Abbot Laboratories’ Niaspan is a cause of concern
Doctors in the United States of America are having second thoughts about prescribing Niaspan, a drug that is manufactured by Abbot Laboratories and used to increase the level of good cholesterol in blood. The drug has been found to have dangerous repercussions when used in combination with other drugs containing statin.
National Institute of Health has also released studies regarding the drug and the results have been negative. Niaspan, a niacin tablet, is an antihyperlipidemic agent. The tablet comes in a medium orange color tablet that has to be taken orally. It comes in three different concentrations of niacin – 500mg, 750mg and 1000mg. The ingredients of Niaspan are niacin, hypromellose, stearic acid, povidone and polyethylene glycol.
Niaspan may increase risk of stroke when used with statin pills
National institute of health has established that the risk of stoke may increase due to the intake of Naispan in combination with simvastatin. Simvastatin, which is known commonly as Zocor, is a cholesterol pill and is used to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body. Further, the drug has not proved effective in reducing risks of heart attacks in any manner. Doctors have acknowledged that although they previously were under the impression that a combination of Niaspan and statins might prove double beneficial, they are now having second thoughts before prescribing it.
Niaspan is not very useful, according to National Institute of Health
Report released by the Institute also states that Niaspan is an unnecessary drug. Bad cholesterol can successfully be lowered by the use of statins in the form of Crestor, Lipitor and Simvastatin. Niacin, which is an active ingredient in Niaspan, does not help people who are already on statins for lowering their cholesterol levels. Further, due to its tendency of increasing risk of stroke, Niaspan is under a cloud of uncertainty.
Abbot denies increased risk of stroke
While on one hand, the National Institute of Health has declared that Niaspan is not a desirable drug and indeed dangerous in certain condition, Abbot Laboratories have denied the charge and said that Niaspan is perfectly safe. The company said that enormous amount of research and testing went into the process of manufacturing the drug.
There were no enhanced risks of stroke in their findings. Refuting the charges by National Institute of Health, the pharmaceutical giant has said that the study by the Institute is inconsistent with the studies carried out by the company. Nevertheless, sales figures of the drug have fallen following the allegation.
Side effects of the drug
Niaspan users have experienced side effects such as feeling light-headed, erratic heartbeat, breathlessness, dizziness and fainting, jaundice, swelling and problems of the muscles like tenderness, muscle pain and general body weakness. These side effects can become exaggerated when used with other medicines, especially those containing statins.
Although the drug causes decrease in bad cholesterol levels when used independently, it is not recommended for use with other medications. According to surveys, bad cholesterol causes untimely death of over 800,000 Americans annually due to cardio vascular complications.