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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Niacin (Vitamin B 3)

Niacin (Vitamin B 3) (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

  • Nutritional supplement, vitamin

Vitamins (VYE-ta-mins) are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in small amounts only and are usually available in the foods that you eat. Niacin and niacinamide are necessary for many normal functions of the body, including normal tissue metabolism. They may have other effects as well.

Lack of niacin may lead to a condition called pellagra. Pellagra causes diarrhea, stomach problems, skin problems, sores in the mouth, anemia (weak blood), and mental problems. Your health care professional may treat this by prescribing niacin for you.

Some conditions may increase your need for niacin. These include:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)
  • Diarrhea (prolonged)
  • Fever (prolonged)
  • Hartnup disease
  • Infection (prolonged)
  • Intestinal problems
  • Liver disease
  • Mouth or throat sores
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Pancreas disease
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Stress (prolonged)
  • Surgical removal of stomach

Increased need for niacin should be determined by your health care professional.

Claims that niacin is effective for treatment of acne, alcoholism, unwanted effects of drug abuse, leprosy, motion sickness, muscle problems, poor circulation, and mental problems, and for prevention of heart attacks, have not been proven. Many of these treatments involve large and expensive amounts of vitamins.

Injectable niacin and niacinamide are given by or under the supervision of a health care professional. Other forms of niacin and niacinamide are available without a prescription.

Niacin and niacinamide are available in the following dosage forms:

  • Niacin
    • Extended-release capsules (U.S.)
    • Solution (U.S.)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
    • Extended-release tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Niacinamide
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
  • Niacin
    • Injection (U.S.)
  • Niacinamide
    • Injection (U.S.)

Importance of Diet

Niacin is found in meats, eggs, and milk and dairy products. Little niacin is lost from foods during ordinary cooking.

Vitamins alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body also needs other substances found in food such as protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. Vitamins themselves often cannot work without the presence of other foods.

The daily amount of niacin needed is defined in several different ways.

    For U.S. -
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
    For Canada -
  • Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.

Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) for niacin are generally defined as follows:






Infants and children

Birth to 3 years of age



4 to 6 years of age



7 to 10 years of age



Adolescent and adult males



Adolescent and adult females



Pregnant females



Breast-feeding females



Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • Niacor 1
  • Nicolar 1
  • Nicotinex Elixir 1
  • Slo-Niacin 1

In Canada -

  • Novo-Niacin 1

Other commonly used names are:


Nicotinic acid

Vitamin B 3


For quick reference, the following products are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following products:
1. Niacin (nye-a-SIN)‡§
2. Niacinamide (nye-a-SIN-a-mide)‡§
‡ Generic name product may be available in the U.S.
§ Generic name product may be available in Canada


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Niacin (Vitamin B 3): Before Using

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