If considering a switch from Zetia, which blocks the absorption of LDL “bad” cholesterol in the gut, to Niaspan, a B vitamin that raises HDL “good” cholesterol, new research supports the decision. In a study of the two prescription drugs, Niaspan was better than Zetia at shrinking buildups in neck arteries. Niaspan may be taken alone or in combination with statin drugs that lower LDL cholesterol and are proven to reduce the risk of heart problems. Flushing of the skin may be minimized by taking Niaspan after a low-fat snack just before bedtime. Over-the-counter versions of immediate-release niacin are not equivalent to Niaspan and should be taken only under a doctor’s care.
Drug Options to Keep Cholesterol in Check
By: Post Editors
Published: January 2, 2010