shops shouldn't be selling 1000 mg to people who haven't built this product up in the body by starting on much smaller doses. Further to this, I don't have any issues with cholesterol.

I asked for this product as research findings in Australia have proven that a niacin supplement can help women trying to get pregnant decrease their chances of miscarriage.

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just started taking Niacin and wonder about it's effects on glucose control that is mentioned in many articles on line. They sound scary and being pre diabetic concerned that my efforts to lower bad lipids may inadvertently push me over the edge to go full Diabetic. I never want to do that. Should I stop taking Niacin to avoid the risk or will blood sugar reduce over time. My other question is about taking asprin along with Niacin. Why do some people recommend that and do you? Thank you. This is a great blog and really appreciate all the information people are sharing so honestly and freely. Thanks everyone.

At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*** I am not a Doctor *** This is NOT medical advice ***

I have been taking pure B3 Niacin (nicotinic acid) for a while now, 1 1/2 years.

My experience shows that the flush occurs even with small doses of 100mg, reduced by taking with food (full stomach). It's fast and furious on an empty stomach.

Regarding the dose-dependent theory, not so much for me. I can take 100, 200, 500, even 1000mg and the "onset" of the flush is similar. I have gotten used to it; look forward to it (not so much the itching, which does vary day by day) and enjoy it as a warming tingling sensation. I think, from my experience, that the tingling/burning sensation is coming from the expansion of all those tiny blood vessels near the skin, and it's not a whole lot worse when the dosage is increased or doubled or tripled. That said, the extent (full body-wise) and duration will increase with dose.

I usually take a small dose (100 mg) with morning coffee. Then I'm awake. I take the larger dose in the evening prior to or when going to bed. 500, or 1000 or 1500 depending on whether/how much cholesterol I figure I've ingested. I'm tending toward vegan, so I avoid meat eggs and dairy and usually just take 500. If I had some of those foods I'm more likely to take 1000 or 1500 that evening. For milder effect, take on a full stomach.

Once you "get used to" the flush, you can take the Niacin and go to sleep - if you fall asleep quickly like I do, you can avoid much of the flush by sleeping through it.

In summary, start with the lowest dose with food - get used to the sensations - try the 100mg with morning coffee for a true wake-up call then jump in the shower.
Increasing to 200, 300, 400, 500 etc should be gradual, as above. You'll probably notice like I did that it's not going to double/triple/quadruple the flush because once those tiny vessels are opened up they're opened up - it just goes further and farther. Your body does adjust. However, after 1 1/2 years the flush has never been absent. 100mg on an empty stomach is going to flush me, period. I'm used to it, yes. I like it. I also like 500mg or more in the evening or when climbing into bed. It's as good as an electric blanket and your hands and feet aren't cold.

*** I am not a Doctor *** This is NOT medical advice ***

At 4:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

/CASE REPORTS/ /The authors/ describe a case of massive oral niacin overdose that resulted in severe persistent hypotension without the manifestation of cutaneous flushing. ... A 56-year-old male with a history of schizophrenia presented to the emergency department after orally ingesting 11,000 mg of niacin. The patient cited an Internet resource that recommended high-dose niacin for therapy of schizophrenia as the reason for his ingestion. He stopped his psychiatric medications several weeks prior to his niacin overdose. At presentation, the patient was alert and normothermic. His pulse was 68 beats per minute and his blood pressure was initially 92/41 mmHg. Hypotension with a blood pressure of 58/40 developed over the next few hours and persisted despite intravenous infusion of over 4 liters of normal saline. The physical exam was otherwise unremarkable, specifically without signs of an allergic reaction or cutaneous flushing. He required intravenous dopamine infusion for 12 hours to support a mean arterial blood pressure greater than 60 mmHg. Evaluation for other etiologies of hypotension was unrevealing. Serum niacin levels were 8.2 ug/mL and 5.6 ug/mL at 48 and 96 hours post ingestion, respectively, giving an apparent half-life of 87 hours. Massive overdose of niacin appears to be capable of causing severe, persistent hypotension in the absence of cutaneous flushing. ...
[Mularski RA et al; Clin Toxicol (Phila) 44 (1): 81-4 (2006) ] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract

At 4:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although it is a nutrient, at the pharmacologic dose required for cholesterol-lowering effects, the use of nicotinic acid should be approached as if it were a drug. Individuals should only undertake cholesterol-lowering therapy with nicotinic acid under the supervision of a qualified health care provider in order to minimize potentially adverse effects and maximize therapeutic benefits.

At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

/CASE REPORTS/ A case of a 44 yr old man with hypercholesterolemia who experienced hepatic failure attributed to switching from regular niacin (nicotinic acid), 6 g/day (which he had been taking for over one yr), to controlled release niacin, 6 g/day, is presented. The patient was hospitalized with fulminant hepatic failure and had a successful liver transplantation. ...
[Mullin GE et al; Ann Intern Med 111: 253-55 (1989)] **PEER REVIEWED** PubMed Abstract

At 4:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) NIACIN, IMMEDIATE-RELEASE: Time to peak concentration:
30 to 60 minutes. Plasma elimination half-life: 20 to
45 minutes after oral administration of nicotinic acid.
It is also dependent on the dose administered.
Approximately 88% of an oral dose is eliminated by the
kidneys as an unchanged drug and nicotinuric acid, its
primary metabolite.
2) NIACIN, EXTENDED-RELEASE: Time to peak concentration:
Approximately 5 hours. Due to extensive and saturable
first-pass metabolism, niacin concentrations in the
general circulation are dose dependent and highly
variable. Approximately 60 to 76% of extended-release
niacin was recovered in urine as niacin and its
metabolites following single and multiple doses. The
ratio of metabolites recovered in the urine is
dependent on the dose administered. Niacin is less than
20% bound to human serum protein.
3) NIACINAMIDE: Time to peak concentration: 1 to 4 hours.
Niacinamide and its metabolites are excreted in urine.
Elimination half-life: 10 hours.

At 4:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Range of Toxicity:
A) TOXICITY: A minimum toxic dose has not been established.
1) After ingesting 11,000 mg of niacin within a 12-hour
period, a 56-year-old man developed severe, persistent
hypotension (BP 58/40 mmHg) in the absence of cutaneous
flushing. Following supportive therapy, he recovered
2) A 16-year-old girl developed epigastric discomfort and
rash after taking 330 mg of niacin daily (more than 25
times the recommended daily allowance for a teenager).
Symptoms resolved upon discontinuation of therapy.
3) Two teenagers developed hepatotoxicity and acidosis
after ingestion of 5 and 6 g of sustained-release niacin
over a 48-hour period.
Initial: 500 mg orally once daily at bedtime for 4 weeks,
then 1000 mg at bedtime for 4 weeks; titrate by
tolerability and efficacy but no faster than 500 mg every
4 weeks; usual maintenance dose, 1000 to 2000 mg once
daily at bedtime; MAX 2000 mg/day. ADULT:
times/day, increase to 1000 mg 3 times/day, MAX 4500

At 8:08 PM, Blogger les said...

Last night I took 1/2 of a 500mg tablet after dinner. I figured I wasn't going to get the flush when 1/2 an hour passed, suddenly at the 40 minute mark, the flush hit me. It was so intense that I had to take all my clothes off, I was absolutely on fire, even my palms of my hands and feet were red and puffy. Within about 3 minutes I looked in the mirror and my face was swelling and around the mouth was puffing up so I couldn't open or move my mouth. At the same time I got a rapid heartbeat, tachycardia and felt like I was going to pass out.
I really thought I was suffering from anaphylaxis, and was going to have to call 911. I have never in my life experienced anything so terrifying as this. I was just waiting for my throat to swell and close over.

The tachycardia lasted about ten minutes and slowly the puffiness started to fade. It took another almost 2 hours for my face, hands and feet to lose the redness and when I went to bed three hours later, my entire torso was still red like a sunburn.

Honestly, I can't believe that a product like this doesn't have clear warnings and is sold in such a high dose, hundreds of times higher than you should be ingesting. When I check online, the dose should be about 15mgs, not 500. What if someone had a serious heart problem or had some heart surgery and took a few hundred mgs of this? they'd have a heart attack or stroke. I will never take this stuff again.

At 8:11 PM, Blogger les said...

Last night I took 1/2 of a 500mg tablet after dinner. I figured I wasn't going to get the flush when 1/2 an hour passed, suddenly at the 40 minute mark, the flush hit me. It was so intense that I had to take all my clothes off, I was absolutely on fire, even my palms of my hands and feet were red and puffy. Within about 3 minutes I looked in the mirror and my face was swelling and around the mouth was puffing up so I couldn't open or move my mouth. At the same time I got a rapid heartbeat, tachycardia and felt like I was going to pass out.
I really thought I was suffering from anaphylaxis, and was going to have to call 911. I have never in my life experienced anything so terrifying as this. I was just waiting for my throat to swell and close over.

The tachycardia lasted about ten to fifteen minutes and slowly the puffiness started to fade. It took almost two hours for my face, hands and feet to lose the redness and when I went to bed three hours later, my entire torso was still red like a sunburn.

Honestly, I can't believe that a product like this doesn't have clear warnings and is sold in such a high dose, hundreds of times higher than you should be ingesting. When I check online, the dose should be about 15mgs, not 500. What if someone had a serious heart problem or had some heart surgery and took a few hundred mgs of this? they'd have a heart attack or stroke. I will never take this stuff again.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also Ms. Virginiac diet is also playing a very important role on her cholesterol. if she is ingesting inflamatory foods like all type of hams, canned foods, or any other junk food supplements won't work right, and pharmaceutical i don't think is gonna work better.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hello All,

I took 500mg from NOW for the the first time last night. I exercised for 1/2 hour after followed by a sauna. I'm using this vitamin as a detox from heavy metals. I am also trying to incorporate coffee enemas to pull out the toxins quickly. I got quite the "flush" red skin, itchy but somewhat euphoric. As I ran on the treadmill the flush seemed to disappear. I followed by the sauna and felt good. I drank lots of water for the rest of the evening. This morning I have diarrhea but not sure what to attribute that to. Will wait a few days when stomach feels better before repeating.

For those who are having issues with triglycerides and LDL. I also had issues but a total change in diet has reaped amazing changes. I recommend Dr. Barry Sears and Dr Mark Hyman. There books and blogs will give you some valuable info. Remember bread, cereals, pasta, rice and grains are all sugar to the body. All cause a insulin spike that leads to problems. Colourful vegetables are the best sources of carbohydrates and should not be overlooked for those on low carb. There is a lot of disinformation out there so tread carefully. These two doctors(functional medicine doctors) will help you evaluate your journey. Functional medicine, for those not familiar yet, helps patients treat and heal themselves upstream before issues become major. Much of medicine today treat symptoms way downstream.Be well.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger CosNut said...

I presume some may be mixing up mg for IU s?

At 9:54 AM, Blogger CosNut said...

Tablets are full of fillers and different types of delivery vehicles. The effects of the itching is the epidermis excreting what the body doesn't recognize. B vitamins are water soluable, excess of the vitamin would be passed through urine. Liquid vitamins are absorbed more thoroughly and hold little fillers

At 4:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had the same. Two episodes of visiting hospital due to high heart beat and blood pressure of 160/ 100... I just stared experimenting with 500mg niacin twice a day. Really great for depression but side effects spoils it. I will be sticking with 50mg a day using a complete B complex

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

on and off I got 500mg of Niacin and had the flush. My kidney eGFR was only 43 and uric acid was 606 in my previous blood test and I read "Niacin the real story" Dr. Hoffer recommended 1000mg x 3 a day to his patient and they didn't have to go dialysis. So I started taking 2x500mg after each meal a day and a glass of vegetable juice every other morning, the latest blood test shown eGFR was 47 and uric acid was 481.BTW I am on keto and I monitor my blood glucose and ketone at the same time. After taking the Niacin my blood glucose went from 4.8 down to 3.3 (lowest ever) and blood ketone shoot up from 1.6 to 6.1 (highest ever) but at the same time I felt my heart is pounding, uneasy all around and the stool was totally watery. I've stopped for a week now, my body is feeling fine and stool is getting more regular. Any one had my experience?

At 12:43 PM, Blogger D said...

I just started Niacin 250mg timed release purchased through Puritan Pride. Mild lateral scalp flushing started on day five. Lasted 30 minutes +/-. 1000mg C and 83mg coated aspirin taken at the same time after breakfast. We'll see how it goes.


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