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What is Inositol Nicotinate?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Inositol nicotinate is a supplement made from inositol, a nutrient, and niacin, or vitamin B3. When the body processes this supplement, niacin is released, which causes a widening of blood vessels. It can also lower the level of fats, including cholesterol, in the bloodstream as well as reduce blood clotting.

This supplement is often taken to address conditions related to poor circulation, such as a narrowing of the blood vessels, called Raynaud's disease. It may also treat intermittent claudication, which is poor leg circulation that results in pain during movement. Stasis dermatitis may also benefit from inositol nicotinate. This condition causes a pooling of blood in one's legs. Patients with high cholesterol also may take this supplement to complement other treatments.

Inositol nicotinate is often taken to treat other conditions, but there is insufficient evidence for its efficacy. These include migraines, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Others may use it for acne, restless leg syndrome, and skin inflammation as well as psoriasis and schizophrenia.

Not everyone should take inositol nicotinate. The safety of use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is unknown. Those with allergies should avoid the supplement, as it may worsen these symptoms. Patients with gout, gallbladder disease, and low blood pressure should consult a physician, as it may aggravate these conditions. Likewise, the supplement may worsen kidney disease and cause liver damage in people with liver disease.

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Patients with heart disease or any other heart condition should not use inositol nicotinate without a doctor's approval. There is a heightened risk of an irregular heartbeat when the niacin breaks down in the body. Niacin may also interfere with blood sugar control, rendering this supplement potentially dangerous for diabetics. Those with ulcers should similarly avoid taking it.

This niacin supplement may interact with some medications, so people taking other drugs should consult a doctor before use. For example, it may interfere with the efficacy of diabetes medications. An interaction may also occur with blood clotting drugs and medications to treat high cholesterol. The use of nicotine patches can increase potential side effects.

People taking inositol nicotinate should keep a record of any side effects they experience. An upset stomach, nausea, and headache are possible. Others may experience hiccuping and burping as well as flushing and dizziness. Patients who experience persistent or troubling side effects should consult a doctor.

There is no established, standard dosage for inositol nicotinate. Typically, in scientific studies, patients were given dosages between 1,500 to 4,000 milligrams (mg) daily. This amount is usually divided into two to four doses per day.

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