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A report in the American Journal of Cardiology shows that niacin taken with cholesterol synthesis blockers such as Mevacor, can safely help to lower cholesterol and triglycerides to normal.

Doctors used to be afraid to prescribe niacin with cholesterol-lowering drugs because of reports of muscle damage causing the release of myoglobin that travels in the bloodstream to damage the kidneys. However, more recent studies show that the combination of niacin with cholesterol lowering drugs is safe and highly effective in preventing heart attacks. Niacin lowers triglycerides and cholesterol , while drugs such as Lipitor, Mevacor or Pravachol lower only cholesterol. Patients with high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol worked up to taking 2000 mg of niacin with 40 mg of Mevacor, which lowered LDL cholesterol by 47 percent and triglycerides by 41 percent. The most common side effect was flushing, which caused 10 percent of patients to withdraw.

Long-term safety and efficacy of a once-daily niacin/lovastatin formulation for patients with dyslipidemia. American Journal of Cardiology, 2002, Vol 89, Iss 6, pp 672-678. ML Kashyap, ME McGovern, K Berra, JR Guyton, PO Kwiterovich, WL Harper, PD Toth, LK Favrot, B Kerzner, SD Nash, HE Bays, PD Simmons. Kashyap ML, Vet Affairs Healthcare Syst, Cholesterol Res Ctr, 5901 E 7th St 11-111, Long Beach,CA 90822 USA

Checked 9/3/05

May 21st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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