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SUSTAINED-RELEASE NIACIN POSES "POTENTIALLY SERIOUS" PROBLEM

Executive Summary

SUSTAINED-RELEASE NIACIN POSES "POTENTIALLY SERIOUS" PROBLEM to people taking the product over-the-counter as a cholesterol- lowering agent without proper complementary health care, a study published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association argues. After conducting a randomized, double- blind parallel comparison of immediate-release and sustained- release niacin, James McKenney, Virginia Commonwealth University, et al., found that the SR form of niacin is hepatotoxic and thereby concluded that "allowing niacin to remain on the nonprescription market, where it may be used in high doses for cholesterol lowering without proper monitoring by trained health professionals, presents a potentially serious public health problem."
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