Health Guide


What is it?

Niacinamide is a vitamin supplement. Vitamin B3 exists in many forms and niacinamide is a form that does not produce flushing (feeling hot) when taken in large amounts. It has been used in arthritis, pellagra, and early-onset type I diabetes.

Other names for niacinamide include: 3-pyridinecarboxamide, Nicamid, Nicotinamide, Nicosedine, Nicotinic Acid Amide, Nicotylamidum, and Vitamin PP.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have liver disease or active peptic ulcers
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much niacinamide you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking niacinamide. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take niacinamide without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol(R)) (13)


  • Before taking niacinamide, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take niacinamide if you have liver disease or active peptic ulcers (7-9)
  • Can cause a small increase in liver enzymes (7-9)
  • Use niacinamide with care if you have gout, diabetes, or gallbladder disease (7-9)

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
  • Fast, irregular or pounding heartbeat (15)
  • Dark urine, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, yellow eyes or skin (12-15)

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting (6,15)
  • Headache, mild diarrhea, vomiting, or upset stomach (7,8,10,15)
  • Muscle pain, tenderness or weakness (15)
  • Vision changes (15)


1. Anon: Recommended Dietary Allowances 10th ed. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington, DC; 1989.

2. Vague PH, Vialettes, Lassmann-Vague et al: Nicotinamide may extend remission phase in insulin dependent diabetes (letter). Lancet 1987; I:619.

3. Pozzili P, Visalli N, Ghirlanda G et al: Nicotinamide increases c-peptide secretion in patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes. Diabetic Med 1989; 6:568.

4. Chase HP, Butler-Simon, Garg S et al: A trial of nicotinamide in newly diagnosed patients with type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia 1990; 33:444-446.

5. Lewis CM, Canafax DM, Sprafka M, et al: Double-blind randomized trial of nicotinamide on early onset diabetes. Diabetes Care 1992:15:121-123.

6. Hulshof JH & Vermeij P: The effect of nicotinamide on tinnitus: a double blind controlled study. Clin Otolaryngol 1987; 12:211-214.

7. Zackheim HS, Vasily DB: Westphal ML et al: Reactions to niacinamide (letter). J AM Acad Dermatol 1981; 4:736-737.

8. Hoffer A: Safety, side effects and relative lack of toxicity of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Schizophrenia 1969; 1:78-87.

9. Winter SL & Boyer Jl: Hepatic toxicity from large doses of vitamin B3 (nicotinamide). N Engl J Med 1973; 289: 1180-1182.

10. Zackheim HS: Topical 6-aminomicotinamide plus oral niacinamide therapy for psoriasis. Arch Dermatol 1978; 114:1632-1638.

11. Riley MR (ed): Drug Facts and Comparisons. Facts and Comparisons Inc, St. Louis, MO; 2000.

12. AMA Department of Drugs: AMA Drug Evaluations, 6th ed. American Medical Association, Chicago, IL; 1986.

13. Bourgeois BFD, Dodson WE & Ferrendelli JA: Interactions between primidone, carbamazepine, and nicotinamide. Neurology 1982; 32: 1122-1126.

12. Product Information: Niaspan, niacin, extended release tablet. KOS Pharmaceuticals, Miami, FL, USA, 1997.

13. Figge HL, Figge J, Souney PF et al: Nicotinic acid: a review of its clinical use in the treatment of lipid disorders. Pharmacotherapy 1988; 8(5):287-294.

14. Crouse JR III: New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coron Artery Dis 1996; 7(4):321-326.

15. Product Information: Niacor(R), niacin (niacinamide). Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Minneapolis, MN, 2000.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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