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Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3. It's found in many foods including meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereals.

Niacinamide is required for the function of fats and sugars in the body and to maintain healthy cells. Niacin is converted to niacinamide when it is taken in amounts greater than what is needed by the body. Unlike niacin, niacinamide doesn't help treat high cholesterol.

People use niacinamide to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions such as pellagra. It is also used for acne, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, aging skin, skin discoloration, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

Do not confuse niacinamide with niacin, NADH, nicotinamide riboside, inositol nicotinate, or L-tryptophan. These are not the same.

NatMed Pro 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.
No data available.
  • Acne.  Topical niacinamide seems to improve acne symptoms in some patients. Oral niacinamide has only been evaluated in combination with other ingredients; its effect when used alone is unclear.
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  • Diabetes.  Oral niacinamide does not seem to prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes, although it might slow its progression.
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  • Hyperphosphatemia.  Adding oral niacinamide to standard treatment with phosphate binders further lowers blood levels of phosphorus in patients on hemodialysis.
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  • Nonmelanoma skin cancer.  Oral niacinamide might reduce the rate of nonmelanoma skin cancer development.
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  • Osteoarthritis.  Oral high-dose niacinamide might be beneficial for improving osteoarthritis symptoms.
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  • Brain tumor.  Adding high-dose oral niacinamide to chemotherapy does not seem to improve survival in patients with brain tumors.
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No data available.
No data available.
No data available.

When taken by mouth: Niacinamide is likely safe when used appropriately. Prescription products containing niacinamide are safe when taken as directed. Niacinamide-containing foods or supplements are safe when taken in doses lower than 35 mg daily. Niacinamide is possibly safe when taken in doses up to 900-1500 mg daily. It might cause side effects such as stomach upset, gas, dizziness, headache, and rash.

When applied to the skin: Niacinamide is possibly safe. Niacinamide cream might cause mild burning, itching, or redness.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Niacinamide is likely safe when taken in recommended amounts. The maximum recommended amount while pregnant or breast-feeding is 30 mg daily for those under 18 years of age, and 35 mg daily for those over 18 years of age.

Children: Niacinamide is likely safe when taken by mouth in the recommended amounts by age. Children should avoid taking niacinamide doses above the daily upper limits, which are 10 mg for children 1-3 years of age, 15 mg for children 4-8 years of age, 20 mg for children 9-13 years of age, and 30 mg for children 14-18 years of age.

Diabetes: Niacinamide might increase blood sugar. People with diabetes who take niacinamide should check their blood sugar regularly.

Gallbladder disease: Niacinamide might make gallbladder disease worse.

Kidney dialysis: Taking niacinamide seems to increase the risk of low platelet levels in people with kidney failure who are on dialysis.

Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Niacinamide might make ulcers worse. Don't use it if you have ulcers.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Carbamazepine is broken down by the body. Niacinamide might decrease how fast the body breaks down carbamazepine. But it isn't clear if this is a major concern.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Niacinamide might slow blood clotting. Taking niacinamide along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Primidone (Mysoline)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Primidone is broken down by the body. Niacinamide might decrease how fast the body breaks down primidone. But there isn't enough information to know if this is a major concern.

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Niacinamide might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

There are no known interactions with foods.

In supplements, niacinamide might be listed on the label in niacin equivalents (NE). 1 mg of niacinamide is the same as 1 mg NE. Niacinamide is found in many vitamin B complex supplements with other B vitamins. It's also used in many topical creams and gels.

Niacinamide is also found in many foods, including meat, fish, milk, eggs, vegetables, and cereals. The amount that should be consumed on a daily basis is called the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). In males, the RDA is 16 mg NE. In females, the RDA is 14 mg NE. While pregnant, the RDA is 18 mg NE. While breast-feeding, the RDA is 17 mg NE. In children, the RDA depends on age. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

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