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how to prevent side effects of niacin

Ease Into the Full Dose
If you are taking an immediate-release form of niacin, you may want to gradually increase your dose. For instance, if you are supposed to take 500 milligrams a day, take 250 milligrams the first few days until you are able to tolerate the side effects. Then, gradually increase your dose until you reach the recommended dose.

Also, you might try to divide your dose throughout the day. In this case, you would take 250 milligrams twice a day, instead of 500 milligrams once a day.

This only works for immediate-release products. You should never cut sustained or extended-release pills in half.

Aspirin Before Niacin
Studies have shown that taking an aspirin first can decrease the flushing and itching associated with niacin. If you are having trouble with these side effects, you may try to take a 325-milligram aspirin dose at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to taking the niacin.

Avoid Hot Drinks and Alcohol
Hot beverages like coffee and tea as well as alcohol may increase the likelihood of flushing. Try to avoid drinking any of these around the time that you take your niacin.