The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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What about Niacin?

The results of the AIM-HIGH trial conducted by the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) were recently published.1 The goal of the trial was to test whether addition of niacin to intensive statin therapy would further reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The trial was stopped prematurely after an average follow-up of 3 years because niacin therapy had not shown any clinical benefit.

NIACIN — Through several mechanisms of action, niacin favorably modifies all plasma lipoproteins and lipids.2 It increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) by 15-35% and decreases triglycerides by 20-35%. It decreases total plasma and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 5-25%, changing small, dense LDL particles to large, buoyant forms.3

THE AIM-HIGH TRIAL — A ... more      

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