There are two forms of vitamin B3. One form is niacin, the other is niacinamide. Niacinamide is found in many foods including yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, beans, and cereal grains. Niacinamide is also found in many vitamin B complex supplements with other B vitamins. Niacinamide can also be formed in the body from dietary niacin. Do not confuse niacinamide with niacin, inositol nicotinate (inositol hexaniacinate), or tryptophan. See the separate listings for these topics. Niacinamide is taken by mouth for preventing vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions such as pellagra. It is also taken by mouth for schizophrenia, hallucinations due to drugs, Alzheimer's disease and age-related loss of thinking skills, chronic brain syndrome, muscle spasms, depression, motion sickness, alcohol dependence, blood vessel swelling caused by skin lesions, and fluid collection (edema). Niacinamide is also taken by mouth for treating diabetes and two skin conditions called bullous pemphigoid and granuloma annulare. Some people take niacinamide by mouth for acne, leprosy, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), memory loss, arthritis, preventing premenstrual headache, improving digestion, protecting against toxins and pollutants, reducing the effects of aging, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, promoting relaxation, improving orgasm, and preventing cataracts. Niacinamide is applied to the skin for treating a skin condition called inflammatory acne vulgaris.
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The Effectiveness ratings for Niacinamide are as follows:
Likely Effective for...
Possibly Effective for...
Possibly Ineffective for...
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
More evidence is needed to rate niacin and niacinamide for these uses.
Niacinamide is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Unlike niacin, niacinamide does not cause flushing. However, niacinamide might cause minor adverse effects such as stomach upset, intestinal gas, dizziness, rash, itching, and other problems.
When doses of over 3 grams per day of niacinamide are taken, more serious side effects can happen. These include liver problems or high blood sugar. Niacinamide is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth and appropriately in children or when applied to the skin of adults.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Niacinamide is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women when taken in the recommended amounts. The recommended amount of niacin for pregnant or breast-feeding women is 30 mg per day for women under 18 years of age, and 35 mg for women over 18.Allergies: Niacinamide can make allergies more severe because they cause histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic symptoms, to be released.Diabetes: Niacinamide might increase blood sugar. People with diabetes who take niacinamide should check their blood sugar carefully.Gallbladder disease: Niacinamide might make gallbladder disease worse.Gout: Large amounts of niacinamide might bring on gout.Liver disease: Niacinamide might increase liver damage. Don't use it if you have liver disease.Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Niacinamide might make ulcers worse. Don't use it if you have ulcers.Surgery: Niacinamide might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking niacinamide at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk to your health provider.
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) is broken down by the body. There is some concern that niacinamide might decrease how fast the body breaks down carbamazepine (Tegretol). But there is not enough information to know if this is important.
Niacinamide might harm the liver, especially when used in high doses. Taking niacinamide along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take niacinamide if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver. Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk to your health provider.
Niacinamide might slow blood clotting. Taking niacinamide along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, indomethacin (Indocin), ticlopidine (Ticlid), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Primidone (Mysoline) is broken down by the body. There is some concern that niacinamide might decrease how fast the body breaks down primidone (Mysoline). But there is not enough information to know if this is important.
Niacin, especially in higher doses can cause liver damage. Taking niacin along with other herbs or supplements that might harm the liver could increase this risk. Some of these products include androstenedione, borage leaf, chaparral, comfrey, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), germander, kava, pennyroyal oil, red yeast, and others.
There are no known interactions with foods.
3-Pyridine Carboxamide, Amide de l'Acide Nicotinique, B Complex Vitamin, Complexe de Vitamines B, Niacinamida, Nicamid, Nicosedine, Nicotinamide, Nicotinic Acid Amide, Nicotylamidum, Vitamin B3, Vitamina B3, Vitamine B3.
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