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Review: could Niacin cause Rhabdomyolysis?

Summary: Rhabdomyolysis could be caused by Niacin, especially for people who are male, 60+ old, have been taking the drug for 1 - 6 months, also take Simvastatin, and have Blood cholesterol increased.

We study 5,735 people who have side effects while taking Niacin from FDA and social media. Among them, 142 have Rhabdomyolysis. Find out below who they are, when they have Rhabdomyolysis and more.

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On Apr, 10, 2014: 5,735 people reported to have side effects when taking Niacin. Among them, 142 people (2.48%) have Rhabdomyolysis. They amount to 0.08% of all the 180,091 people who have Rhabdomyolysis on eHealthMe.

Trend of Rhabdomyolysis in Niacin reports

Time on Niacin when people have Rhabdomyolysis * :

< 1 month1 - 6 months6 - 12 months1 - 2 years2 - 5 years5 - 10 years10+ years
Rhabdomyolysis0.00%70.45%9.09%9.09%6.82%2.27%2.27%

Gender of people who have Rhabdomyolysis when taking Niacin * :

FemaleMale
Rhabdomyolysis37.96%62.04%

Age of people who have Rhabdomyolysis when taking Niacin * :

0-12-910-1920-2930-3940-4950-5960+
Rhabdomyolysis0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%1.74%4.35%35.65%58.26%

Severity of Rhabdomyolysis when taking Niacin ** :

n/a

How people recovered from Rhabdomyolysis ** :

n/a

Top conditions involved for these people * :

  1. Blood cholesterol increased (32 people, 22.54%)
  2. Hyperlipidaemia (24 people, 16.90%)
  3. Hypercholesterolaemia (10 people, 7.04%)
  4. Hypertension (5 people, 3.52%)
  5. Post herpetic neuralgia (3 people, 2.11%)

Top co-used drugs for these people * :

  1. Simvastatin (40 people, 28.17%)
  2. Baycol (33 people, 23.24%)
  3. Zocor (32 people, 22.54%)
  4. Aspirin (23 people, 16.20%)
  5. Bezafibrate (21 people, 14.79%)

* Approximation only. Some reports may have incomplete information.

** Reports from social media are used.

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Related topic: Niacin, Rhabdomyolysis

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On eHealthMe, Niacin (niacin) is often used for high blood cholesterol. Find out below the conditions Niacin is used for, how effective it is, and any alternative drugs that you can use to treat those same conditions.

What is Niacin used for and how effective is it:

Other drugs that are used to treat the same conditions:

Could it be a symptom from a condition:

Drugs in real world that are associated with:

Could your condition cause it?

Comments from related studies:

  • From this study (2 years ago):

  • Mel on May, 22, 2012:

    I am a 55 year caucasion female with hyperlipidaemia/dyslipidaemia. I was on statin drugs for over 10 years with no complications (Crestor, Simvastatin). After genetic testing revealed high risk factors, my doctor increased my Simvastatin to 80 mg. I took this dose for a year with no problems then added Niaspan 1000 twice a day. Several weeks later I was hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis. My CPK and liver enzymes were off the chart for 3 days. I recovered successfully after one week with no kidney damage. I was fortunate. My doctor says I can never take the statin drugs again but wants me to continue the Niaspan at 500 twice a day. I am not sure if it was the Simvastatin or the Niaspan that caused it but I believe it was likely the combination of high dose statin and niacin that triggered the condition. I am not sure that it is safe to take Niacin now.

    Reply

    Mohan Lakhani, MD on Jun, 9, 2012:

    The combination therapy increases the likelyhood of rhabdo. Simvastatin at 80MG is ill advised because this dose also causes an inreased propensity for rhabdo. Infact FDA has issued a blavk box warning on that dose unless its a dose you have taken chronically.

    Adding Niacin to a statin has not been shown to be of benefit based on the AIM HIGH trail that looked at statin ans niacin combination.

    It may be reasonable to try statin therapy alone only (withouy statins or fibrate drugs) under medical supervision. Greater preferencr should be given to a water soluable drug

    Reply

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