This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Niacin Causes Serious Unexpected Side-effects, But No Worthwhile Benefits, For Patients Who Are At Increased Risk Of Heart Attacks And Strokes

Side effects previously found with niacin, which were also seen in HPS2-THRIVE, included skin rashes, gastro-intestinal (stomach) problems, complications with the management of pre-existing diabetes and increased risk of developing diabetes. The newly identified side effects were infections and bleeding (particularly in the gut and brain), neither of which had been clearly demonstrated with niacin previously.

The results in HPS2-THRIVE are consistent with the results from other trials of ER niacin. For example, the AIM-HIGH trial of ER niacin alone (i.e. without the addition of laropiprant) in 3,400 high-risk patients was stopped prematurely after 3 years because no beneficial effects on heart attacks and strokes were seen. The known side effects of ER niacin were also seen in AIM-HIGH.  Further analyses of AIM-HIGH should be able to show if there are similar trends on bleeding and infections to those in HPS2-THRIVE.

The HPS2-THRIVE findings have resulted in the suspension by Merck & Co/MSD of the ER-niacin and laropiprant combination therapy from Europe and other countries where it had been approved for use. Although the combination therapy was not licensed in the US, regulatory authorities are now considering the implications of these results for the use of other forms of extended release niacin.

Principal Investigator Professor Jane Armitage, from Oxford University's CTSU, said: "The use of niacin for the prevention of cardiovascular events should now be reconsidered. The HPS2-THRIVE trial shows that niacin causes significant hazards and does not reduce the number of people suffering heart attacks and strokes when added to treatments, such as cholesterol-lowering statin therapy, which are known to be safe and effective. It's only by carrying out very large clinical trials that we can get clear answers on treatments like this."

With regard to the bleeding and infection, it seems likely that earlier studies of niacin were too small to detect these new side effects reliably.  "The lack of benefit with niacin in HPS2-THRIVE is consistent with the result in AIM-HIGH. Similarly the risks of the known side-effects of niacin are consistent between HPS2-THRIVE and the other trials.  Although it is a possibility that these new side effects are due to laropiprant rather than to niacin, we consider this to be unlikely," Professor Armitage said.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs