Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

July 17, 2014

Studies see new risks for cholesterol drug niacin

Eds: Subs 8th paragraph to show that Niaspan now sold by AbbVie, which was spun off of Abbott, links photo..

New details from two studies reveal more side effects from niacin, a drug that hundreds of thousands of Americans take for cholesterol problems and general heart health. Some prominent doctors say the drug now seems too risky for routine use.

Niacin is a type of B vitamin long sold over the counter and in higher prescription doses. Some people take it alone or with statin medicines such as Lipitor for cholesterol problems.

Niacin users' main complaint has been flushing, so drug companies have been testing extended-release and combining other medicines with it to minimize that problem. Introduced in the 1950s, the drug hadn't been rigorously tested until recent years when makers of prescription versions were seeking market approval.

The two studies were testing prescription versions of niacin, and the bottom line — that it didn't help prevent heart problems any more than statins alone do — has already been announced. Some of the side effect information, including a troubling rise in deaths among niacin users in one study, also was known but many doctors have been waiting for full details and verification of the results before drawing firm conclusions about the drug's safety and effectiveness.

Those details are in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

The larger study suggests that "for every 200 people that we treat with niacin, there is one excess death," plus higher rates of bleeding, infections and other problems — "a completely unacceptable level" of harm, said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones of Northwestern University in Chicago. "Niacin should not be used routinely in clinical practice at all."

He co-led a panel for the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology that recently issued new cholesterol treatment guidelines. The group did not recommend niacin but said it could be considered for certain patients. If the panel had seen the new results, it "almost certainly" would have recommended against niacin's routine use, Lloyd-Jones said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • Silenced by Violence [Duplicate] Anti-violence youth gunned down, but not silenced FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Dressed in jeans, a low-neck T-shirt and white sneakers, 19-year-old Ravon Jordan strode confidently to the podium to address the city council. He had just three minutes, so he got right to the point: Eleven days earlier, on

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona Execution Drugs [Duplicate] Execution offers evidence against lethal injection ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's third botched execution in six months offers more evidence for the courts that lethal injection carries too many risks and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, death-row lawyers and other opponents said Thursday. De

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Teen Pilot-Crash [Duplicate] Family: Indiana teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks PLAINFIELD (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances. "Why does any explorer undertake the nec

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jamie Kennedy live in Kokomo this weekend Actor and stand-up comedian Jamie Kennedy said he's excited for his first-ever trip to the City of Firsts — a place he has heard only one thing about. He laughed Wednesday night, saying the only thing he's heard about Kokomo is that it's home to a pl

    July 24, 2014

  • Social Security Computer Woes [Duplicate] Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — After spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarked on

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check WASHINGTON (AP) — Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form. The mistake primarily stems from an onl

    July 24, 2014

  • Film Review Lucy [Duplicate] Review: 'Lucy' won't stretch your brain capacity So let's start with the enticing premise of Luc Besson's "Lucy," starring Scarlett Johansson: Human beings only use 10 percent of their brain capacity. Imagine what it would be like if we could access all of it? Well, wow. It would be sort of like ..

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's o

    July 24, 2014

  • Obama [Duplicate] Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Barack Obama is tapping into growing misgivings about tax-driven overseas mergers by U.S. corporations, issuing a new call to end the practice quickly and questioning the patriotism and citizenship of those companies. The

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Court rules prison agency mistreated former Pendleton counselor INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that Indiana's prison agency mistreated a female employee when it shrugged off her complaints about workers having sex on her desk and later fired her for having an affair with an official. The ap

    July 23, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller